East Fork Wilderness


East Fork Wilderness is a 10,688-acre property in Ozark-St. Francis National Forest. The centerpiece of the wilderness area is the East Fork of Illinois Bayou, which runs across the property northeast-to-southwest. The primary hiking trail in the area is the East Fork Trail which parallels the stream across the wilderness area. As the landscape is a mix of rounded ridgetops between 400 and 800 feet high above steep-sided V-shaped valleys, most hiking is done along the stream beds.

Tree coverage in the area is mostly hickory mixed with white and red oak. The understory is a mix of dogwood, redbud, sassafras, serviceberry and persimmon. At one time the area was homesteaded and those hardy pioneers left behind cabins, barns, corrals and roads. While there is little for developed trails in the wilderness area there are traces left by the old roads still.

To get there: there is a parking area on the west side of Arkansas Highway 27 about 12 miles north of Hector. The wilderness area is on the east side of the road.