When I was in Dallas – Arkansas, Austin, San Antonio were our weekend getaways. Arkansas is a 5hrs drive away from Dallas, TX and is a very beautiful drive. This blog is about one of those amazing weekend getaway trip we took after a hectic work schedule for a dose of some nature.
Day 1: Lake Catherine State Park
We left in the evening around 6:30 PM to Arkansas. After a wonderful drive, we stopped at Lake Catherine State Park in Hotsprings. It’s a secluded state park which offers boating, hiking, barbeque, waterfront cabins etc.
Day 2: Ozark National Park
First stop: Shallow Falls
We drove to Ozark national park which is around 2 hrs drive from Lake Catherine state park. On our way, we stopped at Spadra Creek Nature Trail for a small walk. From there we decided to check out Shallow Falls. To get to this point you need a strong sturdy vehicle like ATV or 4 WD to be able to road raft to the falls. It’s about 1 hr of road rafting to get to the falls. You get to a point where you cannot drive any further and that’s where the falls are at. This hidden fall is totally worth the drive.
Second Stop: Haw Creek Falls recreation area
This is a camp ground near Hagarville that has back trail and waterfall called Haw Creek Falls in the middle of a hardwood forest. This is the most accessible trail of all the trails in the National Forest. You can spend your day here by camping and barbequing or by taking a dip in the water.
Third Stop: Big Piney Creek Bridge
This is a bridge right next to Haw Creek Falls campground. What’s surprising here is the turquoise water near this bridge. To find something like that in Arkansas was mindblowing.
Fourth Stop: Glory hole Falls
Although it’s 1.8 miles of a downhill trail, so hike out is all uphill. Water falls through a hole into a deep grotto. Water is super cold but had to get under it after a long walk 😀
After our day of hiking and road rafting, we grabbed some dinner at El Puerto Mexican Restaurant. There are very few restaurant options near Ozark it being a small town. We were staying at Quality Inn in Ozark for the night. It was cheap and close to Hot Springs Village which was perfect for our next day stop.
Day 3: Hot springs village
It’s an hour away from Ozark national forest. Hotsprings downtown is a small historic town. You will find hot springs, restaurants, coffee shops, ghost tours etc over here. It’s a famous tourist area. We grabbed some lunch at Coham’s which is famous for its corn bread and indulged in some ice cream at Kilwin’s Hot Springs. You will find a variety of stores and restaurants to choose from. I would suggest going to Grand Promenade, Bathhouse Row, Garvan Woodland Gardens.
Next stop: Lake Ouachita
Lake Ouachita is only 20 mins away from Hot Springs Village. If you go directly to the lake, you will see the camp ground where you can camp and enjoy kayaking. However, after a short stop here, we decided to go to Mountain Pine where you get a better view of the lake and also has an access to get into the water through stairs.
After Spending some time over here, we left from Arkansas for our drive back to Texas. Arkansas has always been pleasant in terms of weather, nature and drive and we always enjoyed driving here 🙂