VAN BUREN COUNTY, Ark. — This week, we traveled to Van Buren County to hike Sugar Loaf Mountain island. The only way to access the trailhead is by boat, so first, we head to Fairfield Bay Marina to board the Sugar Loaf Shuttle.
Pro Tip: You can access the island using your own boat. If you do not have access to a boat, Fairfield Bay Marina is the only marina on Greers Ferry Lake that offers a shuttle to Sugar Loaf Mountain Island. Call ahead to make reservations.
The adventure begins the moment you depart from the marina. As you cruise to Sugar Loaf Mountain island, enjoy the beautiful lake scenery nestled in the Ozark foothills. We even spotted a Bald Eagle soaring above the lake, headed to nest on the island.
On the island, a posted sign shows a map view of two trail options. The shorter option is 1.6 miles roundtrip and will take you to the top of the Sugar Loaf Island Mountain. The longer trail circles the base of the mountain top.
Both treks are moderate hikes that offer breathtaking views of rock formations, native plants and the lake. At the top of the mountain is a panoramic view of the Van Buren and Cleburne County countryside from 540 feet above the surface of the water.
Take your camera! The trail offers many stunning picture-worthy opportunities. Or maybe you just want to chill and soak in the surroundings. Take a seat on a huge rock or on one of the many benches provided for rest along the trails.
You may wonder how Sugar Loaf Mountain got its name. According to visitFairfeildBay.com, “The earliest white settlers who pushed through the dense forest may have called it Sugar Loaf because of the resemblance in shape to the loaves of unrefined sugar in use at the that time.”
Heads up! There are actually two different mountains near Greers Ferry Lake with almost the exact same name. However, Sugar Loaf Mountain island is in Fairfield Bay and Sugarloaf Mountain is in Heber Springs. Both offer great trails for hiking.
So go discover Sugar Loaf Mountain island and GO DISCOVER ARKANSAS!