The trailhead for the Gum Springs Trail is very close to our cabin. Another Civilian Conservation Corps trail, it heads down some wonderful switchbacks and under a seasonal waterfall. Lucky for us, the waterfall was in season. I really enjoyed taking pictures here from all angles.
Be careful if you’re hiking in this area when the water is running. The rocks are very slippery. We continued down to the Bench Trail and again headed clockwise. Once we came to Fern Lake we decided to get back to the Summit Park Trail. We stayed on the lower end of this wonderful trail to see some areas we missed earlier in the day. In several places on the CCC trails at Mount Nebo we saw trail signs etched into rocks. This one was along the Summit Park Trail near Darling Springs. The sign with the “1” is for the self-guided tour.
We were soon back on the Rim Trail at Sunset Point. This is a great spot to watch the sunset during the summer.
Just past Sunset Point there is a maintenance road that we took down to the Bench Trail. It is all gravel and not fun to walk on but we were down soon enough. We wanted to check out some of the hike-in campsites. The park has 10 of these complete with tent pads, picnic tables, lantern hangers and fire rings. Many of them had two fire rings. The new modern fire rings and some had the original CCC built rings. We decided that we would come back in the spring or fall and stay in one of these sites. They are spread out and offer the kind of camping privacy we enjoy.
We hiked along the Bench Trail all the way to Hwy 155 past the Nebo Steps Trail and Nebo Springs. A short walk down the road got us back on the Bench Trail and we soon arrived at the Varnall Springs Trail. We knew we wanted to go up to search for the bit of the Rim Trail we had missed earlier in the day. But first we decided to head down to Varnall Springs. This spring was once the water supply for the town of Dardanelle down in the valley. We soon found the spring which had some old rock work around it but we also noticed a nice little waterfall on the other side of the trail on the way down. I couldn’t help myself and was soon bushwhacking down through the wet leaves and mud to get a photo.
We then took the steep hike back up the Varnall Springs Trail until we found the missing section of the Rim Trail. Our hike back around to the cabin was quick but beautiful. I had to stop to get a panoramic shot from just below Sunrise Point.
10 miles and two laps of the mountain later we were back at the cabin again. We decided to head into town (Russellville) for dinner but first we enjoyed a beautiful sunset from the cabin.
What a great way to enjoy and experience a special place in Arkansas. A cabin-to-cabin hike using only one cabin. More photos are available on our Flickr Page.