Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lake Leatherwood Eureka Springs

A few weeks ago I visited Eureka Springs for my final boys' weekend prior to entering married life.  We had a great time at The Cathouse Lounge, Mud Street Cafe, The Squid and Whale, and Chelsea's Corner Cafe, but I wanted to do something outdoorsy during the day.

Simply walking around Eureka Springs is great exercise and the beautiful buildings, hilly topography, and springs make it quite scenic, but if you want to get out in the woods a bit, nearby Lake Leatherwood is a good bet.  During warmer parts of the year, you can rent a variety of boats to explore the lake.  In early March, your options are limited to where your own feet can take you.  Luckily, there are lots of trails around the lake and lots of interesting things to see.  The trails range from small, rough, single-track to smooth wide gravel roads.  We hiked parts of the Fuller, Fishing and Beacham trails and our route is shown on the map below.

While Google Maps shows some of the trails, many more can be seen at

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Petit Jean State Park

I've mentioned that Petit Jean is one of my favorite places to go in Arkansas, but since I haven't been there since starting this blog, I haven't done a proper post on it.  Lucky for you, I went last weekend with some friends and we got in a couple hikes and with evening temperatures around freezing, had a camping area almost entirely to ourselves.

Before I get into the hiking trails, if you haven't been in awhile, the expanded and remodeled Mather Lodge is great and the new CCC Trail spans much of the park, allowing visitors to get around on foot or bike on a nice paved alternative to the highway.  I liked the old one quite a bit, but the restaurant is much larger and nicer now and offers improved views of the incredible Petit Jean Valley.

Now for the trails complete with maps and photos: