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Robinson Point Trail takes you through tunnels of cedar groves to endless views of turquoise and blue. Only a few miles east of Mountain Home, Arkansas, the trail follows the curves and coves of Norfork Lake. This nearly 3-mile lollipop loop is managed by the Corp of Engineers. It is a part of the Ozark Highlands Trail, although not yet connected to the western sections.
I discovered the trail in Tim Ernst book, “Arkansas Hiking Trails.” The trail is great in every season, but especially beautiful in the spring and fall. Wildflowers bloom all throughout the trail and plentiful hardwoods and sweeping views make for an excellent showcase in autumn.
Although the trail doesn’t have a lot of elevation gain, it does dip down and into some gullies and back up rather steeply. In some places, there is loose rock making footing a little tricky. But overall it’s a fairly easy trail.
Finding the trailhead
There are two trailheads for Robinson Point Trail. The main trailhead is just before the entrance gate to Robinson Point Campground, at the end of Robinson Point Road. Those camping at Robinson Point can access the trail from behind the bathhouse near campsites 71-99. Even though I was camping at the park, I chose to begin from the official trailhead so I could explore more of the forest.
Trailhead to lollipop loop
The trail begins relatively flat and wide for easy walking. After 0.25 miles there is a bench and a fork in the trail. If you go straight, you will end up at the campground. Here, you want to go to the right to stay on the Robinson Point Trail.
The trail snakes around a cove of Norfork Lake. And then you go through a few groves of cedar trees where it seems like they shelter the trail. You get glimpses of the lake from higher up on shore. At mile 0.7, the trail begins to head down into a gully and another cove of the lake. Here you come close to the water. On the park’s brochure, it has a footbridge listed here. However, I did not cross a footbridge. I did notice quite a bit of trail work had recently been done, which may account for its not being there.
The trail continues to snake around the cove, and around mile 0.9, you can look across the cove and see where you just hiked.
At mile 1.14, you pass the intersection with the return portion of the lollipop for the lollipop loop. Here you can go right or straight. Either way you choose, you’ll end up back here. However, the trail going straight is much more defined and easier to see. So I chose to hike the loop portion clockwise.
Lollipop loop to trailhead
Keep straight and the trail begins to climb slowly and become rockier. It still hugs the shoreline, but you continue to get higher above the water. Around mile 1.3 the trees open up, and you get those amazing views of Norfork Lake.
You can see the cliffs from the side and the lake far below. The trail continues to climb and gives you more views from the top. Around mile 1.38, you get a great view. Just be careful as these are high cliffs with no safety railing.
There is some safety railing a little farther down the trail at mile 1.45 for those not so fond of heights.
The trail gets a little confusing here. You have the option to continue to follow the shoreline or head away from the lake. When I hiked this trail there were no trial markers. But as I stated above they were doing work. Hopefully, someday, you will be able to continue to follow the shore and hike all the way to Fort Smith via the Ozark Highlands Trail.
You want to hike away from the cliffs and into the forests to continue on the Robinson Point Trail. Here the trail takes you through some lovely woods. At mile 1.65 you come back to the stick portion of the lollipop loop.
From here, you simply retrace your steps back to the trailhead. You can enjoy seeing it from a different angle.
Ozark Highlands Trail and David’s Trail
Robinson Point Trail is a part of the Ozark Highlands Trail as well as David’s Trail. According to an article in Backpacker Magazine, the Lake Norfork portion of the Ozark Highlands Trail is still under construction. The 13-mile Lake Norfork Trail and the 17-mile David’s Trail are a part of the completed portions. Although Robinson Point Trail does not connect with the Lake Norfork Trail, it is a part of David’s Trail.
Robinson Point Trail
Robinson Point Trail is a beautiful short hike. It gives you amazing views of Lake Norfork as well as the beauty of the Ozark Mountains. Be on the lookout for spring wildflowers, bald eagles, or simply take a cool dip in the hot summer months.
- 2.75 mile lollipop loop
- Elevation gain and loss 628 feet
- Dogs allowed
- Backcountry camping not allowed