Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

After finishing my Habitat for Humanity stint in New Mexico I headed back east. I took my time driving in order to read and generally relax so it was a few days before I ended up in Arkansas. I decided to take a break around the Little Rock area and then headed just north towards Hot Springs National Park. I started by going up the winding Mountain Drive which overlooks the town of Hot Springs and the mountains beyond before stopping near the top at the Mountain Tower and a few overlooks for the view. I then headed out on Goat Rock Trail which leads partially down the mountain through a series of switchbacks and under huge novaculite boulders which are mostly quartz before the forty foot ascent of Goat Rock. At the top of the mountain the trail was green from the moss and short grass and overlooked the blue mountain ranges of the nearby Ouachita National Forest which was gorgeous.

Signs of green on Goat Rock Trail, Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

Signs of green on Goat Rock Trail, Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

Goat Rock Trail with novaculite boulders at right, Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

Goat Rock Trail with novaculite boulders at right, Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

Trail on the return with novaculite boulders at left, Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

Trail on the return with novaculite boulders at left, Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

View from Goat Rock, Goat Rock Trail, Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

View from Goat Rock, Goat Rock Trail, Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

I connected with a few other trails and hiked a bit more before returning to town in the afternoon for a quick look at the bathhouses that make Hot Springs famous. I discovered that the Fordyce Bathhouse had been converted into a free museum and so I took a quick tour, learning a bit about the “Golden Age of Bathing” from the exhibits but mostly just exploring the recreated rooms.

Ceiling of Men’s Bath Hall, Fordyce Bathhouse, Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

Ceiling of Men’s Bath Hall, Fordyce Bathhouse, Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

I then went back up the mountain to cook lunch and then took a quick walk in town before leaving in late afternoon.

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hot Springs, Arkansas