Old Naked Joe Mountain – Norfork, Arkansas - Atlas Obscura

Old Naked Joe Mountain

Norfork, Arkansas

Peak named for an old man who liked to run in the nude. 


Tucked among the beautiful Ozarks running through the wilderness of Arkansas, Old Naked Joe Mountain is a peak with a quirky history. A long time ago, a small town at the edge of a national forest, between Norfolk and Calico Rock, was excited to get its own post office. Word came from higher up that the post office wasn’t to be named after the town, which was called Old Naked Joe at the time, so the town’s name was changed to just Old Joe. The post office was built and named the same, but it no longer exists.

There are a few explanations for the town’s original name. One story concerns an old man that lived on the top of the tall mountain that the town was situated on. Old Joe, it is said, enjoyed to run around in the buff. According to the second story, a powerful tornado once swept through the town and tore all of the trees and bush off of Old Joe Mountain, so it was renamed Old Naked Joe Mountain.

The town still exists, but nobody seems to know the definitive story of its original name. It doesn’t help that there aren’t that many people to ask: There are more chickens living here than humans. While not that many people live in Old Joe, it does welcome many hikers and nature enthusiasts throughout the year. Old Naked Joe Mountain is covered in hiking trails that lead to Naked Joe Knob, the summit at the top.

Know Before You Go

The mountain is located at the edge of a National Forest, Ozark Mountains, on HWY 5 South, between Norfork and Calico Rock, Arkansas.

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July 20, 2011

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