Travelrific® Travel Journal

Picture postcards in prose.™ Check out the blogroll on the front page for official merchandise and other resources!

Archive for arkansas

The Pig Trail

By Linda Tancs

Arkansas boasts over 600 native wildflowers. Spring is a good time to watch them explode, especially along scenic byways like the Pig Trail. It’s a 19-mile stretch of State Highway 23 that passes through Ozark National Forest. The Pig Trail takes its name from fans of the University of Arkansas Razorbacks, who traditionally used it as a shortcut through the mountains to “Hogs” games in Fayetteville. The razorback (feral hog) is not only the university’s mascot but also a wild animal found throughout the state.

Following the Mississippi

By Linda Tancs

You may have wondered whether you can drive along the course of the Mississippi River. Yes, there’s a road for that. The Great River Road National Scenic Byway follows the course of the Mississippi River for 3,000 miles from northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, passing through 10 states. Its designation as a National Scenic Byway is in recognition of the route’s outstanding assets in the areas of culture, history, nature, recreation and scenic beauty. The different roads and highways comprising the byway are marked by a green pilot’s wheel logo to keep you on track. Watch for river-related attractions and interpretative centers. You can take in the whole route in 36 hours of straight driving, but why not stretch it out for four to 10 days and enjoy the ride.

The American Spa

By Linda Tancs

Thermal water has been used for thousands of years to treat arthritis, joint pain, burns and skin disorders. Some of the most famous thermal baths in the world are found in Europe—most notably, in Budapest, the so-called City of Spas. If an international jaunt is not in the budget, then look no further than Arkansas. That’s right: in the heart of the Ozarks a thriving city (named, of course, Hot Springs) was built around the thermal waters that attracted folks of all walks of life in the 1800s. In fact, the success of the bathing industry led to the city being touted as “the American Spa.” Hot Springs National Park surrounds the north end of the city. There you can tour a historic bathhouse, hike forested trails and, needless to say, take a nice, hot bath.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

The South’s Oldest Forest

By Linda Tancs

Rich in history, Ouachita National Forest is the South’s oldest national forest. Encompassing a staggering 1.8 million acres in central Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma, the land was originally known as the Arkansas National Forest when it was established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907. It’s framed by the Ouachita Mountains, once explored by the Spanish and French. In fact, “Ouachita” is the French spelling of the Indian word “Washita,” which means “good hunting grounds.” As you might imagine, the rugged mountain landscape (the only mountain range running east to west, rather than the north to south direction of the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains) makes trails a focal point. The premier trail is the Ouachita National Recreation Trail, spanning 192 miles across the forest’s entire length, with elevations ranging from 600 to 2,600 feet. Spur trails connect to various recreation areas and points of interest.

*************

As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Watermelon Olympics in Arkansas

By Linda Tancs

The farmers in Hope, Arkansas, are proud to be growers of the world’s largest watermelons. In fact, they’ve been breaking world records since the 1930s, and an area farmer’s 268.8 pound melon still retains the title as the world’s largest watermelon in the Guinness World Records. So what better place to celebrate the summer fruit than in the famous birthplace of President Bill Clinton, among others. You needn’t be spitting mad to enter the melon spitting contest, but a little bit of oomph could go a long way toward landing you in the winner’s circle at this year’s Watermelon Festival in Fair Park today through Saturday. Or give it a toss at the Watermelon Olympics. Or just plain eat it. After all, watermelon has excellent levels of vitamins A and C and a good level of vitamin B6, not to mention the water content. Perfect for a hot summer day.

Share

Getting Down in the Ozarks

By Linda Tancs

Eureka Springs, Arkansas is home to the hoe-down.  The fourth longest running show in the Ozarks, the music theatre is celebrating 30 years!  Full of country, gospel and bluegrass music, the show is good clean fun for the whole family.   So is the 24th annual Eureka Springs May Festival of the Arts, celebrating local artistry in all its fors during the month of May.  There are also the dinosaurs, aviaries of exotic birds, ghosts, a complete model railroad for up-close viewing and an award-winning glass chapel in the woods.  Less than an hour from Branson, but hey, with all this to do, who’s rushing?

Share

%d bloggers like this: