The Pedastal Rocks area is a spectacular recreation area. The area includes two loop hikes. The Kings Bluff Loop is about a 1.9 mile hike. Pedestal Rocks Loop is about 2.6 miles, or, the two can be combined for a 4.3 mile hike. So you can make the area a couple hour stay, or a full day's worth of hiking.
Both hikes go out to large bluff areas with spectacular overlooks that are uniquely different. Meanwhile, both also opportunities off trail for more exploring below the bluff line.
To get to the area, take Highway 7 to the community of Pelsor (which is 28 miles North of Dover, and 28 miles South of Jasper). Turn EAST onto Highway 16. Travel 6 miles on Hwy 16, and look for the signs to Pedestal Rocks on your right. It's well marked. The parking area is right off the highway and includes a pit toilet.
We're going to do the King's Bluff Loop First.
The Kings Bluff Loop
The trail heads out just behind the pit toilet and crosses a small bridge. Very quickly the trail splits. To the Right is the Kings Bluff Loop, to the Left is the return of the Kings Bluff Loop or the start of the Pedestal Rocks Loop. We'll start off to the right and do King's Bluff.
The trail starts off on into the wooded area and is on the level for a bit. Then, eventually starts to descend. You'll wind through several switchbacks until eventually, at about .8 miles, you'll come out onto a large (and I do mean large) rock bluff. This is King's Bluff.
There's definitely more to see here than just the bluff, but be sure to check out the bluff for awhile. To the right is a creek that when the water is flowing well forms a spectacular waterfall off the bluff. Further around to the right (off the trail) is another small waterfall area.
There is a small fence here -- but I think it acts more as a visual barrier than something that will actually save you from falling -- and it's a long way down, so hold onto any youngsters. The view from here is pretty amazing -- particularly during October when the leaves are turning.
From here, the trail takes off to the left. It curls around the edge of the bluff and then turns to the right. As you make the turn, there is a route down to the bottom of the bluff that you can follow if the water is really flowing and you want to see the waterfalls from below. (We didn't do this this trip because there was very little water).
Eventually the trail splits. One trails goes into the woods a bit the other basically follows the bluffline. If you are without kids and are sure-footed, I recommend staying along the bluffline -- Just be careful!
Along this route you'll eventually be following the bluffline -- which will be on your right, with woods on your left. Along this stretch there are a lot of cool rock formations, and more great views.
Enjoy. Soak it in.
After about .3 of following the bluff, the trail will start to curl back into the woods and start to gradually head back up the hill. After another .8 from the bluff, you'll cross paths with another trail. To the right, or straight, begins the Pedestal Rocks Trail (depending on which direction you want to travel the loop). To the left is .1 miles back to the parking area.
If you're just doing the King's Bluff Loop, turn left and head back up the hill, up 9 rock steps and you'll get back to the parking area.
If you want to continue onto the Pedestal Rock's Loop, continue reading here.
Kings Bluff Loop:
Distance: 1.9 miles
Guide Book: None necessary, but Tim Ernst's Arkansas Hiking Trails covers the area
Footwear: Trail shoes or hiking boots
Kids: Yes. But be VERY careful around bluff lines