Escape… to Great Holiday Lodging and Packages
Happy Holidays from your friends and family at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa! As we gather together to give thanks for all the blessings of 2018, we are reminded of just how lucky we are to serve our wonderful guests year after year. Thank you for entrusting us with something so precious… your memories!
Happy Holidays from your Harbor Family!
Escape… to Great Holiday Lodging and Packages
Thanksgiving Holiday Lake Package
Enjoy a decadent Thanksgiving Buffet for two, a gorgeous Christmas Lighting party with hayrides and lodging for three nights in a two bedroom, two bath condo with fireplace!
Celebrate Thanksgiving and the start of the Holiday Season at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa! You’ll love digging into Harbor’s lavish Thanksgiving Buffet with all your holiday favorites! Harbor is beautifully decorated for Thanksgiving for the buffet and then the day after, everything becomes Christmas with over two million Christmas…
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“FALL” IN LOVE WITH PUMPKIN HOLLOW
By Kim Williams… In 1992, Ellen and Darrell Dalton decided to use a portion of their family farm to create Pumpkin Hollow, which featured Arkansas’s first corn maze. Now, 26 years later, Pumpkin Hollow… Click Here For Full Story
BUCKET LIST FOR FALL
By Jill Rohrbach… Crisp fall weather is prime for outdoor activities in Arkansas – hiking, biking, and wildlife watching in particular. There are locations that become treasure troves in autumn when the leaves turn. Places that are downright magical. Places where your senses are heightened. Your spirit soars. Where you can breathe deeper and see deeper. One of a kind places and experiences. … Click Here For Full Story
FALL FISHING ON THE OUACHITA RIVER
By Zoie Clift… Though fishing in Arkansas is available year-round, fall is a beautiful time to cast a line and enjoy the favorable temperatures and colorful fall foliage of the season. The Ouachita River… Click Here For Full Story
FALL FUN FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY
By Kim Williams… October in the Lower Delta region means cooler temperatures…but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun outside. … Click Here For Full Story
THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED: ARKANSAS FALL FOLIAGE SCENIC DRIVES
Arkansas has more than its share of beautiful vistas any time of the year but fall is a showcase season for The Natural State. Vibrant colors associated with this season – candy apple red, lime green, pumpkin orange, sunshine yellow, brassy bronze – are on display, usually from mid-to-late October into November. …
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10 REASONS TO VISIT SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS IN THE FALL
By Zoie Clift… It is no secret that fall is a special time in Arkansas. The season is filled with camping, biking, live music, fall color, farm tours, festivals… the list can go on and on. In light of this, we decided to share Ten Reasons to Visit Southwest Arkansas in the Fall. … Click Here For Full Story
FALL FUN IN THE COUNTRY AT SUZANNE’S FRUIT FARM
By Zoie Clift… Suzanne’s Fruit Farm in Hampton is a 155- acre farm that specializes in “you pick or we pick” peaches, plums, blueberries, blackberries, muscadines, scuppernongs (yellow muscadines) and pumpkins. … Click Here For Full Story
FIRST LADIES OF ARKANSAS SHOWCASED AT OLD STATE HOUSE MUSEUM
Zoie Clift, travel writer
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
The Old State House Museum in Little Rock has reopened one of its most popular exhibits, “First Ladies of Arkansas: Women of their Times.” The newly renovated exhibit, which first opened in the 1950s, is known for having the largest display of first ladies’ gowns outside the Smithsonian.
“This whole exhibit, it’s not about the pretty dresses,” said Jo Ellen Maack, the museum’s curator. “It’s about the women themselves. It’s about their causes.”
Issues such as education, healthcare, the suffrage movement, and the arts have been championed by the first ladies and the exhibit also highlights their life after office.
“All of these women, none of them just sat back and said, ‘well I was first lady that was enough,’” said Maack. “Every one of them have gone on and led extraordinary lives. We try to talk about that in the exhibit.”
The exhibit showcases the accomplishments of governors’ wives throughout Arkansas’s history.
You can learn about Mary Jane Bradley Conway, Arkansas’s original first lady. Her husband was James Sevier Conway, who took office as Arkansas’s first governor after Arkansas became a state in 1836. His final resting place is the 11-acre historic site Conway Cemetery State Park in southwest Arkansas.
Anne McMath’s hand painted campaign gown is in the exhibit and highlights the accomplishments of Arkansas Governor Sid McMath during his first term in office. The McMath’s were the first family to live in the Governor’s Mansion, which was completed in 1950.
Hillary Clinton’s 1979 inauguration gown, which was designed by Little Rock designer Connie Fails, is also on display as well as more information on the accomplishments of this former first lady of Arkansas who went on to serve as first lady of the United States, a U.S. Senator, the U.S. Secretary of State and a nominee for President of the United States.
The well worn and duct taped hiking boots of Gay White, who served as first lady in the 1980s, are also on display from her Grand Canyon adventures.
The gowns and artifacts will be rotated once a year in the gallery, which now includes motion-activated lighting and temperature controlled cases. The exhibit will also be added to. Text panels include a quick bio of the first lady and information on their gowns if one is shown.
The exhibit also has touch screen kiosks where you can learn more about the first ladies. “You can see photographs and go in deeper for information and there is also a video we did with them,” said Maack. “Some talk about their dresses but mostly they talk about what they want to be remembered for as first lady. It’s really getting to know them even more.”
This is phase one of the permanent museum exhibit, “First Families: Mingling of Politics and Culture.” Phase two, which will be located in the next room over from the First Ladies of Arkansas exhibit, is expected to open next summer and will focus on the governors of Arkansas. “The exciting thing is that it is going to be where the original governors’ offices were when the Old State House was the state capitol,” said Maack. “I was blown away by all the governors that went on to incredible things, once again like the first ladies.”
The Old State House Museum, which is located at 300 W. Markham, interprets Arkansas history from statehood to the present. Built in 1836, the Old State House was the state’s original capitol until 1911. Admission is free and open to the public. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit OldStateHouse.com.
About Arkansas Tourism
Arkansas Tourism, a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, strives to expand the economic impact of travel and tourism in the state and enhance the quality of life for all Arkansans. The division manages 14 Arkansas Welcome Centers and employs more than 60 staff members across The Natural State. For more information, visit Arkansas.com.
Experience the beauty of Arkansas’s fall foliage
Fall is one of the most popular times of the year to visit Arkansas because of its excellent fall foliage. Every autumn, nature paints the mountains and valleys of The Natural State with gorgeous hues of gold, red and orange. Many of Arkansas’s visitors travel here for special fall vacations to catch a glimpse (and take some incredible photos) of the season. Scenic drives showcase autumn’s finest while allowing you to explore the state’s varied topography on a fun-filled road trip.
Fall colors begin to appear in the Ozarks and other northern sections of the state by the second week in October and continue slowly southward. Mid to late October generally provides peak fall color in the northern portions of Arkansas. October and November are two of the most popular months for visitors due to the beautiful fall colors and favorable weather.
The Natural State’s autumn attractions aren’t limited to scenery; fall weather is ideal for enjoying the variety of outdoor activities that the state has to offer. Outdoor enthusiasts flock to Arkansas for camping, hiking, biking, and rock climbing. While many of our northern neighbors are covered in snow by the fall, Arkansas ranges from the 40’s to the 70’s in the fall months, making it a perfect getaway before winter takes over.
You’ll also find fun, family-oriented fall festivals and events all over the state.
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New ride for Magic Springs
Magic Springs Theme and Water Park is located in Hot Springs and is Arkansas’s only theme and water park. There is big news for the park this year: a new ride called the Brain Drain (yikes!) is set to open to the public on April 7. This is the park’s first new thrill ride in ten years. It has been described as a 13-story ride that includes a slow climb and straight, fast, drop.
The park is also celebrating a 40th anniversary this year! This lands on July 22 and on that day there will be a special birthday party themed day. Leading up to this, there will be special themed days, promotions and discounts, which will be announced as the season progresses.
Along with their rides and water park, Magic Springs, which is located at 1701 East Grand Avenue, is also known for their annual summer concert series. More about this year’s acts can be found here. Concerts are free with a day pass, which can purchased on the day of the show, or a season pass, which covers all concerts. More details about the park can be found at magicsprings.com.
Paddling the Caddo River
If you are looking for a paddling venture to take on, the Caddo River is a solid option to head to.
“The Caddo River is a great river for all levels of paddling experience,” said Gayla Claborn, owner of Caddo River Camping & Canoe in Glenwood. “This typical pool and drop river is gentle enough for novice paddlers to learn on yet with enough class I and II rapids along the way to keep it exciting. There are good places to stop to swim and fish along the available routes surrounded by the beautiful Ouachita mountains. And it is one ofthe most consistent floating rivers in Arkansas, allowing our season to span from March to September.”
A popular route of the river is a 7.5 mile section from Caddo Gap to Glenwood. It hosts a mix of both calm waters and rapids and the view is varied, from houses (most of the property along the Caddo River is privately owned) to hillsides to rocky outcrops. There are also gravel bars that can be used to rest, scope out the river, or enjoy lunch from.
According to Claborn, prime water levels for this route occur usually from March through at least half of June and temperatures from late April through early June. If one is interested in tubing, the best months are May-August. She mentioned the popular months for everything river related, meaning canoes, kayaks, tubes, cabins and camping, is from May until school starts back up in August. “No matter what the river level or the temperature is, this is when people will come,” she said.
When the river level drops below 5.2 feet, Claborn said they switch to their low-water route down the river. “It’s deeper and wider and stays a decent float throughout the summer,” she said. “Except for during floods, rain and storms, we always have something open March- September. We will just switch the routes based on what is working best when the person arrives.” You can keep up to speed with the river’s water levels and learn about the various routes of the river here.
The office for Caddo River Camping & Canoe is at 26 Hwy 8 E, which is up a hill from the intersection with Hwy 70. Here you can rent equipment such as kayaks, canoes or tubes for floating down the river. If you have your own equipment, you can also arrange to catch a shuttle, which gives you access to a private access launch. The cost to do this is $20 for the first boat and $10 for each one after that. There are also public access options to access the river if you have your own equipment and want to use your own shuttle.
“Glenwood is a great little town that has vacation cabins, restaurants, a golf course, shopping and markets too,” she said. “The Caddo River is convenient and a centrally located destination for visitors to plan to spend multiple days in the surrounding area. Near here is Crater of Diamonds State Park, Daisy State Park on Lake Greeson and Hot Springs is only 40 minutes away.”
Hiking in Southwest Arkansas!
Hiking is an awe inspiring route to experience the beauty of Arkansas. The state’s climate allows the pastime year round and a chance to get off the beaten path is also attainable. Tim Ernst, a wilderness photographer and author of many guidebooks about hiking in Arkansas, said that while some trails in the state can get crowded on popular weekends, most remain relatively unknown compared to major trails in other states. “It is possible to hike all day and never see anyone, or just a few other hikers, so our trails are much less crowded than those in other states,” he said.
The state’s diverse topography offers a range of scenic territory to explore, including Southwest Arkansas, home to the Ouachita Mountains. The ridgeline of this range runs predominantly east to west rather than the north to south direction of the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains, a directional trend that gives rise to distinct plant and animal communities. The Ouachita National Recreation Trail follows this scenic range for more than 220 miles. There are a wealth of hiking options in the region, including routes such as the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail, which has around 45 miles of trails along the southern shore of Lake Ouachita, the largest lake in the state. The route meanders through the Ouachita National Forest with spurs providing lake vistas.
Climate also makes hiking here stand out from other states. “One of the many great things about hiking in Arkansas is the fact you can hike all year here while many other ‘hiking’ states are frozen in winter for instance,” said Ernst.
The atmosphere of hiking in the state is also distinct.
“I find we have more intimate landscapes here in Arkansas,” he added. “Both as a nature photographer and as someone who enjoys getting out simply to enjoy the great outdoor beauty, I prefer things I can reach out and touch and see close up all around me.”
Below, Ernst shares details on a few of the hikes he enjoys from the Southwest region of the state.
The Little Missouri Trail: This is one of my all-time favorite hikes in Arkansas. There are many great river views along the way that showcase a classic Ouachita mountain stream. The river is right there next to the trail much of the way, so you can always stop and dip your toes for a refreshing break. I also love the forests of giant pine trees and expansive vistas stretch across the landscape for miles. And the trail is very easy to hike, especially if you travel downstream.
The Caney Creek Trail: This trail takes you through the heart of the oldest wilderness area in Arkansas, far away from the sights and sounds of modern motorized society.
The Black Fork Mountain Trail: This takes you high up on one of the tallest mountains in Arkansas where you can visit rock “glaciers” and a stunted oak forest that is hundreds of years old.
The Ouachita Trail: A short but steep hike along the Ouachita Trail takes you to the top of Flatside Pinnacle to one of the very best sunset views in the central United States.
The River Corridor Trail at Cossatot River State Park Natural Area: This trail follows the spectacular Cossatot river for a dozen miles and is one of the best river hikes in the region.
This is just a glimpse of the variety of routes available in Southwest Arkansas. For more details about the many hiking trails available throughout the region and Arkansas, visit arkansas.com/outdoors/hiking/. For more details on Tim Ernst’s photography and guidebooks, visit timernst.com.