Fielder’s Choice

Some hiking in Arkansas

I’ve always been up for a challenge.

We spent a few days last week, for spring break, at Lake Catherine State Park near Hot Springs, Ark.

Pam made the cabin reservation. I wasn’t sure what all was available. But mainly rest and relaxation were on my agenda.

When we arrived Wednesday evening, I grabbed some brochures at the Visitors Center. One of the brochures focused on the trails. Thank goodness, I packed my hiking shoes.

“Three beautiful hiking trails wander through the 2,000 plus acres of Lake Catherine State Park, offering breathtaking views of the mountains and lake.”

The trails had different levels of difficulty.

In the brochure, it stated, “We suggest you be in reasonably good physical condition to go hiking.”

It would have helped if they would have defined “reasonably good.”

Falls Branch Trail, two miles long, was termed “the shortest and easiest.”

I told Erin we would tackle that one first, on Thursday.

It was muddy in spots, after heavy rainfall the day before. And it was a little difficult at times, due to the terrain, for this “old man,” 57 years old and out of shape. But I made it just fine.

It was beautiful, with streams running through the mountains, and it finished up at a larger waterfall.

We stopped time and time again, taking lots of “selfies.”

We got back to the cabin, ate some lunch and crashed for a bit.

Later, we returned to the waterfall, this time with Pam accompanying us. It was a site we knew she had to see.

The next day Emma, who lives in nearby Little Rock, Ark., came to spend the day with us. I had told her we would try to “attack” the second trail, which was labeled as “steep and rugged at the beginning and end.”

I almost backed out – leaving this one to Emma and Erin. My legs were sore.

Horseshoe Mountain Trail is three and a half miles long. It said it would take two to four hours.

I came really close to turning around when we got to the most rugged part going straight up the mountain.

“I don’t know,” I told my two daughters.

They agreed to turn around with me.

“Let’s go for it,” I said.

We went up, way up, and then it sort of leveled out. Come to find out, there was another steep portion or two.

We found some scenic spots to rest along the way – including one overlooking the lake.

The hike down the mountain was kind of tough, too, but not anything like the walk up.

I even had enough energy left that we walked with Emma to the waterfall once we got back near the entrance.

Emma and I returned to the cabin and crashed a bit after this hike. Pam and Erin went shopping.

We didn’t get to the third trail – Dam Mountain Trail, called “the longest and most rugged.” It is four and a half miles long.

We loved our three-night stay night at Lake Catherine. We plan to go back. Maybe I can tackle Dam Mountain Trail. And maybe I will be in “reasonably good physical condition” by then.


Holly Springs South Reporter

P.O. Box 278
Holly Springs, MS 38635
PH: (662) 252-4261
FAX: (662) 252-3388

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