November 5th, 2016
It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to hike and take in the fresh Arkansas Ozark air. This time I left the Pops at home and took an old friend of mine from high school to some of the neat, easy to access parts of my favorite area in the state – Pelsor. We started our hiking trip with the King’s Bluff trail. I love this trail because it’s easy to walk down to the bluffs (which means the walk back up isn’t so lovely) and it’s a nice 2 mile loop warm up for the rest of the day. The last few times I’ve hiked this area has been on a weekday and its always pretty desolate. Not this Saturday. Once we reached the bluffs we decided to sit down and take in the sights along with several other people. This involved some small talk and taking couples’ pictures with the scenery, yada yada. If you’ve read my past blogs you know I really don’t like basic, busy trails. I’d much rather be alone in nature, absorbing the serenity that is the Ozarks. This is exactly why I ditchhike. But for the sake of showing a newbie around, it’s the perfect area. Well traveled, visible trails, loads of scenery, hoodoos, caves; you name it. We stayed on the bluffs for a bit, eating a snack (we had to eat her cookies since I left all my snacks at the store by accident…) and taking pictures of a butterfly that was wanting to be our model. We then headed back up the loop ready to take on the other side – Pedestal Rocks trail.
Once we reached the King’s Bluff trail summit (not gonna lie, a little winded), we started on the Pedestal Rocks loop. We made our way down under the rocks to the many interconnecting caves and played around for quite some time until hunger struck. After deciding which cave was whose when the ish hits the fan, we ascended back up to the main trail and headed out of the woods back to the very full parking lot.
Our only option for food was to head the 6 miles back West on Highway 16 to the famous Hankins Country Store on the corner of Hwy 16 and 7N. If you’re ever in the area, stop in for some of the best deli sandwiches within a 50 mile radius. After scarfing down we headed back down Hwy 16 to Falling Water Falls past Ben Hur. This is probably the most visited and photographed waterfall in the state (after Hemmed In Hollow, which by the way is the tallest waterfall between the Appalachians and Rockies – neat little Arkansas fact for you). Surprisingly, it was desolate. This is unheard of for a Saturday. Typically this spot would be teaming with teenagers hanging out, acting like fools. Seeing that you can park right next to the falls makes it convenient for such shenanigans. Which is fine by me…I usually just keep heading 8 more miles down the road and go to the always quiet Richland Creek. Today, we took advantage of the stillness and sat here for an hour or so. There wasn’t much of a flow, but that never takes away from the beauty of this place. This was the perfect spot to end a perfect hiking day.