Hello, from The Natural State
From the Ouachita to the Ozark mountains– it’s a travelers life for me!
The beautiful state of Arkansas showcases the bounty of nature and the great outdoors. The incredible landscapes of Arkansas alternate between both massive and humbled natural formations and structures. My travels took me through The Ozarks and The Ouachita’s mountains regions. My time was splintered between Little Rock and Hot Springs. I love waking up to the fresh mountain air. Nature always inspires me and leaves me grateful.
Pinnacle Mountain State Park Visitors Center- This is a nice visitors center with pleasant staff and park rangers. The lady at the register was most helpful with directions and gave us tips to assist us with navigation around the mountainous regions. The back deck off the verandah offers a lovely natural view and backdrop. There is also a souvenir shop here and some snacks and drinks which is great if you are going off to explore the mountains.
Pinnacle Mountain State Park – I love exploring new state parks so it was a given I would be hitting the trails at the mountain park. I liked that the trails were marked which is much appreciated when exploring a new area. The park had a lot of folks on both the East and West Side. We studied the West side. We also got some great photos mainly from the mountain side of the highway. Pinnacle Mountain State Park is perfect for walking, hiking, and biking.
The Old Mill- The Old Mill at T.R. Pugh Memorial Park was constructed in 1931, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Old Mill is a stunning and serene reproduction of an old water grist mill circa 1880. The T.R. Pugh Memorial Park is a great little gem off the beaten path of the city. I was fascinated with every inch of the manicured lawns and immaculate property. Interestingly The Old Mill was featured in the opening scene in the 1939 film, Gone With The Wind!
The Old Mill has a beautiful backdrop, lovely foliage, and storybook grounds. The landscaping is picture-perfect and reminiscent of times past. The Old Mill’s rustic charm takes you back to simpler times. The craftsmanship of the arched bridge, ponds, waterfalls, sculptures, and mill are divine.
The Memorial Park has two stories to enjoy, and you can enter it like a little tree-house. The bridges with greenery and waterways are superb. This is a place I could see myself sipping tea and writing a beautiful novel. This is the epitome of serenity.
Riverfront Park- This is a grand park with beautiful views and just a few ft. from The Junction pedestrian bridge and the Arkansas River. It’s located behind the River Market shopping district. I noticed when walking the grounds a nice waterfall area and splash pad. I enjoyed viewing all of the sculptures and murals.
My favorite discoveries were all of the Native American Indian statues and information are given on the Quapaw tribe. I was fascinated by all of the beautiful views and historical information this park has to offer. This park is walking distance to so many Little Rock sights. You must pay a visit to Riverfront park when you’re visiting Little Rock!
Junction Bridge- We were exploring the Riverfront Park and surrounding areas in Hot Springs and had to check out the Junction Bridge. The park is beautiful and lively, and the Junction Bridge adds a striking backdrop to the area. You can further explore the bridge and the views of the Arkansas River by walking across the bridge- which is a pedestrian bridge. Be sure to check out the bridge and park when you visit Little Rock.
HU Lee International Gate and Garden- I was curious and enchanted to find out there was a lovely little Korean garden right in downtown Little Rock. Grandmaster H.U. Lee’s wife had this site dedicated to honoring her husband, and out of love for their country, and people of South Korea. Haeng Ung Lee was the first Grand Master of the American Taekwondo Association.
The H. U. Lee International Gate and Garden, while not that large, was terrific. The gate itself was full of intricate little details and beautiful swirls of red, green and gold. I really admired the Yin/Yang on the doors. Upon entering the garden, it was like briefly stepping into another time and place. They had several Korean statues and Korean inspired art and a lovely fountain. The gardens here are serene, and it is a treasured escape in the heart of the city.
Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site- When doing some research for our Arkansas trip I was compelled to visit the Little Rock Central High School. This is a historic site to commemorate the Civil Rights movement. The Collegiate Gothic and Art Deco architecture are tremendous. The school was built in 1927, is named America’s Most Beautiful High School. Across the street is the Central High Commemorative Garden.
I started off at the Little Rock Central High School and Central High Commemorative Garden and then drove onward toward the Little Rock Nine statue. The Little Rock 9 were courageous school children who took a stand during the disheartening segregation era of southern history. In the year 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the ruling that the separate but equal segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. This was a landmark case that changed the course of history forever.
Testament: The Little Rock 9 Monument- The Little Rock 9 helped pave the way for the separate but equal and desegregation in schools movement. Though the monument is small, I was impacted by witnessing these statues and reading the quotes in plaques circling the Testament Little Rock Nine Monument.
Central High Commemorative Garden- The Central High Commemorative Garden is a notable archway paying respects to past students who paved the way for equality. The Little Rock 9 statue is not on the Little Rock Central High School grounds; it is located at the Little Rock state capital.
Big Dam Bridge- I was in the area, so I knew I had to check out the notable Big Dam Bridge. Fun fact: the Big Dam Bridge is the longest pedestrian and bicycle only bridge in the U.S., Please note, pay attention as you’re on the walking path because there are some runners and bicyclists who you may not notice coming around the corners.
The views from the top are pretty cool, and the area is scenic. There are some beautiful big houses are sitting atop lush hills that are just perfection. The Big Dam Bridge showcases incredible human-made architecture. You should definitely check out the Big Dam Bridge when you are in the area. Also, who doesn’t want to say they went to the Big Dam Bridge? It’s just so much fun to say!
The Natural State is filled with rich history and native culture. Arkansas is known for The Great Outdoors. In Arkansas, you can explore national and state parks, national landmarks, and historical markers, historically preserved bathhouses, wildlife refuges, natural caves and so much more!
With All My Love,
The Vintage Gypsy
“Your soul is the whole world.” – Herman Hess, Siddhartha