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Horsethief Springs Trail
Holson Valley Rd
Horsethief Springs Trail is one of the most beautiful hiking trails in the area. Trailheads are located at Cedar Lake National Recreation Area and on Hwy 1, also known as the Talimena National Scenic Byway. The trail loops through many different tree species and across several small streams along the northern face of Winding Stair Mountain. The trail encompasses a portion of the Ouachita National Recreation Trail at the ridge of the mountain, allowing for beautiful views of surrounding area. The terrain is rocky in many areas and footing is firm as you make the 11-mile loop or the eastern five-mile segment between trailheads.
Portions of the trail are located along 1920s logging roads and the route horse thieves used in the 1800s. These outlaws made their camps and corrals near the top of Winding Stair Mountain because of the existence of a perennial fresh water spring. The Civilian Conservation Corps crew built a stone structure in the 1930s to contain the spring water and prevent erosion. Due to rocky trail conditions and steep grades toward the top of the mountain, this trail is recommended for expert-level hikers only. Travel time one way is from five to six-and-a-half hours. Follow the white trail markers.