Petit Jean: Bear Cave Trail – .5 mi

Petit Jean: Bear Cave Trail - .5 mi photo
Large rocks near the end of the trail. If you continue on from here, you’ll be on the Boy Scout Trail and not Bear Cave Trail.

The Bear Cave Trail at Petit Jean State Park is a very short trail — only about a quarter-mile long. In fact, it really is not so much a trail as it is a spectacular place to walk around and explore. There is a lot to see in this small area.

Petit Jean: Bear Cave Trail - .5 mi photo
The Eye of the Needle

The Bear Cave Trail trailhead is on Highway 154, one mile west of Mather Lodge. The trail starts at the back of the parking area.

Continue reading Petit Jean: Bear Cave Trail – .5 mi

Petit Jean: Seven Hollows Grotto Waterfall Video

The Seven Hollows Trail at Petit Jean State Park (near Morrilton) is an awesome trail that features many bluffs, hollows, and valleys. It is about 4 miles long, and is very scenic through most of the hike.

I had a great hike there on Sunday. I had been on the trail once before in the summer. It was nice to be there when the streams are flowing and there is water at the waterfall in the Grotto area. The Grotto is a small box canyon with a cave overhang at about the trail’s halfway point.

Alternate video link: here.

These are some cell videos I took of the waterfall in the Grotto on Sunday. 

Continue reading Petit Jean: Seven Hollows Grotto Waterfall Video

Mt. Magazine: Benefield E. Loop Trail Snow Photos Pt. 2

Mt. Magazine: Benefield E. Loop Trail Snow Photos Pt. 2 photo
This is where the trail continues after crossing the highway at the southeast corner of the trail. (Panoramic.)

Since winter snow is relatively infrequent in much of Arkansas (although we have had more than average this winter), I get excited about the chance to go out walking on a trail in the snow or just to get the chance to take pictures of the woods with a layer of freshly fallen snow.

One great opportunity for this I had was back on February 8 when I hiked the Benefield East Loop Trail at Mount Magazine. There were several inches of snow on the ground and a layer of ice in many places under that.

Mt. Magazine: Benefield E. Loop Trail Snow Photos Pt. 2 photo
Benefield East Loop Trail – Mount Magazine State Park

I posted some of the photos from my hike here.

In this post, I have more photos from my hike. (Click photo for larger view.) These were all taken on the mostly bluff line part of the loop that is south of Highway 309. It is probably the most scenic part of the trail. Continue reading Mt. Magazine: Benefield E. Loop Trail Snow Photos Pt. 2

Mount Nebo: Summit Park Trail Leaf-Off Pics

Mount Nebo: Summit Park Trail Leaf-Off Pics photo
Southwest-facing panoramic view from south end of Summit Park Trail near the juncture with the Rim Trail.

I think the Summit Park Trail, named for the former Summit Park Hotel (1889-1918) is one of the two best trails at Mount Nebo State Park (the other one being the Rim Trail). The Summit Park Trail makes a 1.6-mile loop across the west side of the mountain. About one-third of it is shared with the Rim Trail.

Most of the rest of it runs parallel to the Rim Trail, not far from the bench level. (For my gpx-based trail map and elevation profile, see this post.) 

Mount Nebo: Summit Park Trail Leaf-Off Pics photo
CCC-built steps descending from the Summit Park Trail trailhead.

One of the sites to see along the trail is Fern Lake. It was built to serve as a water source for the hotel.  Continue reading Mount Nebo: Summit Park Trail Leaf-Off Pics