Monday, March 23, 2020

A treasure near Russellville

Finally, a day with no rain!!  It was cloudy, but at least 60𝇈.  We set off for Mt. Nebo State Park, about 30 minutes from our campground near Russellville, AR.  We followed a very curvy (many sharp switchbacks) up the mountain.  Someone in our car wasn't too thrilled with the curvy road, but I survived!  Mt. Nebo is 1350 ft. tall and overlooks the Arkansas River Valley.  There were several couples and some families there getting out for some exercise and yet everyone kept their distance.  Even with the beauty of the park, COVID-19 was on everyone's mind.

Pat picked a trail, Bench Road Trail, that basically goes around the top of the mountain.  It was an old road, a little wet in places, and some areas that probably suffered from erosion had some rock, not small gravel, on it.  We had already planned to only hike a short piece of it today to see if it was suited for Krikkit's stroller.  It was great, and I think we could take easily take Krikkit back for the full 4 mile walk.  We tossed around the idea of even going backpacking for a night at one of the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corp) campsites.  We have our backpacking supplies with us, but it's been several years since we've done any backpacking trips.  In the 1890's this trail was called Bench Boulevard and had hotels, homes and stores.  People would gather at the springs and Fern Lake.  There were several other trails that went off of Bench Road Trail.  Some hiking trails were closed for construction, and a mountain bike trail was closed because of all the wet weather they've had recently.

View from overlook at start of Bench Road Trail
Bench Road Trail

Nebo Steps Trail as it goes up off of Bench Road Trail.  
We headed over to the visitor center which was closed, probably because of COVID-19.  We stopped and saw the swimming pool area.  Near it was a CCC shelter made with the signature rock.

CCC pavilion
We went to the end of the park to Sunset Point Overlook.  It was unbelievable!  You had a gorgeous view on 3 sides.  I bet the sunset from there is something!  From here, and on the trail, you have a view of Arkansas Nuclear One (Arkansas has 2 power plants) on Lake Dardonelle.  The view of the water below was designated in 1987 as one of the primary water routes for the "Trail of Tears."   Thousands of Cherokee died on a forced departure from their ancestral land in the Southeast to Indian Territory (now called Oklahoma). If you would like more information on the "Trail of Tears," go to,  It's an interesting and sad piece of history.

View from Sunset Point Overlook
Arkansas' Nuclear One Power Plant

We did a short hike today because one we wanted to check the trail out, and two it was RIB day.  Pat seasoned the ribs yesterday, and he needed 3 hours to do his magic on the grill.  I don't know if I told him, but I think they were his best yet. Mmm, Mmm good!!   Thanks Pat!👍

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