With presents opened and food prep for a fabulous Yuletide meal complete, a Christmas Day trek was deemed an excellent way to spend the unseasonably warm afternoon. We traded tacky Christmas socks for sensible hiking shoes and headed to the Mt. Nebo State Park.
The second oldest state park in Arkansas, Mt. Nebo offers fourteen miles of hiking trails; one of the most popular is the Bench Trail. A narrow shelf, known as a bench, winds around the mountain. The trail, once known as Bench Boulevard, led visitors to homes, shops, and even a hotel.
With the exception of the scenic overlook found at the trail head, hikers will not encounter breathtaking views of the River Valley, but will find themselves hidden among the trees.
At about mile 2 is Fern Lake, a peaceful body of water that, around the turn of the 20th century, provided a refreshing option for those needing relief from the sultry summer climate.
An unexpected gift, the four mile, mostly level trail was deserted, allowing for a hefty dose of family bonding time, a wonderful way to complete an exceptional day!