As full-time RV’ers we travel and see a lot. This is part of our Opting Out of Normal series where we explore the “Off the Beaten Path” of every state. We love the big popular stuff like everyone else, but there is just something incredible about discovering something unique, different and maybe a little “off the beaten path”. We certainly can’t explore them all, but we’d love you to include your favorites below too. Each series will include at least 1 epic boondocking area, some complete with pictures and all with GPS coordinates.
First off, we hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends, family or both. We left Arkansas and drove a few crazy long days to get to PA (yes, snowy, cold PA) to spend our holidays with our daughters. These blogs aren’t written in any particular order, but we absolutely fell in love with Arkansas, and wanted to bump it to the top of our list. Hope you enjoy some ideas!
Disclaimer about my Arkansas blog … I hope you like waterfalls! Ha! I’m drawn to waterfalls, and Arkansas is full of them!
Crater of Diamonds State Park – Murfreesboro (say the name of that city 5 times! I was in this area for over a week and still couldn’t say the city correctly). Today, the site of his discovery, Crater of Diamonds State Park, is the only diamond mine in the world that’s open to the public, and you can keep what you find. Unfortunately we didn’t find anything. Though, there are signs everywhere (and we spoke to many people) who actually take buckets home and go through what they – have rock by rock. Hummm … That’s certainly dedication.
Quigley’s Castle – Known as “The Ozarks’ Strangest Dwelling,” Quigley’s Castle is more of an odd stone house than a castle. Ms. Quigley demolished the original house that she and her husband were living in while her husband was away so that he would have to help her build this strange new dwelling. The ploy seems to have worked. Check this place out for sure!! We ran out of time, and didn’t get a chance to go here, but if you want to find out more information, click here.
Pivot Rock Park – Not hard to find at all. It is located on Pivot Rock Road off of Highway 62 West in Eureka Springs. The titular rock looks like an upside down pyramid, right down to the stepped ridges on its edges. Other formations on grounds, which are easily accessible via paved paths through the wilderness, include the Natural Bridge formation.
Not the best of names to pick, but The Glory Hole Falls is really unique and different. It is located near Swain, in Newton County, Arkansas. Although it is in a little-visited place, this waterfall seems unreal as a creek pours directly through a perfectly rounded hole from the ceiling of a cave. The unique Glory Hole Falls changes according to the time of day and the light and sometimes catches the light as it splashes into the creek and forms several tiny rainbows.
Whitaker Point – Located near Deer, AR. Though this is an amazing hike, and fantastic views, it’s not a popular hike at all. I’m not sure why! It’s only 3 miles round trip. The trail’s destination is the “Crag”, a rock formation that juts out from the bluff’s face that resembles a hawk’s beak. It overlooks Whitaker Creek and a huge valley stretching for a long distance. but this is not all, in the spring and fall rainy season you can discover a number of waterfalls.
Roark’s Bluff – Located in Newton County. Towers over the Arkansas skyline. The surrounding area is stunning, especially in the fall. If you’re lucky enough to visit during high water, you’ll see two magnificent waterfalls. Roark Bluff Falls and V Notch Falls.
Concealed within the Ozark Valley, Devil’s Den State Park is one of Mother Nature’s masterpieces. You’ll find Lake Devil, created by a native stone dam, deep inside the heart of the park, and the peaceful water is a sight that should be on anybody’s bucket list!
Best Kayaking – The Buffalo River. The rock walls, the calm river. This is just a spectacular place to kayak. We personally like flat water kayaking, but I believe I did some research and you can find some more spirited areas to do some white water kayaking if that’s your thing.
The Lakes of Cosmic Cavern – Northern AR, near the town of Berryville. Cosmic Cavern is one of Arkansas’s most impressive caves, a stunning cave experience. What’s hiding in that gorgeous cave is two bottomless lakes, and there’s nothing like gazing into that sapphire water.
Richland Creek Wilderness Area is truly one of the Natural State’s most awe-inspiring treasures. It’s almost 12,000 acres of scenic woods and the many incredible waterfalls in the area. Arkansas’s waterfall paradise is rustic, but it is also a total wonderland. This is a perfect year to go! AR has had almost too much rain this year, so lakes and waterfalls are definitely full and flowing.
Pam’s Grotto, Near Haw Creek Campground. A little hidden gem right in the middle of the Ozarks, Pam’s Grotto is accessed by a quick half-mile-long trail.
Ok, so lets talk about boondocking in the Corps of Engineer parks. We had so many people question us when we posted on other outlets that there was no way we were in the CoE parks for free. There are tons of CoE parks around the US. Some are open year round, some are open year round but only charge from March to October, and some are only open from March to October and have gates they close the rest of the months. We were near Murfreesboro in two of our picks for this blog. The two listed below were both places that remain open, but after October 31st, they are free. No hookups. Pit toilet bathrooms, and good cell coverage. I picked these two amazing places to share with you because not only did we find two epic places, but we also met a local man who we now call our friend. This has happened to us more times than we can count in our travels. Random people become life long friends. Thank you, David, for hanging out with us a few times, and telling us the amazing history of your beautiful lake!
GPS and Area listed on the pictures below.
We hope you enjoyed this weeks Off the Beaten Path series post, and remember to Live Simply, Give More and Expect Less. Happy Holidays everyone! We’d love you to share your Arkansas finds with us! Please post in the comments and let us know your special places.
Check out our video review!