Blanchard Springs, AR: The Perfect Summer Getaway

Tattooed girl sitting in an Arkansas creek at Blanchard Springs
Enjoying some cold, clear Sylamore Creek waters 🙂

I live in central Arkansas, so I know firsthand how brutal summer can be. This past week we had temperatures in the high 90’s with near-100% humidity. In that kind of weather, there’s not a lot you can do outdoors. Luckily, I have a remedy– Blanchard Springs. I can’t think of any other nearby destination that has so much to offer in the hottest months.

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My First Time at the Atkins Bottom Tree

For so long I had seen photos of this very distinctive tree here in central Arkansas called the “Atkins Bottom tree”… I figured this was as good a time as any to go check it out! Using (a pretty cool sunrise/sunset “predictor”) I saw that Friday night had a good chance of yielding a nice sunset, so I headed up to Blackwell (the tree is called the Atkins Bottom tree, but is really closer to Blackwell than Atkins). The sky was just getting darker and darker, looking pretty ominous by the time I arrived at the tree. Check it out:

Distinctive gnarled tree in front of a stormy dark sky.
First look at Atkins Bottom tree with Petit Jean Mountain in the background. Rain was obviously falling in the distance and the storm was heading my way.
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Emerald Park

As someone who is native to the Ozarks in northwest Arkansas but now living in mostly-flat central Arkansas, I often miss the expansive overlooks atop towering bluffs of the Buffalo River. Luckily there is another place to enjoy some clifftop views that’s a lot closer to where I live now– Emerald Park in North Little Rock.

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Hiking Indian Creek to Eye of the Needle (Buffalo River, AR)

I was lucky enough to get to join the Arkansas Nature Lovers’ group (find them on Facebook!) on May 5th this year on a hike up Indian Creek to the Eye of the Needle. (Most of the photos below from the hike were taken by the group leader, Jeff Johnson. Thanks again, Jeff!) I absolutely love this area, but it is particularly remote and rough, so I jumped at the chance to hike it with an experienced group.

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