Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Cedar Creek Falls & Trail

Tuesday May 10, 2011
Petit Jean State Park
Site #109
Near Hot Springs, Arkansas

A Note to Followers
concerned for our "vacation mode": 
The Rock Cave Hike done on a "Down Day"
as well as these two hikes were not
LONG hikes.  Some not even a mile.
They just take us a LONG time
because we have to wallow in the
beauty of nature
and take TOO many pictures. 
They were intended to be short "walks"
for most folks
 which we tend to turn into day hikes
or as in the case of Rock Cave
 a 2 hour after dinner picture extravaganza.
We're often pokey hikers and might stay an hour in one place,
it's true, so if you come out to join us,
and we hope, hope ,hope you will
As Bill & Nancy found out
on the Abrams Falls Trail
David even sniffs logs.


This morning I woke up looked out
and I’m living in the woods
with no neighbors!

What a great front yard,
back yard,
side yard.
No grass to mow!  Nothing to paint!
My eyes are having a party!
The design of everything is intricate
and pefect!

I still can't get over
how lucky I am.

It’s so quiet
we can hear the park road traffic.
We are on the side of the loop closest to the road.
So when you choose a campsite
be on the back side.
No,  be on the water front.
Well, actually all the sites are VERY nice.

After breakfast, we packed a picnic lunch and headed out
to the Cedar Creek Falls Trail.
I won't keep you in suspense,
this trail gets a TEN!
And I’m a tough judge.
We didn't find the trail what we'd call strenuous
but it was challenging foot work in some places.
We saw the usual "20 somethings" in flip flops
but I think those in hiking boots had
a better experience and folks
with health problems probably
should avoid the steep
climb back up.

But if you are a fairly experienced hiker
in good shape, DON'T MISS IT!!

This is the first downward bit.
Nicely done steps again.

Gets a little rockier with
more big boulders.

 Watch your footing

Now where? 

It gets more gentle as
you hike.

And levels out as
you get to the water..

 The path is just as
interesting once you are down at stream level 
as it weaves around large boulders

And then we came to the dilemma.
David is checking it out.

Maybe not.

 Ok how about around?


 Over or around?
Under seemed the clear winner to me.

  The trail continued to be
interesting and varied.

 We heard this beauty among the voices in
the woods and then David spotted him
trying pretty successfully to hide in the bushes.
Beautiful Indigo Bunting.

 The trail blazers went to a great deal
of trouble to in put this huge stone
section of the path.

We crossed the stream multiple times.

 The ONLY drawback to this
trail was the acres of poison ivy
on both sides.
wash with Octagon soap
when you get home
and put your
clothes in the laundry.
That's our advice.
It has worked for years for us.

 And finally, there it was.
At 95' Cedar Creek Falls
is stunning!

We couldn't decide which of
the 20 or so pictures
we'd taken of the falls
to put here 

 So we settled on 3 that we had taken

this one taken by an enthusiastic
falls appreciator who came as we
were working on taking this with
the "extended arm approach" since we
still haven't gotten a
gorilla pod for doing self pictures.

The Falls trail was only a 2 mile hike
hike round trip even though it had
taken us half the day.
So we were up
for another similar trail for
the afternoon although
we knew this one would be tough to beat.
It was so gorgeous.

Once back at the car we
headed over to
the Cedar Creek Trail.
It goes along the upper creek
which feeds the falls.
It was 1.5 miles so
it seemed to fit the bill.

The trail head was located
at the Old Pioneer Cabin.
built in 1845 by the second white
settler on Petit Jean Mountain.
It was a cute little cabin
with the cook's window

which we learned about in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park
That was a way for the person who tended the fire to see out
without leaving the post.

And we ran into this fellow also enjoying
the cabin or at least its porch

The Cedar Creek trail is
a self guiding nature trail
but we hadn't known to pick
up a brochure at the office
and there were none at the
trail head.
But that was OK with us.

The trail ran along the creek

crossed over several bridges

and circled back around to the cabin.
Beautiful water everywhere.

I was definitely in my
element again.

All along the way,
we were looking for
THE picnic spot.

And we found it.

How about this?

Talk about PERFECT!!

The water was warm enough
even David put his feet in after lunch.

Our lunch table view up stream.

SO relaxing, nap time.

After spending quite a bit of
time at our chosen spot, we reluctantly
moved on. 

Sure am glad I wasn't on this trail
when this one decided to fall over the edge.
Or maybe the trail didn't go under it at that time.

We really do love the CCC created steps.

This was a long bridge span. 
And a very interesting one as
it was created to go around this boulder.

After the bridge, the trail headed back
along the other side but more away from the
stream as it had us hiking back up to the cabin.

These were the only two pictures we
took on the return leg.
And these were at the very beginning.
As the trail moved up, it also ran for
a while right along the road
which detracted from the
"forest experience".

After all that beautiful water, it didn't
seem as magical by comparison. 

If we were to advise about doing this hike,
we'd say FOR SURE but hike to the big rock bridge
and turn around and do that section again
It was THAT lovely.

Tomorrow we'll be leaving Petit Jean
which we have really enjoyed.
Moving on to Oklahoma.


  1. Another beautiful hike! and area!!!

  2. Thanks for taking us!! It was a perfect day and we luv tagging along if we can't be there in person!!



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