Blanchard Springs, Arkansas- Hiking in the Natural State
It’s been summer for nearly a month now, and I just had my first day off since April- so, of course I spent it on a Day Trip to Arkansas. Hannah and I put on our hiking shoes, made some PB&Js, plugged in my iPod and made our way to the Natural State.
We made our way through tiny towns that have smaller populations than I have Facebook friends, passing by old farm houses, run-down buildings, hundreds of cows and a State Park around every corner- I see why it’s called the Natural State. However, we had a mission- we were going to Blanchard Springs.
After eating we set off to go on some hiking trails. We found the trail head to the North Slyamore Creek Trail. The whole trail, if you follow it, is 9 miles and they said should take 8.5 hours. Hannah and I started out on this trail, but only stayed on it for a little over a mile.
We got off the trail at this river, and first of all I was instantly upset that I hadn’t put a swimsuit in my pack because there was a glorious swimming hole with a big rock you could climb up and jump off of. There was also a family swimming in the whole, and I would have felt a bit strange swimming out there with my hiking clothes, so this is a heads up BRING A SWIMSUIT if you visit Blanchard Springs. Since we didn’t swim we decided to hike through the river, and play in the water that way!
After we made our way out of the river, we went on the really short hike to the Blanchard Spring Falls. We walked on and off the trail, again. We waded through the cool rapids, which was really great on such a hot day. One of my favorite parts of this trail was the ability to literally walk right up to the falls and touch them. The falls are where the spring comes out of the caverns also located in this park.
After this hike we were cooled down and walked the trail to Mirror Lake. This lives up to its name reflecting the Ozarks National Forest on the surface. We watched families fishing and a snake eating minnows from this concrete area that over looks the dam. The dam in itself is beautiful because the water coming over the edge creates a beautiful set of falls.
Unfortunately we both had to work early the next day, so we made our way back home. We both really enjoyed this recreational area and I would highly recommend visiting. I would camp, though, and take time to do the long hikes and I would be sure to swim!
Our road trips, however short or long, are always the greatest days. We belt out the words to songs as loud as possible, laugh the whole time, and always make life-long memories.