We are fortunate that the trail is a quick 15 minutes from our back door, which makes it an easy “go to” spot for a quick family picnic or hike.
This unique mountain conspicuously sticks out if you’ve ever driven on the east side of the lake town. Locals are drawn back time after time to march up the big hill and then find their way to the top of the rock. With its true Ozark Mountains identity, the Sugar Loaf rock provides numerous ways for any skill levels of rock climbers. There’s a nice, easy, narrow passageway with simple climbing, then there is one that requires a little more umph, and then there’s the bluff wall for those looking for the Sylvester Stallone challenge.
My family loaded up one morning and decided to “culture” our kids in outdoor recreation. You see, our kids are still really young 4, 3 and 1. So, they are just starting to whet their appetites for what they enjoy doing. My husband and I both enjoy camping, hiking, canoeing, etc… basically anything that involves the outdoors. Thank goodness we live in the Natural State and can enjoy these things in abundance. We believe enjoying the outdoors as a family is a great, natural way to build our family culture and spend time together.
There are three main trails to choose from when hanging out at Sugar Loaf Mountain: Hidden Pond Trail, Summit Trail and the Base Trail. We decided to take the Hidden Pond trail first.
The Hidden Pond Trail is a quick, easy trek so we thought it would be a fun way to get our kids warmed up and excited about the rest of the hike. It didn’t disappoint. The trail was simple and handicap accessible with a beautiful picnic spot overlooking the Hidden Pond at the end of the trail.
After we got our kids all warmed up and excited they were ready to tackle the Summit to the top.
If you are taking little kids on the trail, I suggest that you brush up on your basic science because they will ask you 10, 100, 1000+ questions about the treasures that you find on the hike.
You must be prepared to tell them what a hickory nut is, what kind of trees are around you, and why moss is so soft. You’re welcome for that tip. Your kids will think you are a genius!
On the way to the top, there are resting benches placed strategically along the way so that you can rest and chat a bit. It does get quite steep at parts as you climb to the summit.
So the time has come that we have made it to the top of the Summit trail and we now have to choose if we want to be adventurous and do the rock climb to get to the very top of the mountain. And, of course, the answer is YES!!!!!
But, it is always fun to climb around the rocks at the base for a bit before you head to the top.
There are several ways to get to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain so you need to scope out possible routes before you pick one. Our 4-year-old wanted to go with us up to the top so we decided to take her up and leave the younger two playing at the base with Grandma.
The first way that we chose to head to the top was a fail! We made it almost to the top and then realized that it was too dangerous of a spot to take our 4-year-old all the way up. We had to climb down and find a safer spot to reach the summit. We found the narrow passage way that consisted of relatively easy climbing, to help transport our little novice climber to the top. We made it!
It is fun being a “Rock Climber” and weaving your way to the top through narrow rock ways. Putting forth the effort and energy to make it to the top is worth the view.
You get to enjoy the beautiful view of the Greers Ferry Lake/ Heber area from atop one of the gems in Central Arkansas that a number of people go and enjoy every day.
Here’s another tip for you. If you have hiking shoes, wear them. They have such better traction than regular sneakers when weaving your way to the top. Believe me on this one.
When you go hike Sugar Loaf make sure to bring a packed lunch and enjoy a picnic back at the Hidden Pond after you’ve conquered the Summit Trail.
So go! Put it on your Bucket List for 2014 to visit the Heber Springs area and experience hiking Sugar Loaf.