Trails Near Ponca

Ponca to Steel Creek

Trails Near Ponca


4 Miles


A wonderful hike for people of all ages. Follows the bluff line above the river. Several waterfall areas along the way, plus nice views of the river. Pack a lunch and eat at Steel Creek before hiking back. A great place for Spring wildflowers and Fall foliage.

A hike passing between a bluff and a rock pillar along the BRT.

Trip Highlights

Go Left at the Fork

This trail starts at the Ponca access of the Buffalo National River. After parking, you will cross the Ponca low-water bridge and come to a few different trails on the other side. The route to the right will take you on an 11 mile hike to Boxely along the BRT. For this hike we want to take the route downstream to the left toward Steel Creek.

Winter Leaf-off

This is a great trail to hike during winter while the trees are bare! Once the leaves are gone, there are many beautiful views over the Buffalo National River. During Spring and Summer these views are mostly obstructed.

Photographers on the Trail

Despite winter offering the best views of the river along the trail, a photographer will find beauty in any season they visit! Spring offers waterfalls and wildflowers galore, and Fall brings a canopy of abundant color.  Even in the Summer, the bluffs and rock formations make for excellent subjects.

Extending you Hike

Wanting a longer hike? If you continue another mile and a half along the BRT, once arriving at Steel Creek, you can visit the Steel Creek overlook as well! This would make for a round-trip hike of 7 miles. Be prepared for lots of extra elevation change though!