Trotting Fox Trail


First Day Hikes at Arkansas State Parks was created as an annual initiative to get people out and start walking at the beginning of a new year. I joined in this year for the first time.

The Trotting Fox Trail is a well maintained small 1/2 mile path located at the Mississippi River State Park – Marianna, Arkansas .  The trail takes you around a small lake near the visitor’s center.


As visitors walk the trail they get to experience natural Arkansas. There’s a good chance you will see deer tracks and other animals.  Geese in the lake add to the scene of tranquility.



Although not a long trail, it’s a relaxing experience and gets you ready for more demanding walks.  Then go hike the Bear Creek Loop . Make sure to get out and experience the Trotting Fox Trail. Make a day of it and get your fishing gear.  Try out the lakes or picnic.  Just have fun in nature.



Bear Creek Loop


Bear Creek Nature Trail is a one mile loop through some beautiful hills and small streams. It is located just west of Bear Creek Lake Day Use Area.  I’ve been to the Mississippi River State Park – Marianna, Arkansas numerous times, but I’ve never tried the Bear Creek Nature Trail. To be honest I’ve never completed a nature trail before in my life so I was excited to try.  What brought this notion into mind was an email I received at work a few weeks ago advertising First Day Hikes across all state parks in Arkansas.  Since I had been walking a lot for exercise and health reasons I started thinking about this and decided I liked the idea of it.  Since the Mississippi River State Park – Marianna, Arkansas is less than an hour away, I decided to give it a try.  They actually have four trails there .  These are the Trotting Fox Trail (a 1/2 mile barrier free path), the Bear Creek Lake Nature Trail (a one mile loop), the Hornor Neck Lake (short wildlife viewing trail) and the Base Line Trail (a four mile roundtrip).


Mississippi River State Park Visitor’s Center


First Day Hike is designed to encourage people to give the new year a healthy start with a hike through an Arkansas  state park.  I got to the Visitor Center about 9 a.m. and joined the ranger and a few others on the Trotting Fox Trail.  After this hike I decided to try the nearby trail just south of the visitors center at Bear Creek Lake.


This one mile loop takes hikers up and down a series of hills and across several small branches of water. There are a number of signs that discuss vegetation and the trail is well marked and easy to follow.






I really enjoyed these two hikes and plan on making this the start of something new.


Mississippi River State Park

2955 Arkansas 44.  Marianna, Arkansas 72360.   (870)-295-4040