Last weekend the weather was dreary and overcast. We were tempted to stay at home, but I’m glad we decided to venture out to explore a new state park. The trip was even more fun because my sister hiked with us.
dripping springs trail
Natural Falls State Park is located near the border of Oklahoma and Arkansas. The park is only an hour away from our home in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The main attraction is a 77-foot waterfall which you can enjoy from observation platforms above and below the falls along the Dripping Springs Trail.
The one mile trail is rated as moderate on AllTrails.com. There are a couple steep sections. There is also a short, narrow section that was a little slick because of the weather, so we held onto the girls’ hands to make sure they wouldn’t slip.
5 things to know before you go
There is a parking fee.
You can rent a yurt if you want to spend the night.
We recently took a trip to Mount Magazine State Park in Arkansas. I’ve written about the wonderful cabin and the great hikes. For my last post about this trip, I want to share about some of the restaurants and attractions near Mount Magazine that we enjoyed.
On our way into the park, we decided to stop about half way to eat dinner in Ozark. We were happy to find a Mexican restaurant named Mi Casita that overlooked the Arkansas River. We arrived early on Friday evening (around 5:45 pm) and had the outdoor patio to ourselves.
There were several picnic tables outside of the tasting room which was located in the middle of beautiful farm land. (405 North Subiaco Avenue in Subiaco, Arkansas) It was a 30 minute drive from Mount Magazine State Park. The tap room is open on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
According to their website, “It is a ministry for us, because it allows us to welcome guests to our monastery as Christ Himself would be welcomed (part of our Rule of St. Benedict, chapter 53). Likewise, the profits generated go to the continuous care of our elder monastic brothers in our Health Center.”
We felt welcomed and we thought the beer was great too. We also enjoyed a walk around the abbey gardens. I would definitely recommend the trip to Subiaco.
Altus and Wiederkehr Village
The next day was our final day of the trip. We decided to drive back home through Altus and Wiederkehr Village. The towns are known for wine making and German-Swiss heritage. We had lunch at the Weinkeller Restaurant, a ‘hand-dug 1880 wine cellar featuring award-winning continental cuisine and on National Register of Historic Places.’ (according to Arkansas.com)
We sat at a table with a red checked table cloth outside of the charming restaurant. It felt like we were far away from home (in a good way)! Our lunch was traditional swiss food. It was the perfect ending to our Arkansas adventure weekend.
Arkansas has so many hidden gems, and I’m glad we had the chance to support these local restaurants on our trip.
Rocky Mountain National Park is closed due to spreading wildfires in and around the park. We are praying for rain and snow to help slow the fires down. Our thoughts are with the fire fighters and the communities affected by the fires, especially Estes Park, Colorado and Grand Lake, Colorado. Both places hold special places in our hearts.
You can find out more information about the closures on the national park’s website, here.
Mount Magazine State Park is in Paris, Arkansas which is two hours south of our home in Fayetteville, Arkansas. We recently booked a cabin for a weekend stay which I wrote about here.
There is a lot to do and see in Mount Magazine State Park. Of course one of our favorite activities is hiking. This area is also a great place to go on an afternoon drive to take in the mountain views.
Highest Point in Arkansas: Signal hill – 2,753 ft.
Our cabin was located right across the street from the Signal Hill trail head. I expected more views on this trail, so I was slightly disappointed, but it is still fun to say that we hiked to the highest point in the state of Arkansas. The hike is 1.5 miles in length.
As you might expect by the name, the hike climbed up hill. We enjoyed the white wildflowers along the path.
old lodge trail: Danger high cliff
This trail is not listed on the park’s hiking brochure, so I’m not sure if I should even recommend it. My husband and I took turns going on the Old Lodge Trail without our children. The trail was not well maintained, but it is short, and the overlook is impressive.
This hike is divided into two loops. The East Loop is 1.1 miles long and has views of Bear Hollow, the Ouachita Mountains, and the Petit Jean River Valley. The West Loop is .9-miles and connects to the Mossback Ridge Trail.
petite jean valley overlook
Down the road from the Benefield trails, there is a pull off on Highway 309 with incredible views of the Petite Jean Valley. The pictures were taken on a foggy day, so I imagine that the views are typically even more impressive.
Cameron BlufF Overlook Drive
The overlooks on Cameron Bluff Drive were breath taking. This spot has me dreaming about going back to Mount Magazine later this fall. I bet the autumn colors in this area are amazing!
All the hikes we chose were short and fun. I liked the mini hikes because it allowed us to explore several different trails. We balanced hiking with other fun activities like swimming and going to a local brewery. I’ll write more about that on my next post.