Labor Day is fast approaching, and many times it’s the desire of a family to get away for what is known unofficially as ” the last weekend of summer”. One state park that I had overlooked for many years was Mammoth Spring State Park. I sweet talked Kurt into spending a Labor Day weekend there in 2012, and found it to be another wonderful place to visit in Arkansas.
Mammoth Spring State Park is located about 60 miles north of Batesville on U.S. Highway 63 in Mammoth Spring, Arkansas. It is mere steps away from the Arkansas/Missouri border.
It is the largest spring in Arkansas, flowing more than nine million gallons of water each hour. The source of the water comes from southern Missouri rainfall which seeps underground, and flows along a vast system of interconnected cavities. The water then emerges in Mammoth Spring eighty feet below the surface level of the spring pool; therefore, visitors are not able to view the actual spring. What is seen, however, is a powerful force that cascades over the rocky stream that meanders throughout the park.
The Spring Lake Trail is an easy 6/10 mile hike that wanders throughout the park.
The fifty eight degree water is crystal clear and has been designated as a National Natural Landmark.
The water flows into the Spring River, a popular place for trout fishing. Additionally, because of the constant flow of water throughout the year, it is one of the most popular float streams in Arkansas.
Even though Labor Day is traditionally a very busy day for state parks, I found Mammoth Spring State Park to be very quiet and peaceful. It was also an area that actually surprised me. I have always associated scenic areas in the Ozarks with the northwest part of the state, but the breathtaking waters of Mammoth Spring certainly changed my perception!