Ponca Area Hiking Trails off Highways 43 & 74
2.3 mile round trip Estimated time 2.5 hours
Notes: This is a fairly easy trail and very popular. It is scenic from end to end. In the spring, Lost Valley
is famous for the wild flower bloom. Eden Falls is also a popular destination. Suitable for families. It is
barrier free for a half mile and has resting benches. Toilets at trailhead located in Lost Valley
Directions: Take highway 43 south out of Ponca, follow the sign for Lost Valley Campground on the
west side of the road about 3 miles from Ponca.
Other Features: The Lost Valley area is just about in the middle of the best elk viewing in Boxley Valley.
Plan to arrive at daybreak or view the elk herd in the evenings.
Buffalo River Trail from Ponca to Steel Creek
2.3 mile round trip. Estimated time 1.5 hours.
Notes: This is a very popular segment of the Buffalo River Trail. It has great overlooks of the river in
many places. This is another easy to moderate trail. It is out and back. On both ends of the trail there
Directions: Take highway 43 south out of Ponca past the highway 74 junction. Take the first left on a
dirt road to the Ponca Buffalo River Access and park. The trail head is across the low water bridge and
to the left up a grade. It follows the river on the bluffs.
Other Features: Just upstream from the Ponca Low Water bridge is a popular Buffalo River swimming
hole, a nice place to take a dip after a hike. Just to the right of the trailhead is a path leading to the old
Villines Homestead. It is a short side trip and will be of interest to fans of old buildings. Elk are often
visible in the first fields just south of the Ponca Access and rarely in Steel Creek.
Hiking Trails off Highway 7 South of Jasper
Koen Interpretive Trail
.4 mile Estimated time 1 hour (if you spend time looking at the trees.)
Notes: This is part of the Koen experimental forest center. It is an educational opportunity for kids on a
short nature hike. It is wheelchair accessible.
Directions: Take the entrance road to the Erbie Campground west off of highway 7 and follow it until
you reach the center. The building is well marked and on the right side of the road with a parking area.
The center has picnic tables and toilets.
Other Features: Just a bit further on on the Erbie Road is the Cedar Grove (Glade) picnic area. This is
a nice shaded area with picnic tables and fire grates. Directly across the road is another short trail
called the Ponds Trail (.4 mile). It is part wheelchair accessible. Also, follow the Erbie road past the
campground and you can visit the historic Parker-Hickman Homestead, a popular destination.
Mill Creek Trail
2.2 mile out and back trail. Estimated time 1 to 2 hours.
Notes: This is an extremely easy trail. It ends at an old log cabin. Toilets available at access.
Directions: Take highway 7 south out of Jasper, cross the Buffalo River at Pruitt, turn right into the
Pruitt Access area. Stay left and park at the trail head.
Other Features: The nearby Pruit Access is a popular swimming hole. Visit the Pruit Ranger station
exhibits across the river on the west side of the road. Picnic area with grates, and toilets by Pruit