Gilbert is a very small, Arkansas town with a population of 33 people. There’s a general store for renting canoes (there are a lot of other canoe rentals outside of town that are great too), there’s a small post office, a church (of course, hello Bible Belt! Ha!), & a sweet country restaurant called Ferguson’s where you need to go have an ENORMOUS cinnamon roll & some coffee. You can rent cabins & buy souvenir type items from the Gilbert General Store or you can go up the road to the Gilbert RV Park to book a spot to park your RV. They also have a little shop. If you need a grocery store, you can go to St. Joe’s or Marshall to find what you need. You’re about 20 minutes from Tyler Bend & about an hour & a half from the Jasper/Ponca area of the Buffalo River where you can do more sightseeing.
The Gilbert Railroad Trail is a trail I’ve done a couple of times before & it’s as though the odds are stacked against me because I have yet to finish all 3.8 miles. But someday I will! I’m determined! I took the kids out on this trail for spring break, we got a late start, my youngest was exhausted & was completely over it. I messed up my watch, so I wasn’t able to track how far we actually did make it. But that being said, once we got moving & came to this fun spot with the rocks my youngest really started loving it.
Perks: It’s a very very easy trail. Most of it is flat, until you get to these rocks & you go uphill a bit & then it evens back out again. You have a great view of the river, some awesome plant life & the rocks are fun for the kids to climb in & out of while you work your way down the trail. There’s a bathroom at the beginning of the trail since it’s part of the national river, so that’s always a plus when you have kids with you.
When you finish the trail, walk from the “parking lot” aka a gravel lot with about 4 spaces there (if that many) & turn left to take a walk down to the Buffalo River. We always end our hike right here for some fun rock skipping & fishing. It’s also fun in high float season to see all the different canoes come down the river!
Cons: I can’t get the dang thing finished! Ha! Beyond that, there aren’t any cons with this one if you’re wanting to take the kids on an easy hike.
Tell me, regardless of what state it’s in, what is your favorite hike?? I’m going to make a list of them from all over the US & use it as my guide for trails to try out!