Mist was rising off the lake as I entered the park. It appeared to dance toward me as I stood on the beach watching the sun rise above the distant ridge. The air was still cold causing my lens to ice up and creating some interesting effects in my photographs and video. As the sun continued to climb higher behind me the water and sky transformed into a surreal blue.
Further into the park boats sit peacefully in the receding calm waters of the lake, with only the occasional splash of feeding fish. During my adventure hiking around the lake shore I see my first Indian Heliotrope Wildflower, with pretty tiny elongated clusters of purple flowers. There was still drew on their petals and they glistened in the early light. A wonderful family of Crows is following me on much of my journey. From the early morning mist on the water to the feeding family of Crows it was a perfect autumn morning in the park.
I headed out to Lake Ouachita State Park with the intent of hiking the Caddo Bend Trail. This was not to be, the spring storm damage was extensive and sadly they do not expect it will reopen for another year. Something for 2012, an all new Caddo Bend Trail!
I did hike the 1/2 mile Dogwood Trail and it is the perfect kids trail (see photographs). If you live in Arkansas or will be visiting this a great trail to let children be children and get excited about Nature without many of the dangers found on rougher trails in the state. The trail is well groomed with rocks marking the edges, plus currently there are a couple of tiny trees to step over. The Dogwood Trail climbs gently upward and winds through a mixed Forest. There are educational signs along the trail for the older kids to read. Information about Nature from the Forest floor up into the canopy is included in a variety of easy to reach locations. Although there is a campsite across the street you will want a parent to walk them to the trail head due to traffic. It is a loop trail and parents can wait on the park bench for children at the trail head. I would not let children under 8 years old go on their own but it is perfect for early adventurers 8+ years.
Love to ALL!