BlogHer
Flickr
Really Old Archives
Ravelry
@owilderness
Sprout Dispatch
YouTube

Interviews
The Trail Show Interview about the Florida Trail
Florida Hikes! Wild Women Interview
A Trail Life Appalachian Trail Hike Interview








Follow on Bloglovin

Read OW in your inbox!:

Delivered by FeedBurner



Contests & Other Items
Creative
Food
Family & Friends
Gardening
Journeys
Local Adventures
Local Coffee
Memes
Nature In The City
Outdoors
Thoughts

+Selected Posts+

Thru-Hiking the Florida Trail How-To
Little Lake Creek Loop, SHNF
Our Work in Print
Thru-Hiker Deliciousness
The Greatest Mountain























LINKwithlove


  • May 2017
  • April 2017
  • March 2017
  • February 2017
  • January 2017
  • December 2016
  • November 2016
  • October 2016
  • September 2016
  • August 2016
  • July 2016
  • June 2016
  • May 2016
  • April 2016
  • March 2016
  • February 2016
  • January 2016
  • December 2015
  • November 2015
  • October 2015
  • September 2015
  • August 2015
  • July 2015
  • June 2015
  • May 2015
  • April 2015
  • March 2015
  • February 2015
  • January 2015
  • December 2014
  • November 2014
  • October 2014
  • September 2014
  • August 2014
  • July 2014
  • June 2014
  • May 2014
  • April 2014
  • March 2014
  • February 2014
  • January 2014
  • December 2013
  • November 2013
  • October 2013
  • September 2013
  • August 2013
  • July 2013
  • June 2013
  • May 2013
  • April 2013
  • March 2013
  • February 2013
  • January 2013
  • December 2012
  • November 2012
  • October 2012
  • September 2012
  • August 2012
  • July 2012
  • June 2012
  • May 2012
  • April 2012
  • March 2012
  • February 2012
  • January 2012
  • December 2011
  • November 2011
  • October 2011
  • September 2011
  • August 2011
  • July 2011
  • June 2011
  • May 2011
  • April 2011
  • March 2011
  • February 2011
  • January 2011
  • December 2010
  • November 2010
  • October 2010
  • September 2010
  • August 2010
  • July 2010
  • June 2010
  • May 2010
  • April 2010
  • March 2010
  • February 2010
  • January 2010
  • December 2009



  • Last weekend we were in Arkansas for a short vacation with my family. Saturday was the day they had to vacate the rental house on the lake and everyone else headed home for DFW while Chris and I were staying until Sunday. We weren’t quite sure where to go, wanting to take pictures, do a short hike, and sight-see. My brother mentioned he’d initially wanted to stay up near Petit Jean State Park and visit other areas nearby, but had changed the plans in order to simplify the issue of having to change locations every few days. So, Chris and I decided to check out the park and then see if there were any other waterfalls closer to Hot Springs we could check out.

    Unfortunately most of the nicer (re: bigger) waterfalls were towards the northwest part of the state in the Ozarks and it was going to be well out of our way to go there. Petit Jean was as-the-crow-flies relatively close to Hot Springs but driving time was about two hours due to having to take Scenic Route 7 and other small, country roads in order to reach the state park. Route 7 meanders up and through mountains in several areas so zooming through isn’t really an option.

    We’d left Hot Springs around 9 am that morning and figured we’d arrive at Petit Jean somewhere near lunch time. The GPS said we would pass through a few small towns so that’s where we thought we’d stop for lunch. Let me be clear—don’t rely on these small towns for food! Only one seemed to have a cafe and when we were about to get out and go in we saw a sign for cash only and turned back around to our car. A Dollar General was across the street and after we’d left that town and drove through even smaller towns I’d wished I’d found something at Dollar General to snack on before our hike. (As a note, we did all of our research on my mom’s iphone since the house didn’t have wifi, and we aren’t smart phone savvy so it was difficult for us to research fully. Just got the basics, which is why we didn’t know about food options.)

    BUT—-all of that was resolved when we arrived at the state park, stopping shortly above a bluff with a parking area for a lookout. I saw a park sign for a lodge and thought–well, maybe there was some kind of concession there. I’d already resigned myself to sufficing with the snack bars we’d picked up that morning for during-hike snack breaks, but I was really hoping for some real food before going on a hike. I’d learned my lesson while climbing Guadalupe Peak not to hike on fuel that was not sufficient (I ate a salad before that hike, what was I thinking???) and didn’t want to have any crashes again.

    Sure enough when we drove on down the road we found an old CCC lodge and cabins nearby, even a swimming pool area. FOOD! All was resolved! We had our lunch next to the wide window over looking the gorge and valley below. It was really spectacular to have a nice view and the food was pretty good to boot.

    So, the photos are going to start backwards, from the waterfall and returning back up to the top. I didn’t want to carry my camera on the way down, tripping and falling ya know.

    petit29
    The falls were not running fast but based on other videos on You Tube it appears that the falls can run quite fast during recent rain events. A little awesome and scary looking from what I’ve watched.

    petit28
    The area was relatively crowded and difficult to take photos. I wasn’t nearly as patient and landscapes are Chris’ thing anyway so I let him go for it instead.

    petit27

    petit26

    petit25
    Looking down the creek bed, the dry area.

    petit24

    petit23

    petit22

    petit21

    petit20

    petit19
    Chris found this variegated plant, which I believe is Boehmeria cylindrica.

    petit18
    The trail was blazed orange, à la the Florida Trail. Doesn’t quite look like the Florida Trail though!

    petit17
    The big thing about this trail, or at least its hype, is that it is steep going down to the falls. And yes, there is a steep section for not even half a mile at the very beginning. The trail is switched-backed well, with of course areas where people have cut the switchbacks despite signs warning not to, but it was not all that intense for folks in a decent amount of shape. The rest of the trail is flat with a couple of undulating areas around boulders, but it is not a difficult trail.

    petit16

    petit15

    petit14

    petit13

    petit12

    petit11

    petit10
    Probably should have dashed over to the Blue Hole, but we didn’t. It looks pretty nice too.

    petit9

    petit8

    petit7

    petit6
    Heading back up the trail, see the orange blazes heading up?

    petit5

    petit4
    We thought the rock wall up on the top left was CCC built…

    petit3
    But apparently not. Maybe it was a renovation?

    petit2
    And back up top, this is the view from the lodge. Pretty nice, isn’t it?

    petit1

    I would have loved to have seen more of this park. The Seven Hollows Trail said it had grottos and a natural bridge which sounded enticing. Unfortunately it was a 4.5 mile loop and none of the interesting features were near the trail head, all well into the hike. Due to time we didn’t get to visit this one but I think it would be very fun to see if we were ever to go back.

    Great trail, great park—just in the middle of nowhere….seriously.

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
    Facebook Twitter Email

    Leave a Reply

    ``