As promised, it’s time for a recap on the latest trail John and I discovered. Before I do that though, can I take a minute to tell you guys how excited I am about something?
The Great Gatsby comes out tomorrow! I’m a huge fan of the book, and I happen to think Leonardo DiCaprio is a genius. Many of you know that I’m a sponsor of the high school book club, and we read this several months ago in preparation. We’re taking the kids to see it as an end of year trip tomorrow, and I’m so excited! Yes, I know the movie is never as good as the book and I shouldn’t get my hopes up. You’d think I would’ve learned my lesson by now, but what can I say? I’m a glutton for punishment!
Now on to the trail recap. John, Max, and I spent our Sunday hiking around Shores Lake in Arkansas. We had originally planned to backpack the entire weekend, but the weather, unfortunately, had other plans. It cleared up on Sunday, and I woke John up around eight with a cheery “Babe, it’s almost eight and the sun is shining!”. We quickly gathered our things for a day hike, and drove a little over an hour to the lake. I had been there briefly as a kid, but my memory was definitely hazy. John had never been in the area, and we were both impressed with the lake and the facilities surrounding it. It was really a beautiful setting.
After getting the lay of the land, we parked at the trailhead and started up. The Shores Lake Trail is a loop trail that leads to the White Rock Mountain Summit. After traveling a few yards on the trail, you come to a fork where you can choose to go up the East Loop or the West Loop. We chose the East Loop, and, after talking to another hiker later in the day, we were glad we did. The hiker we met said the East Loop was much more scenic than the West which is saying something.
We started hiking through trees, and kept hiking through trees. This trail didn’t have any overlooks, and the only view comes when you get to the White Rock Overlook. Granted, that view is pretty spectacular!
We did run across a beautiful waterfall about midway up, and we spent some time there taking pictures and enjoying it.
We made it to the top, and decided to hike back down by way of the dirt road. The humidity had gotten up in the afternoon which meant we were dealing with a lot of bugs which are made worse by the thick trees. Just a quick note on the mileage-there is a little bit of a discrepancy. According to our online source for hiking trails in Arkansas, this trail is a little over 13 miles. The very basic map provided at the trail head puts it at ten. John and I both felt like we did more than ten so we’re choosing to believe our online source!
All in all, we weren’t crazy about this trail. We’ve been spoiled by hiking in Colorado and Montana. We’re used to and prefer wide open views, and this trail just didn’t have that. We did decide that it would be a nice day hike to do in the fall when all the leaves are changing so we’ll probably be back eventually!
Sadly, that’s probably the last hiking we’ll do in this area until things really get going in the fall. We have plans for the next couple of weekends, and, once you get to the end of May, it is far too hot in our part of the world to backpack! Luckily, we have a couple of trips planned to our favorite place in the world in the near future so there’s plenty of backpacking to come!
Shores Lake Trailhead: 13 miles
Directions to Trailhead: Take I-40 to Exit 24 for Mulberry, AR. Go north on state highway 215 for nine and half miles to Shores Lake. The trailhead can be found in the campground.
Have you read the Great Gatsby? What are you doing this weekend?