Ozark National Forest
Yesterday was supposed to be a big day of hiking and exploring, but we were rained out after hiking only 0.4 miles. Today we had all sorts of pent up energy to release on Ozark National Forest.
We started the day with 4 miles of hiking at Pedestal Rocks. It felt good to be on the move. The rock formations were steep bluffs so the views from the top edge were big and open. At points where the bluffs weren’t vertical you could follow social trails down to view the Pedestals and overhangs from below. The further we went the better the views seemed to become. The weather improved as we went too!
Many of the waterfalls were only small trickles at this time of year but still enjoyable none the less.
Back at the trailhead we decided to have lunch. We had already hiked 10x the distance we went yesterday so we were feeling relieved yet excited for more.
The next stop for the day was Falling Water Falls. The redundancy of the name gave us somewhat low expectations. If it was that impressive they surely would have graced it with a more intriguing name right?
WRONG! This waterfall was stunning!
A flowing arch of clear water pouring into the greenest natural pool either of us have ever seen! Everything about this place felt pure. We snapped photo after photo as if it was going to somehow disappear if we didn’t capture it.
Even though it was only 55 degrees outside and the water was ice cold, I still found myself tempted to jump in. Perfect overhung edges of dry rock would make it easy to cannonball right into the middle of this green and white oasis. Unfortunately not today. Perhaps we’ll be back in a warmer month next time…
It was hard to pry ourselves away from the falls. We enjoyed it from every angle and only moved on once it felt sufficient to say goodbye.
With time enough for one more site we pushed on Alma Cove Natural Bridge. This was a highly rewarding and easy 1 mile hike. The Natural Bridge was huge. Almost comparable with some of the big arches in southern Utah. It was wide enough to drive a car over it (only in theory of course) and hung high into the air.
Hiking beyond the bridge the area featured more caves, arches, and rock formations. To make it even better yet, the numerous beech trees, which hold onto their leaves in winter, combined with the warmer weather made it feel like fall.
We drove down the scenic Arkansas Highway 7 in route back to our campsite and soaked in views of the Ozark Mountains. Riding along this ridge we felt like we were on top of the world. It’s good to be back.