Joe Wheeler State Park

Hiking and Biking Trails

Shellcracker Slough Loop
Velvet Deer


Joe Wheeler State Park Trail Map

Joe Wheeler State Park Scavenger Hunt


Trails of Joe Wheeler State Park:

  • The Champion Trail begins at the West end of the Lodge parking lot. (1 mile; Elevation: 566.76 ft./628.17 ft.)
  • The Wheeler River Trail begins at the food plot on the cottage road. (0.6 miles; Elevation: 553.77 ft./626.57 ft.)
  • The Day Use Loop begins in the Day Use Area near pavilion #1. (0.4 miles; Elevation: 582.60 ft./621.58 ft.)
  • The Awesome Trail begins at the Marina near the 700 dock (Luther's Pass section) OR across the street from the Marina swing set (Punisher section)
    • The Punisher: 0.28 miles; Elevation: 572.27 ft./650.06 ft.
    • Page Farm Trail: 2.9 miles; Elevation: 568.99 ft./645.89 ft.
    • Luther's Pass: 2.5 miles; Elevation: 554.88 ft./675.48 ft.
    • Luther's Cut-Off: 0.1 miles: Elevation: 558.13 ft./574.58 ft.
  • The Jimmy Sim’s Birding Trail begins at the South side of the 1st Creek Boat Ramp parking lot. (1.25 miles; Elevation: 552.42 ft./577.58 ft.)
  • The Samuel Hardin, Sr. Loop begins Northeast of the 1st Creek Boat Ramp, in the extra parking lot. (0.6 miles; Elevation: 557.67 ft./578.50 ft.)
  • The Multi-Use Trail begins North of Highway 101, across Wheeler Dam. (3 miles; Elevation: 539.30 ft./618.27 ft.)
  • The Wheeler Village Trail has three entrances; near cabin 24, 9, and 15. (1 mile; Elevation: 598.39 ft./618.76 ft.)
  • The Campground Trail begins at the playground past the campground store. (0.4 miles; Elevation: 598.39 ft./618.76 ft.)
  • The Shellcracker Slough Loop begins at the bridge in the primitive camping area. (0.7 miles; Elevation: 566.76 ft./628.17 ft.)
  • The Elk River Trail begins on the right side of the Elk River Park Road. (1.1 miles; Elevation: 584.15 ft./638.44 ft.)


The Alabama State Parks provide several parks that feature great trail systems that are managed by mountain biking organizations. Visit the mountain biking section to learn more about these opportunities. 


- Whether you are a day-hiker or a more adventurous one, being informed is the best way to stay safe on the trail.

- Wear appropriate clothes AND footwear for the season. Tennis shoes & hiking boots are recommended no matter what terrain. Open-toed shoes are not appropriate for Joe Wheeler State Park’s trail system.

 - Take plenty of water and snacks, depending on length of hike. Hiking takes up a lot of energy, so even if you are not going out for long it is better to be prepared.

- Be informed. Whether it is just taking a trail map from Joe Wheeler State Park’s Lodge or asking for directions, it is important to 'know before you go'. It is also important to consider your limits when it comes to the physical aspect of the trails.

- Stay on the trail: All of Joe Wheeler’s trails are marked with a color blaze along the way denoting where the path goes.

- Be sure to give yourself plenty of time before sundown to finish your hike. The trails close at dusk.

- Respect nature.

- Watch your step: Watch out for obstructions in the path and be careful of where you place your feet & hands. Have fun & be safe!

- Have fun & be safe!



While you are enjoying our trails, it's important to be prepared in case you, or a member of your group, gets hurt or lost. Our friends at Arkansas State Parks created a fantastic acronym to help in case an accident happens; T.R.A.I.L.S.


This acronym was created by Park Interpreter, Kara Helton and the following information is available on the Arkansas State Parks educational platform, Digital Discovery. We would like to thank Kara Helton, as well as the digital discovery program creator, Leigh Smiley, for allowing us to share this valuable information! You can find the original article posted here


Try to Stay Calm – It may take some time for someone to know you are missing, but once they do, we will be notified and looking for you. 

Remain Where You Are – Doubling back or even pressing forward can lead you further away from where you initially got lost. So, it is important to stay where you are. This way we can find you faster. 

Alert Somebody – Cell phone signals may be spotty, but on the multi-use trails there is usually enough to send a short text on your phone. If you can, try calling the park office or 911. Let them know the last intersection you passed. If you do not have the battery life or enough cell signal to text or call, use a whistle if you have one. 

Insulate Yourself – Wear the light jacket to keep yourself warm and protected from insects at night or use it to shield yourself from the sun during the day.  

Listen for People Calling for You – Once alerted to the situation, our search and rescue team will be looking and calling for you, so remember to listen. If you hear us, try to use your whistle, or flashlight at night, to alert us where you are located.  

Save Your Supplies – Try to ration your water and snacks since it may be a little while before we find you.  



1.) Plan Ahead and Prepare

2.) Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

3.) Dispose of Waste Properly

4.) Leave What You Find

5.) Minimize Campfire Impacts

6.) Respect Wildlife

7.) Be Considerate of Other Visitors


Joe Wheeler State Park Trail Map