Arkansas is widely renowned as one of the most beautiful states in America. As the Natural State, you don't have to go far to find scenic places. Fairfield Bay is a hidden gem that offers unique experiences that you will not find anywhere else in the world.
There are 10 recreational trails in the area of varying degrees of difficulty. I'm going to be talking about three in particular that are easy and scenic. Not everyone wants to climb a mountain to get an Instagram-worthy selfie!
Indian Rock Cave Trail
This well-worn path leads through the forest, winding around breathtaking bluffs, beautiful boulders, and captivating caves. You don't have to hike for long before you come across the main attraction: Indian Rock Cave. This ancient natural shelter contains many Petroglyphs (prehistoric carvings) and is characterized by three smaller caverns inside. Due to it's shelter-like shape and the artwork, historians believe that it may have been called home by a Native American tribe over 4,000 years ago.
This trail is only 3/4 of a mile and is perfect for just about anyone. It's also worth noting that this site has never been professionally excavated. The Log Cabin Museum is onsite and has a few artifacts on display that were found by visitors. A catlinite pipe was discovered and linked to the late-period of Native American occupation. You can visit the museum before or after your adventure.
Woodland Mead Park Trail
Beginning in front of a small amphitheater in Woodland Mead Park, this intriguing trail meanders through the forest giving off serious Little Red Riding Hood vibes. Luscious pines, soft ferns, and natural boulder formations provide a contrasting view that is ideal for outdoor photography. Take your time going through here. Only 1/4 of a mile, it's perfect for all ages.
Children can enjoy the playground or a round of miniature golf. Covered picnic areas provide a shaded place for you to have lunch or even just read a book out of the sun. Trail maps are available at the park entrance.
Ed Leamon Garden Trail
If you love plant-life, this garden oasis is the place to be. Here, you can enjoy rose, butterfly, and fairy gardens tended to by Van Buren Master Gardeners. The rose garden hosts 38 different types of rose plants and is home to a total of 61 budding bushes and climbers. Most are hybrid tea roses (single-stemmed), but there are a few multi-stemmed breeds mixed in. Each plant has its own irrigation system, and the colors range from white to purple - including blue, lavender, pink, red, orange, and yellow.
The butterfly garden houses several types of plants that this beautiful winged insect loves. It's actually a bit difficult to get a good photo of butterflies because they are flying from plant-to-plant so quickly. I get excited when I see food too!
The fairy garden features a waterfall fountain that resembles a natural creek. Miniature sculptures, houses, and flowering plants make this a great spot for selfies. You might even see a real fairy!
While there are many trails to explore in the Fairfield Bay area, these were the easiest, most accessible, and scenic ones. Anyone can enjoy these natural pathways. Until next time...
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