7 - 8
FATMAP difficulty grade
This section begins by crossing Scenic Hwy 7, a National Scenic Byway.
The community of Pelsor is located about one mile south on Hwy 7.
There is a Post Office there and the old 1930s Hankins General Store.
The store changes owners every so often, and the new owners try to reopen it, but I wouldn’t count on it being open. Through this area, Scenic Hwy 7 follows the backbone of a tall ridge.
After crossing the highway, the OHT gently descends the ridgetop to pass through a series of hollows: Cox Hollow, Greenshaw Hollow, and Unnamed Hollow.
The rollers you hike over in between these hollows aren’t too challenging.
At about mile 133 you arrive at the Moore Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp.
The CCC was created during the 1930s to provide work for young men.
Of the $30 monthly allotment each worker earned, $25 was sent home to their family.
CCC workers performed over 100 types of work, from planting trees (over three billion) to building parks (more than 800 nationwide) to developing over 28,000 miles of hiking trails.
They also saved forty million acres from erosion and built 47,000 bridges.
After nine years and three million enrollees, the CCC was dissolved by Congress on July 1, 1942, with many of those still enrolled entering World War II.
More than 200,000 Arkansas natives had served in camps from coast to coast. The following miles of trail has a short steep climb to reach the Ben Hur/Moore Trailhead.
The OHT then meanders through wooded forests, along with small streams, across powerline clear-cuts, a small wildlife pond built by Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and bordering private property. On the way down the mountainside into Falling Water Creek Valley, the switchback-filled trail crosses a very scenic boulder-strewn creek crossing.
Shortly the OHT reaches Falling Water Road and utilizes its bridge to cross Falling Water Creek.
Leaving the bridge behind, the trail then ducks back into the woods to the right.
Before long you are hiking up one of the steepest ascents of the entire OHT.
This is a reroute that was constructed to bypass a huge landslide from back in 2008, which formerly provided a less steep route up the mountainside. There is a stretch of nice level trail atop the mountain, with vast views down into Richland Creek Hollow.
Later, when you descend the hill, it routes you into Richland Creek Campground and the end of this section.
There are pit toilets and tables here.
Plan to spend at least one night at the campground so you can follow the creek upstream and check out the wilderness area.
If you continue up Richland Creek about a mile, you will reach a small bluff line that the creek flows over, which is appropriately named Richland Falls.
And if you can spot a creek flowing in from the opposite side of Richland Creek, this is Big Devil’s Fork Creek.
If Richland is safe to cross, you can follow Devil’s about another mile to reach Twin Falls of Richland.
Now, this is impressive! Two different streams, side by side, emptying their waters over 19-foot bluffs.