Rainy Day Adventure – Have you ever had a fantastic day planned only to wake up and find the sky is pouring down buckets of rain? When I was growing up, my whole family competed in the horse show and rodeo circuit. When those events were rained out, I remember being so disappointed. I remember always thinking, “I can still ride my horse in the rain!” When I woke up this morning, I had almost the exact same thought: I can still hike in the rain!
Part of my brain, (I think the lazy side), wanted to just stay in, with all the comforts of slippers and blankets. However, I actually had a promo shot due on Friday, (today is Wednesday), and I really wanted to take a few more shots of Hendrix. I also just LOVE the way photos “pop” when it is raining outside; especially in the lush greenery of Arkansas.
Exploring Arkansas hiking is
one of my favorites! I am not sure if it is even possible to exhaust all the incredible options. Using my AllTrails app, I picked Devil’s Canyon for this day’s adventure. I wanted waterfalls, and this was rated as a hard 2.6 miles loop near Mulberry, Arkansas. I felt up for a hard hike today! I can do anything for 2.6 miles, right?
Driving from Oklahoma to Arkansas is always beautiful! This rainy day adventure was no exception. Today, however, did present a problem! The road to where I was going to begin this hike was flooded! I followed the road as far as I could, stopping when I felt there was a chance of getting stuck. While I do adventure a lot by myself, I also try to make wise choices. There was absolutely no one around, and I had no cell service. The road that turns off the main road, and heads down to the trailhead is supposedly only 0.6 miles. I had already drove a ways down the road, so walking the rest of the way to the beginning of the hike should not have been a problem, right?
Well, let’s just say it was a short hike! The dogs had a blast!! They ran through deep puddles of water, and over huge trees that had fallen on the trail! It was obvious that we were not going to make our way to the waterfalls today! When I got home and did a bit more research, I found this post about Devil’s Canyon, and was glad I did not continue alone. The rocks would have been very slippery, considering it was still raining. Devil’s Canyon was probably not my best choice for a rainy day adventure, but it sure was beautiful being in the Ozark National Forest and I will definitely be back.
While I could have headed straight home and used my extra time to do say, laundry …… Okay, just kidding. I never even considered that. I saw a sign on the way to my destination that said “Arkansas Scenic Byway”! WOW! This could be a fantastic road trip itinerary! I took U.S. HWY 71 section of the Boston Mountains Scenic Loop. Just for logistical purpose; this is in the NW part of Arkansas. The Boston Mountains are the highest point of the Ozarks. You can read a lot more about this beautiful drive here.
While driving this alternate way to home, I came across Lake Fort Smith State Park, in Mountainburg, Arkansas. You can read all about this lake here. I drove through the whole park and it is pristine;
absolutely immaculate! The camping here would not be to my liking, as the camp sites are not on the water. You actually cannot even see the water from the sites. If that is not something that is important to you, then these sites are amazing. The sites are also a bit pricey @ $20-32/night, even to car camp, compared to other sites I have camped at. I peeked into one of the cabin
options and they are very nice. The park also has 2 lodges with a dining hall available for rent, and would be a great place to have a reunion, wedding, etc. When you are enjoying Lake Fort Smith State Park, take the time to stop into the visitor’s center to see educational exhibits and watch a video of the park’s history in the theatre. You might also want to pick up some of their treats, like this black bean and corn salsa! The most exciting thing that I found at this park, on my rainy day adventure, was the western terminus to the Ozark Highlands National Recreation Trail!
The hiking options in Arkansas literally are endless! Hopefully my rainy day adventure today, while not packed full of hiking, was able to show yet more options for hiking, and enjoying this incredible Ozark area of Arkansas. Have you had your own rainy day adventure? Tell us about it!