Category - Central Arkansas

Posts in Central Arkansas including including Pinnacle Mountain, Petit Jean, Lake Catherine, and Lake Ouachita state parks. Also see Central Arkansas Trails Page.

Hot Springs: Grand Promenade – 1 mi

Grand Promenade, Hot Springs National Park
Grand Promenade, Hot Springs National Park

The Grand Promenade is an awesome half-mile brick walking path in Hot Springs National Park. Running north-south, it is parallel to (and behind) the historic Bathhouse Row.

Grand Promenade, Hot Springs National Park
Fountain on the Grand Promenade, near the north (Fountain Street) end

Construction of the Promenade began in the 1930’s as a Public Works Administration project. It was completed in 1957. Continue reading Hot Springs: Grand Promenade – 1 mi

Pinnacle Mountain: Rocky Valley/East Quarry Trails – 3 mi

Rocky Valley/East Quarry Trails, Pinnacle Mountain State Park
Panoramic west-facing view from the H.L. Dickinson Overlook on the East Quarry Trail at Pinnacle Mountain State Park. Pinnacle Mountain is in the center. The swollen Maumelle and Arkansas Rivers are to the right.

This short but vigorous 2.6-mile hike combines two trails at Pinnacle Mountain State Park (Pulaski County, near Little Rock): the Rocky Valley and East Quarry Trails.

This is a scenic and hilly walk with a couple of great vistas on the east end.

Getting to the Rocky Valley Trail

The first part of the hike is the Rocky Valley Trail (green blazes), a semi-loop trail that starts next to the visitor center. The East Quarry Trail (red blazes) is a spur at the east end of the loop.

Rocky Valley/East Quarry Trails, Pinnacle Mountain State Park
One of the cool rock formations on the Rocky Valley trail.

Continue reading Pinnacle Mountain: Rocky Valley/East Quarry Trails – 3 mi

Petit Jean: Cedar Falls Trail – 2 mi

Cedar Falls Trail, Petit Jean State Park
Cedar Falls (panoramic), Petit Jean State Park

Cedar Falls at Petit Jean State Park is the most impressive Arkansas waterfall I have seen. When Cedar Creek is flowing well, this is 95-foot waterfall is an amazing sight.

After a visit to Cedar Falls, it is easy to see why Petit Jean was chosen to be Arkansas’s first state park.

The trail to it is not long, only .9 miles each way (1.8 mile total hike). And the trail is not particularly difficult except for a steep climb back up to the trailhead.

Cedar Falls Trail, Petit Jean
Cedar Falls Trail and Cedar Creek

Continue reading Petit Jean: Cedar Falls Trail – 2 mi

Pinnacle Mountain: West Summit Trail Pics 2014

West Summit Trail, Pinnacle Mountain State Park
Climbing up the West Summit Trail, Pinnacle Mountain State Park. Follow the yellow blazes.

About a month ago during the holidays, my brother and I did a hike up the West Summit Trail at Pinnacle Mountain State Park (Pulaski County, near Little Rock). This is an awesome trail.

There are two trails that will get you to the top of Pinnacle Mountain: the East Summit Trail and the West Summit Trail. The West Summit Trail is the most travelled, but the East Summit Trail is pretty popular too.

The net elevation change either way is about 650 feet.

The upper halves of both trails are quite steep, but the East Summit Trail is much more so. The upper part of the West Summit Trail is like a very steep crooked rock  staircase. On the East Summit Trail, the trail is just scaling boulders. (Check out some pictures, maps, and elevation profile in this Summit Trail Loop post.)

West Summit Trail, Pinnacle Mountain State Park
Southwest facing view from the upper parts of the West Summit Trail.

Continue reading Pinnacle Mountain: West Summit Trail Pics 2014