Northwest of Fort Smith near Fayetteville in the Ozark National Forest, the 15 mile Butterfield Trail is a great hiking loop through the lush hardwoods and rock outcroppings of the Ozarks. Starting from Devils Den State Park at the Lee Creek headwaters, the BT follows the creek south past many nice swimming holes, especially where Lee Creek meets Blackwater Creek. The Butterfield Hiking Trail gets its name from the Butterfield Stagecoach which ran in the area between 1858-1861. The Butterfield Trail is one of the few looped backpacking trails in the state. Beginning in Devils Den State Park near the parks pavilion, the trail crosses Hwy. 74 and passes near Mount Olive. Scenic views, such as Blackburn Creek and Vista Point, are plentiful. Rock formations and mountainous outcroppings provide photographers with dramatic subjects. Backpackers must obtain a free permit at the park office before beginning their hike.
To reach the trailhead from Fort Smith, head north on US 540 to the Winslow exit. Proceed west on SR 74 for 7 miles into DDSP and use parking area at Camp A.
Overall, Butterfield Trail is the 5th most popular hiking trail of all 18 hikes in Arkansas.