Tree Trip

Ozark Chinquapin Hunting

A Tree Trip

Hiking trails looking for Ozark chinquapin

by Leslie Bost

Lost Valley Trail is located in the upper Buffalo River wilderness in Ponca Arkansas and is the most popular hiking destination in northwest Arkansas.  This is my favorite spot I had a chance to visit during my Ozarks tree trip this spring.  There are over 700 native plants species found here as well as Ozark chinquapin.  This area has a large number of beech, chinquapin, maple, hickory, and gum trees, and features waterfalls and a cave.  

I found 32 Ozark chinquapin trees along the trail and did not find any sprouts. Most of the trees were small in diameter (3 or 4 inches in circumference) but tall. The leaves were large compared to the leaves I saw on oc south of the AR river.  Most of the trees were in clumps of 4 or 5 and of all the places I went in the Ozarks, the chinquapin trees here were the most healthy and only about 20 percent of the trees I observed had symptoms of blight.

The leaves on the trees here were large, 6-8.5” long. Ozark chinquapin below the Arkansas River tend to have smaller leaves. 

Lost Valley Trail in Ponca AR

Me (Leslie Bost) with my twin brother Sam in Ponca, AR