My last post told a tale of a long sweaty hike up North Mountain and a leisurely jaunt on a flat greenways trail. Today I’ll describe the hiking at Lake Catherine State Park and West Mountain in the Hot Springs National Park, mostly through the use of photographs as it’s late and I’m not my most inspired.
Lake Catherine State Park
Wednesday morning dawned 60 degrees and beautifully clear. By 8:30 we started the half hour drive to the park.
The geography of the region (low mountain ranges and the long, looping Ouachita (Wah-CHEE-tah) River) means that you can’t always get there from here — at least, not directly. It was a gorgeous day for a drive, so we turned on SiriusXM and rolled down the windows.
The park includes a large campground, spread over several loops. Overall the park was very clean and well maintained. Roads and trails were clearly marked, with frequent color blazes along the trails to ensure you stayed on the path. The main trailhead is just off Loop #4, I think, of the campground.
I took several photos of the trail but they don’t convey the trickiness of the terrain. Tree roots and rocks were perpetual tripping hazards. Switchbacks and steep inclines and declines kept me on my toes – literally. Erosion had worn away the path in some places to just a foot wide. We’ll focus on the pretty pics.
West Mountain, Hot Springs National Park
No waterfalls or critters on this hike. But loads of sunshine, birdsong, leaf-lined paths and a few curiosities.
West Mountain, like North Mountain, is just off — well, above — downtown. The trails have not suffered from erosion, despite there being few runoff channels. They were broad and flat — but, once again, I somehow managed to choose the direction of travel which maximized the incline. *sigh*
We leave the area on Saturday, so I think that wraps up our hiking in Hot Springs.
I’m really pleased with how well Elvis has behaved himself on the trails. He’s a stinker sometimes, but he does want to please and he gives me someone to talk to. 😉
Next stop: Crossville, Tennessee for the HDT East Coast Rally!