Cedar Falls Trail In Petit Jean State Park-Arkansas

While visiting the state of Arkansas recently, Cedar Falls Trail was one of the many trails on our list to hike. It is located in Petit Jean State Park and is rated as moderate by the park service. I would agree with this rating simply because the trail has many loose rocks and such that could be a hazard. If not for this simple reason, I would maybe even rate this trail more toward the easy end of the spectrum. The trail is marked as 2 miles round trip but according to the park service it is 1.5 round trip. Either way, it’s doable and honestly, when your hiking elevation it is somewhat hard to accurately track the mileage which could explain the discrepancy. We did not track our mileage but I would say, from my experience, it felt more like two miles.

The trail head is easily found if you locate Mather Lodge within the park and park in the lot here. Make your way through the breezeway to the back of the building and you can clearly see the start of the trail here.

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They do have ample warning of the loose rock that you will find along the entire trail but strenuous may be somewhat of an over statement in my opinion. It is into a canyon and back out of the canyon but elevation is not severe and I found it quite tolerable in my condition (6 weeks post op).

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As you begin your way down into the canyon the trail is well marked and easy to follow. Staying on the path and maneuvering your way around the rocks is not difficult.

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Eventually you will reach a narrow bridge and a sign directing you to the falls.IMG_3520

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After the bridge crossing, up a ways, you will find that you will need to cross the rocks and a small stream. Hopefully the water will not be high when you attempt this hike but if so, I believe that there are enough large rocks to easily do this without getting your feet wet. We had just a small amount of water at the time and had no issues crossing over the rocks to stay dry.

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Down the path you will arrive at Cedar Falls. We visited in March so there was ample water flowing and it was beautiful.

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You are able to make your way up the side of the waterfall and walk behind if your brave enough to attempt the slick rocks. My husband did and found it refreshing.

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After a short time here and a small snack, we made our way back the same way we came.

It was a great hike and I think that most families with children 4 and up should be able to accomplish this hike with no problem. Proper footwear is recommended to avoid slipping on the rock covered trail and don’t forget your camera.

 

 

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Exploring The South For A Week

The past week my husband and I spent exploring the south in temps that were spectacular compared to what we experience in WI during the month of March.

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Life down south is so amazingly different that I can only imagine how it would be to live somewhere where I could “play” outside year round. I love it hot, sunny and dry.

We did so many things in a matter of a few days that I don’t even know where to start. So maybe sharing pictures will be the easiest.

We ate so much BBQ which made my husband VERY happy.

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We fell in love with a new to us flavor of soda we found. I am not a soda drinker but this was fantastic. Thank goodness we don’t have this here in WI or I would have a problem.

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The first thing I noticed when we arrived were flowers and blooming trees everywhere. HA, our trees aren’t even close to flowering here in WI.

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We hiked some amazing trails in the area we visited. We hiked into a canyon to reach a gorgeous waterfall,

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we hiked to the top of a mountain to enjoy the view of the entire area surrounding us.

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(top of the mountain picture courtesy of my husband)

We visited the local zoo,

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we had table side guacamole made for us and margaritas to celebrate my birthday, IMG_3570

we found our first geocache in this state and shared lunch on Lake Bailey with some feathered friends.

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All in all, we had a wonderful time. In my condition, being 6 weeks post op, I don’t feel I did too bad considering. Travel went smooth, hiking was slower than usual but made me feel normal and back to my old self again. Plus, having sunshine and warmth could never hurt anyone in my opinion. I may not have made it to the top of that mountain but that is not to say I am disappointed. My husband finished and took the pictures from the top to share with me which is good enough in my eyes. I do plan to return and complete this hike, but for now, I am happy.

I will be updating the trails page in the next few days/weeks with all the hikes we did and some pointers for each one. Until then, here are a few more pics of what we experienced.

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Where To Next?

You may be wondering why we did not reschedule our rock scrambling vacation. I know everyone else is because they have all asked that exact question. To be honest, we just could not make it what it would have originally been if we would have rescheduled. Which for me would have been even more of a disappointment. Our hiking guides were booked up, many plans at home would have needed to be rescheduled, and I am self employed and taking vacation days or switching them up last minute is not something I like to do to the families I offer daycare to every day. Cancelling was our best option right now, BUT it did not take me long to schedule our next adventure:) It’s already done!

However, this is going to be a little more than our typical vacation. Yes, we plan to hike, swim, fish, explore and spend time as a family. We also plan to research homes, communities, and check out the general public areas of our next destination. Why? Well let’s put it this way, very soon I will hopefully be able to bid a fine farewell to the state of Wisconsin. It’s time to find my happy place and this my friends is the first step in that direction.

We have a destination in mind but until we actually go and spend some quality time there we will not be sure. And we could not think of a better way to do this than to vacation in the area. We will be moving around every two days to a different location, which will be a hassle but worth it in the end. So far, I will say from talking with people in this area while making these plans I am completely and totally impressed. I know they are in the hospitality business and they are paid to be friendly, however, so are the people here in Wisconsin and friendly is very hard to find here in my opinion.

As for now we will be waiting patiently for Spring to arrive. I have some researching to do in regards to either snake boots or snake gators for this trip(I can’t believe I just said that), and I am really considering a new backpacking backpack. I have a fantastic small pack, a great large pack, but I could really use a mid range pack. Can you see a trip to Milwaukee’s REI coming up soon? Because I can:) Now, to persuade my husband to drive is the next battle. Although, he is pretty easily swayed so I am not too worried.

Does anyone have advice for snake gators/boots? I could really use some insight if you care to share.

Any recommendations on backpacking packs?