The best hiking season begins in October and runs into early June. Winter is especially great for hiking, as is the early spring, spring, and early summer. The summer months of July, August, and into September are the least favorite times to hike, although the forest is much cooler than temps you will find listed for Arkansas cities. Water levels can get quite low in the summer.
The trail is not maintained from late spring until early fall, so summer hikers can expect to encounter heat, humidity, dense vegetation, wildlife including poisonous snakes and insects. Maintenance begins in mid September, continues into late fall, and OHTA Maintainers respond to storm damage into late spring. Most hikers opt for leaf-off for hiking in Arkansas.