My Day Trip to Hawksbill Crag in the Ozark Mountains

For a few years, I lived in Harrison, Arkansas, which is located in the heart of the beautiful Ozark Mountains.  For my first day trip, I elected to go out to the area

Along the highway, I passed some other notable spots that I’ll talk about later, but by the time that I had reached Ponca, AR, I had slowed down my car. For the last few miles of the journey, I crawled.

Hawksbill Crag/Whitaker Point

Co Rd 406, Kingston, AR 72742

The terrain during the final miles of the journey is very steep–I’d dare say that although much of the Ozarks is just hilly, there are real mountains in this area, and the highway passes through those mountains via a series of hairpin turns. At times, I literally stopped my car before I made the turn. I wouldn’t want to pull any kind of trailer there. Also, realize that there is no GPS signal near Hawksbill Crag; therefore, there are no Google Maps there either. The very last stretch of the journey is a very rocky gravel road, and the route along the gravel road eerily made me think of the movie Deliverance.

Old shack en route to Hawksbill Crag

Several times, I nearly turned around. Note to myself and others: Ladies might need to take along a strong friend for this trip. At the very least, you need a backup plan, in case of a snake bite.  This is Rattlesnake and Copperhead Country.

As I wound along the gravel road, I could see that in order to create a road, several sticks of dynamite had blasted through the mountains, and walls of rocks lined the pathway.

There isn’t much soil along the roadway. In fact, the sparse scattering of wildflowers seems to be growing out of bedrock.

And where the rocks have washed away, the soil has washed away with it, thus exposing the tree roots. Any other vegetation hangs on for dear life.

About midway down the road, I spotted an abandoned house that seemed to have more life left in it than the other one did. Although the weeds were high around it and although I feared the snakes that must have been there, I walked all around that old house until I found the view that I liked the most. Once I had gotten back home, I painted it.

Because of the over-growth, I had difficulty seeing the building, but I imagined what I could not see. I thought about the fact that old houses are like people. They have histories and scars.

Old Abandoned House on Cave Mountain Road –
Jacki Kellum Watercolor Painting

I’m about to get to the funny part of the story. That gravel road was forever long, and I drove from one end of the road to the other. Yet, I never saw the famous Hawksbill Crag. I did pass a sign that said Hawksbill Crag. That sign was on the right side of the road, but all that I could see there was a thicket of trees.

I saw no path, but I desperately wanted to find the prized Hawksbill Crag, and I set out to find it. Keep in mind, I had no GPS, and I have a terrible sense of direction.

I did see a few creeks rippling between some of the trees, but I found no Hawksbill Crag.

By the grace of God, I got back to my car after that hike, and I drove to the end of the road–to the blacktop road on the other side. Again, I had no GPS, and I had no idea where I was. I was getting more and more nervous. There wasn’t even a radio station out there. I saw some folks sitting on their porch, and I stopped and asked them where Hawksbill Crag was. They snickered and said, “Sister, you just drove right past it.”

I hung my head and got back into my car and drove back down that same gravel road. Nope. I still didn’t see Hawksbill Crag anywhere near that sign.

It was getting late, and I certainly didn’t want to get caught out in that holler after dark, and I drove back home.

Later, someone told me that Hawksbill Crag is not on the side of the road where the sign is. [Go Figure.] It is on the other side of the road. But the hike to the Crag is a bit treacherous. [I believe that.] I have vowed to go back and try to find this prized place again. This spring, my friend and her husband are coming. I’m going to tell the husband to bring a pistol, and we’ll go in search of Hawksbill Crag. Again.

Read More about Hawksbill Crag:

The Opening of the Movie Tuck Everlasting Was Filmed at Hawksbill Crag in the Ozark Mountains