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Hot Springs National Park is a little gem, actually one of the smallest parks, near Little Rock, Arkansas. It’s a really cool park that has a focus on history, but still has plenty of hiking trails to explore.
We didn’t really have an idea of what there was to do there, just that it had bathhouses and some hiking. That was about it, but we figured when will we actually be in Arkansas again? That was it, we were going.
After getting there, we headed to the visitors center to get information on hiking and see the bathhouses. Armed with a map, we were off to hike Goat Rock Trail, one of the most popular hikes in the park. It’s not a very long trail, two hours should be plenty if you’re taking your time and stopping for pictures and what not. If you go down Gulpha Gorge, which connects two parts of Goat Rock, give yourself a little more time.
Most of the time the trail is in the shade, covered by trees. Occasionally it would open up to offer views over the town and the hills. The hike is pretty easy, mostly downhill or flat. There was a little uphill at the end, but nothing extremely difficult. I think most people could do it.
There are a ton of trails in the park for people of all hiking levels. If we had more time we probably would have done more, but we had to keep moving. If I’m ever in the area again, I would definitely go back. It’s such a unique park with the hiking, but also the bathhouses in two. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re nearby. Stay tuned for more on the bathhouses.
- Give yourself a couple days, or one full day without any travel time, to explore the bathhouses and town and be able to hike.
- Visit in the fall if you can so you can see the leaves changing!
- Take a hiking map with you, the trails can be kind of confusing. They’re all marked, but I wasn’t sure which we were on for a bit.
- There are signs where trails meet and split, but those are also kind of confusing, the map would definitely help.
- Bring water , especially in the summer, even fall. It was a lot hotter than we anticipated.
- Eat at the Colonial Pancake House downtown for breakfast. It’s delicious.
- Follow up with coffee at Kollective across the street.
Have you been to Hot Springs? What did you think of it? What did you do there? Do you want to go?