Don't let the name scare you—the Struggle for Survival Trail is actually one of the easiest hikes you and your pooch will take in the Ouachita National Forest! Spanning 0.7 miles through a mixed pine/hardwood forest, it is one of three unpaved interpretive trails at the Robert S. Kerr Arboretum and Nature Center.
Located in an area where some of the Choctaw Indians used to live, the Struggle for Survival Trail tells the captivating story of a tree that must compete with other inhabitants in order to survive. Not only does it make for a leisurely stroll in nature, it also offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the various ecological areas that can be found on the Ouachita Mountains. Though the route shouldn't take very long to travel, it is recommended that you take your time in studying the interpretive signs and enjoying your surroundings to make the most out of your visit. Your pooch won't mind if you slowed down a bit anyway; it just means more time for them to sniff every rock, leaf, and blade of grass along the way.
After completing the Struggle for Survival, you may want to check out the other two interpretive paths, both of which are also less than a mile long. If your pup does well with verbal restraint, they may go off-leash while on the trails. However, it's leash on once you're back at the trailhead and parking area. Drinking water and a restroom are available at the nature center from spring through fall. During the winter, the nature center is closed, but the trails remain open. Be sure to bring waste bags for picking up after your four-legged pal, too.
For an easy, Fido-friendly nature hike with an interesting tale to tell, hit the Struggle for Surival Trail with your best friend!
The trail may get crowded in spring. For everyone's safety, use a leash during the peak season.