Washington Historic State Park
Drove up to meet the kids at their house, about a 5 hour drive. Piled in my sons truck and set out to Arkansas. First stop was at Washington Historic State Park. This park is a step back in time, established in 1821 the town has been keep up to it’s original style. The architecture and craftsmanship of the buildings were amazing. The courthouse served as the visitor center. The blacksmith was where the first bowie knife was made, later made famous by Col. James Bowie.
Crater of Diamonds State Park
After visiting Washington Historic State Park we headed to Crater of Diamonds State Park. This is the only diamond producing mine that is open to the public in North America. A massive volcano brought diamonds to the surface of the earth. While we were there that afternoon, the park posted that 5 diamonds had been found that day. It is basically a large plowed field, and people were sifting through the dirt looking for the diamonds. There are also amethyst, quartz, agate, and other semi-precious gems to be found. I didn’t find anything nor did anyone in my family.
Hot Springs National Park
Hot springs in a very beautiful park with something for everyone. It had trails to hike of varying lengths and skills. The bath row was amazing. The Fordyce on bath row displayed the historic bath houses. Again the craftsmanship and architecture that went into these buildings put most modern buildings to shame. We went into one of the older hotels that is still in use. I marveled at the dining room and the ballroom. I walked the corridor of one of the floors going to the guest rooms. The carpet and elevator were of the same time period. I half expect a small girl to jump out at the end of the hall a start saying red drum, red drum. Alright, enough of my imagination. My batteries ran out while we were on bath house row and the promenade, so pictures of that area will come later. The spring water actually is 143 degrees. I had to stick my hand in it to check. A lot of people were filling their water jugs, milk containers and other containers, I asked them why and they said that the water had a healing quality and swore by it. In the brochure I read, that was what made the area famous. People came for miles around for the healing qualities of the water.
Here are some pictures of the hiking trail and views from the tower at the top of mountain.
Petit Jean State Park
Arkansas’ first state park and of the parks we visited was by far my favorite. The views from the truck getting to the park and the park itself were beautiful. The cedar falls waterfall was breath taking. The natural bluffs forms over the years are awesome. This park is a must see if you are in Arkansas.
The park is named after the legend Petit Jean, a French girl, who disguised herself as a boy, to accompany her sweetheart, an explorer to the new world.