Thursday, January 5, 2012

Pedestal Rocks Hiking Trail

The trail is within an area of the Ozark National Forest, designated as the Pedestal Rocks Scenic Area. Besides the 2.2 mile Pedestal Rocks Trail, there is also the Kings Bluff Trail, which is 1.7 miles long.

The great thing about hiking in this part of Arkansas in January (besides the fact that you don't have to worry about ticks and chiggers) is that a hiker is better able to see the contours of the land, because the Ozark National Forest is primarily comprised of oak and hickory trees that lose their leaves during the winter, allowing for more "wide open" views.

When one reaches the edge of the mountain where the bluffs and pedestal formations abound, you begin spotting more of the evergreen trees that are also found in Ozark National Forest.

The bluffs provide a wonderful place to sit down, rest, and have a snack. Although there are picnic tables and a vault toilet at the trail head, there are none located along the actual hiking trail. But who needs a man-made picnic table and bench, when God has so marvelously provided a place to dine, like the one shown in this photo!

As the bluff extends far out above the land below, you get the sense of a "Rock Island" floating above the valleys and hills that stretch to the horizon.

The reason you can only see the top half of my torso in this photo is because the bottom half is down inside a large depression of the rock surface. Sometimes these rock depressions are so weathered through erosion, that they go completely through the top of the rock, opening up to the valley floor, several feet below.

There are occasional access points along the trail where one can "boulder" their way down to the lower section of the formations, and this is the spot where I carefully made my way to the bottom of the cliff. Although I did not see any climbers with technical rock climbing gear at Pedestal Rocks, rock climbing is popular along similar bluffs located nearby at Sam's Throne and Horseshoe Canyon. I have hiked in both these locations, and could recommend them for anyone wanting to see or participate in the sport of rock climbing.

Being on the bottom side of the bluffs enabled one to see some of the caves and open rooms that lay beneath. Fred Flintstone would have found plenty of room for him and his entire family to inhabit in true "flintstone" style!

One of the natural features creating these caves are the seeps and springs that flow through the forest along the limestone and dolomite bluffs. These supply the baseflow for Ozark streams. Even though the temperature got up to sixty degrees on the day we hiked, I spotted this icicle hanging off of the side of a bluff where spring water was running across the top.

Posted by PicasaBeing out in this beautiful area on such a gorgeous winter day, made me give thanks to God for the beauty of his creation, both in the surrounding countryside, and in his creation of the human body that carries us outdoors to see that creation! Being able to enjoy a hike such as this is one reason I promote participation in First Place 4 Health ( , because it gives you the tools you need to be a good steward of the body we have each been given! One thing we do in First Place 4 Health to keep our mental health functioning well is Scripture memorization. The memory verse that came to mind when I was inside the rock house, looking out onto one of the tall rock formations was from Proverbs 18:10 that says "The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe." Before you run right out to see the towers at Pedestal Rocks, log onto to get driving directions, safety tips, and trail maps to make your expeditions a truly memorable one! Miles of smiles! Tricia