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Chuck’s Blog – “Trails Less Traveled: Alum Cove”

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  • Chuck Dovish
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The Alum Cove Area has always been one of my favorite tucked away scenic spots ever since I came to Arkansas in 1976.

Located south of Jasper, Arkansas, in the Ozark National Forest off State Scenic Byway 7, it has one of the largest natural rock bridges in the state — spanning some 150 feet in length. What is so different about this natural bridge is that the top of it actually looks like it was manmade. In fact, it was used as a bridge by early settlers to move livestock and wagons across the streambed during rainy periods.

The bridge was once part of a bigger bluff shelter but, over time and centuries of weathering, the arch or “bridge” eventually separated from the rock overhang.

Depending on how much time you want to spend here, you can take the shorter 30-minute or so round trip hike to the arch, or do the entire 1.1 mile loop trail which will take you down to the bluffline where you can explore cave-like rooms, once used by native Americans for shelter during hunting trips. These “rooms” were called “goat houses” by the locals because of the free-roaming goats that lived there at one time.

So, experience the serenity and nature’s awe-inspiring handiwork over the centuries along Alum Cove National Recreation Trail, premiering during our “Trails Less Traveled” digital series on Arkansas PBS and Exploring Arkansas social media platforms Wednesday, July 15, at 2 p.m., including Facebook, YouTube and on the Engage Arkansas PBS App, available for free in the App Store and Google Play Store. Want to see it — or share it — on a bigger screen?  Watch AR PBS-1 in primetime Thursday evening after “Doc Martin” to see the full segment on broadcast!


Getting ready to make your own visit to this amazing natural formation? Don’t miss a chance to enter to win an Arkansas PBS prize pack! From now to Aug. 12, whenever you watch a segment and, then, share a photo on the Engage Arkansas PBS app, you’ll be entered to in a random drawing for an exciting collection of Arkansas PBS and “Exploring Arkansas” swag and/or experiences. Check out details and rules at