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by Janie & Wyatt Jones (Falcon Guides)
© 2004 Janie & Wyatt Jones/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
This is one incredible trail, and more than any other shows how fitting the nickname 'The Natural State' really is for Arkansas. No, there aren't waterfalls, though if you take the King's Bluff loop right next door you'll see one of the tallest in the state. Don't take this trail if hard-to-see drop-offs worry you excessively. And don't take this trail expecting it to be a short hike. I don't care what the mileage says, there is LOTS to see and do here (and actually I think that mileage is a little generous, I'd say it's closer to 2.4 miles). Going counter-clockwise, the first sight will be an awesome pedestal. It's possible to get to the bottom here, and it's well worth hiking around the base of the cliffs. There are several more of these pedestals in the valley, even a few along the opposite hillside. Towards the middle of the trail is a stone staircase leading to the base of the cliffs. I'm almost drooling thinking of all the incredible arches, deep shelters and towering spires that this staircase makes accessible. it would be a crime to stick to the trail in this incredibly unique valley. The last sight you see as the trail leaves the bluffline is a free-standing arch, covered in vegetation. This is such a gentle, wide trail up until this point that it's odd to see the poorly-mantained trail that finishes the loop. I guess people get this far and just have to see the pedestals all over again, and I understand that!
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