Welcome to Arkansas, the Natural State
We have so much more to tell you about our trip to Arkansas, the natural state. Sam and I love exploring mountain regions so we were very excited to make the Ozark Mountains our next stop in the Natural State.
We stayed with an Arkansas native named Leslie. She’s a park ranger so we knew she’d have a lot to share with us.
On the first day, Leslie took us to Cosmic Cavern in Eureka Springs. It was warmer than we expected inside the caves, above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Leslie told us these caves are some of the warmest in the state.
Inside the cave, we saw many stunning formations, such as stalactites and stalagmites. We also saw two dark bottomless lakes. Leslie told us that some cave animals lost their sight and original color after spending so many years in the darkness. She pointed out a blind cave salamander on a rock. Then we saw schools of entirely white trout in one of the lakes.
The next day we woke up early to hike to Cedar Falls located in Petit Jean State Park. About 95 feet high, it is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Arkansas.
It was such a lovely view! We rested on the nearby rocks and listened to the birds chirping in the trees and the water splashing. It was nice to feel the cold water since we had walked for two hours through the woods to see the falls.
We stayed near Cedar Falls until it was almost dark. On the way back, Leslie showed us some really neat rocks that looked like turtle shells. Carved by centuries of wind and rain, these rocks looked like giant turtles frozen in stone.
We had an amazing trip! Scroll down to learn more about Arkansas.
Sofia and Sam
Waterfall: Triple Falls
Triple Falls in the Ozark Mountains is the most striking after heavy rainfall. When there hasn’t been a lot of rain, there are only two falls, which is why Triple Falls is sometimes called Twin Falls.
Park: Mount Magazine State Park
At more than 2,750 feet tall, Mount Magazine is the highest peak in Arkansas. Mount Magazine State Park is a fun place for camping, viewing wildlife and doing all kinds of outdoor sports, including hiking, mountain biking, and hang-gliding.
Bird: Northern Mockingbird
The state bird of Arkansas, the Northern Mockingbird, stands out among other birds for its endless singing. We saw dozens of mockingbirds in Arkansas and we enjoyed listening to their songs.
Waterfall: Haw Creek Falls
Haw Creek Falls in Ozark National Forest is very different from other waterfalls I’ve seen. It’s not that tall, but it makes for a scenic view while you are camping in the woods.
Park: Petit Jean State Park
This park is named after Adrienne Dumont. Legend has it that Adrienne was a young woman who escaped France with her fiancé during the French Revolution. To go unnoticed, she dressed as a boy and changed her name to Petit Jean.
Bird: Northern Cardinal
No matter where the Northern Cardinal is, it’s always easy to spot. Wearing a bright red coat and singing in a loud chirp, the cardinal is a common sight in Arkansas parks, forests, and gardens.
Make a Bird’s Nest
Arkansas is a popular destination for bird watchers. With more than 400 bird species, there is a lot of chirping and cooing in the Natural State year round. Do you ever wonder how birds make nests? Learn how to make a bird’s nest of your own by following this activity.
- Two large bowls
- Craft glue
- Yarn, at least 8 feet long
- Craft feathers*
- Safety pin
*You can replace craft feathers with outdoor materials such as feathers, thin sticks, and pebbles.
What you will do:
- Lay a newspaper sheet on a flat surface.
- Blow up the balloon to a medium size so it is able to fit it inside one of the bowls.
- Place the balloon inside the bowl and tape it to the sides of the bowl.
- Fill the other bowl with glue.
- Cut the yarn into four long pieces, about two feet each.
- Dip each yarn piece into the glue and lay it on the top of the balloon.
- Dip the feathers into the glue and glue them on the top of the yarn. Let the glue dry overnight.
- Lift your balloon out of the bowl and pop it using the pin. You’ve created a nest!
You can use your nest to store small items like pins and paperclips.