The Buffalo Ranger District is located within the heart of the Ozarks. Visitors can view picturesque rock bluffs and hike wooded hillsides. Outstanding among the many natural features of the Ozark Natural Forest is the huge stone arch that forms a natural bridge at Alum Cove. The natural arch is all that remains of what was a quartz sandstone cave. The arch is 130 feet long and 20 feet wide. The weathering process of wind, rain and ice formed the opening between the arch and the rock overhang. The Alum Cove Natural Bridge Recreation Area is designed primarily for visitors to be close nature. The area offers picnic facilities and the Alum Cove National Recreation Trail for your enjoyment. This looping trail wanders past the natural arch, across a small stream and to the bluff line with overhangs. The entire trail is 1.1 miles long and take about 1 hour to walk. Visitors may also take a short 30-minute round trip hike for 0.4 miles to view the arch. Exercise caution while hiking along the bluff line. Early settlers reportedly used this arch to move their wagons and livestock across the streambed during wet weather. Water and wind also shaped other interesting rock formations along the bluff line across the cove, including the cave (or "rooms” as they are often called) or overhangs. Native Americans used these rock overhangs for shelter while on extended hunting trips. At one time, free-roaming goats inhabited the caves, giving the formations the local name, "goat houses.”
Other scenic areas nearby are the Upper Buffalo Wilderness, Richland Creek Wilderness, and Arkansas Scenic 7 and 21 Byway and Ozark Highlands Trail. Points of interest include Sam''s Throne and Glory Hole.
This trail is located in the Alum Cove Natural Bridge area near Deer, Arkansas. The 1.1 mile trail takes hikers near rock outcrops and a 120-foot natural bridge. (Buffalo Ranger District) This trail is located 15 miles south of Jasper, off Arkansas Highway 7 turn west on Arkansas 16 (paved), and go 1 mile , then turn right (northwest) on county road NE28 (gravel) and go 3 miles.