The Valley That Can’t Be Found and That Beak Sticking Out of the Mountainside – Lost Valley & Hawksbill Crag

November 10th, 2016

Finally Pops and I got back into a routine, somewhat.  We had quite a debacle on our hands for about a month trying to get Pops moved and it set us back on our hiking schedule.  Which apparently didn’t ruin anything, seeing how the leaves haven’t really changed colors this Fall.  It’s been stupid hot for October/November and very, very dry.  Unfortunately the beautiful fall foliage this year was just red and dead.

I’ve been wanting to revisit Hawksbill for quite some time.  My last memory here was with my late grandmother who took all of us grandkids here several decades ago.  It was pushing towards nearly 20+ years of me visiting this area.  I told Pops I wanted to watch the sunset here so in order to kill A LOT of time we explored the area.  We got us some lunch at a small deli in Ponca (literally the only thing here) and took off to the easy peasy Lost Valley trail.  This trail is listed as ADA accessible, but I’m not sure how.  The first part was super easy, super flat…but once you get in the valley it’s quite a sight.  There is usually a waterfall named Eden Falls flowing, but like I said, it’s been very, very dry…the hike was still beautiful as was the weather.  Hard to beat 70 degree days in November.

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I took some photos in the dry creek bed and we headed out after several hours of exploration.  Now I can say I’ve been here, done that.  Our next stop was up to Hawksbill Crag, but first a stop at the Cave Mountain Cave.  After parking and reading the board we sadly realized the caves were closed for the bats and White Nose Syndrome.  We trudged onward to the Hawksbill trailhead.  This too is an easy hike and pretty dang boring until you reach the cliff area.  But once you do, it’s quite a sight.  It was just how I remembered as a kid.  This is such an iconic place for Arkansas – as you can see why…

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This trail was busy, even for a Thursday.  I was eager to get away from the people and their photo ops on the edge of beak.  On the other side of the beak was a neat rock stack that caught my attention.  I was more enamored by it than the crag.  Maybe because I’ve never seen it photographed before.  We hung out here for a tad bit and then made our way through the crowds of daring photogs and back through the boring red woods to the vehicle.  Our next Fall stop for a lookout trail will be the Goat Trail.  Stay tuned!

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