Last month I went with my men to the Ouachita National Forest.
It is one of my favorite places to go near us(about 3hrs) and we have gone several times.
This time we went on the Arkansas side and it was a wonderful surprise.
We stayed at Queen Wilhelmina State Park and it was really nice!
The bathrooms were clean with very nice showers and the campsites well maintained.
We went on the Lover’s Leap Trail after getting the popup set up.
The trail entrance is near the lodge in the park.
The only downside to this park is the playground being nowhere near the campground.
It is over by the lodge.
There were a lot of airstreams there!
The next morning we drove out to the Upper Kiamichi trailhead so we could hike the 5 miles back to the park.
We had planned to hike to our popup trailer and eat lunch, then hike back to the vehicle at the trailhead.
The trail is pretty overgrown with a LOT of poison ivy.
But it is beautiful.
The boys and I ended up staying at the park instead of hiking back and Nick ran back to the vehicle(there are a lot of perks to having a husband that runs…).
That way the boys got a chance to ride the cool train they have that goes around the park!
It is a little pricey but it was fun.
The boys rested then we went to see a fire tower nearby that you can climb.
Then we checked out the town of Mena and got something to eat.
Sometimes you can watch the sunset from up there!
We took some pics at some of the lookouts then we ended the evening climbing the tower again for some shots.
The next morning was cold and foggy where we were.
I love that weather but my youngest was not supposed to get his ear wet so we went down towards Mena a bit.
It was warm with little to no rain there!
We went on the Earthquake Ridge hike sometime while we were there.
I just do not remember when!
It was a lot of uphill!
There is some easy hiking right outside Mena at a Vistor Center though.
We did some hiking there also.
They were nice well maintained trails with some handicap accessible trails.
We packed up and started the journey home.
We stopped at a vistor center on the Oklahoma side that we had not been to in a while.
I noticed that as soon as we left the Arkansas side of the National Forest for the Oklahoma side it was like someone threw a switch.
The lookouts and trailheads were overgrown and neglected.
Since I live in Oklahoma I was a little saddened by the obvious neglect on our side of the forest.
We will definitely be traveling a little longer to go to the Arkansas side again!
If you have not been and live in the area, make the trip!!!
It is an absolutely beautiful place to see!