Discovery Trail

Blanchard Springs Caverns is one of the most spectacular and carefully developed caves found anywhere in the world. The active cave, with its glistening formations, stalactites, stalagmites and flowstones is constantly changing, providing return visitors something new to see each time. Beautifully lighted rooms, that accentuate the cave's features, are equipped with handrails and paved trails for comfortable walking.

photo: Along the Trail

Length: 1.20 miles
Loop Trail? No
Type: Backcountry, Nature Trail
Agency: USDA Forest Service
Entry Fee? $10.50
     0.50 reservation fee required for online and in person.

Parking Fee? No

Allowed Uses:

Heritage and History
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Wildlife Observation

See more details.


Location: Blanchard Caverns Recreation Area on the Sylamore Ranger District on the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest. The trail is located 280 feet below the ground under the Visitor Center.
State(s): Arkansas
Counties: Stone
Longitude: -92.1814943
Latitude: 35.9638659

Driving Directions

From Mountain View, take Highway 5-9-14 north for 5 miles to Allison. At Allison, take Highway 14 west for 8 miles towards the town of Fifty Six. Blanchard Springs Caverns is marked by a brown sign on the right. Turn right and follow the road to the Blanchard Visitor Center.


The Discovery Trail is another of the tours that is available at Blanchard Springs Caverns. This tour will last 1 1/2 hours. This one is a bit more complex than the Dripstone Trail. It is in the lower portion of the Caverns. The Discovery Trial will bring you 366 feet into Mother Earth, and is 1.2 miles long. This section of the caverns was discovered in 1963 by two local cavers, and is the largest of the 3 different sections. There are nearly 700 stair steps on this tour so if you have walking or health problems this one isn’t for you. On this tour you’ll take the routes of the early explorers and pass through campsites of their early expeditions. You’ll look up through the natural entrance where those early explorers dangled from ropes on homemade harness. You will see the underground stream which eventually gushes from the Blanchard Springs. This section of the Caverns is not filled with the formations of the Dripstone Trail, it is the first place where you will see the stream that runs through the caverns assisting in the creation of the caverns

Additional Details

Width: 48 inches.
Primary Surface: Asphalt
Secondary Surface: Bituminous treatment

Average Grade: 5%
Maximum Grade: 5%
Elevation Low Point: 650
Elevation High Point: 720
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available

Year Designated:

Supporting Webpages and Documents

Website: USFS Trail Details

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Public Contact:
William Avey
Recreation Manager
USDA Forest Service
1001 E. Main
Mountain View, AR 72560
[email protected]



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