Kingfisher Trail

This short 1.1 mile flat trail is on the outskirts of Pinnacle Mountain but inside the state park. The trail offers some great views of Pinnacle Mountain and also the Little Maumelle River. The sign says it is only a half mile but when I finished I got over a mile over hiking/walking/strolling completed. This trail was very different than most trails I like to hike but enjoyable nonetheless. I do like water features and mountains so it was not too bad even though it had no elevation change. The trail was also concrete and crushed gravel. I am not used to hiking on concrete trails.  20190208_094925.jpg20190208_100018.jpg20190208_100036.jpg20190208_172522.jpg

Another great time at Pinnacle Mountain State Park but I still have not hiked up the east side. Next up back in Texas is a 5 mile race that went surprisingly fast.

Pinnacle Mountain West Summit Trail

I am back at Pinnacle Mountain State Park in Little Rock, Arkansas. The last time I hiked to the summit, it was on a crowded weekend. I liked the hike but not the overcrowding of people. Plus I never got to where I really wanted to be at the peak. This time I was the first to the mountain and started the hike alone. The hike was peaceful and I got to enjoy the trail more than the first time. The trail is steep and taxing on the legs. The temperature at the start of my hike was 24 degrees and I still was sweating going up the mountain. There was ice on the trail but luckily the rocky part was dry. I was ready for the bouldering/scrambling near the summit. I got to pick my course without waiting for someone to move out of the way. It seemed easier to get to the top. I say easier but still not easy. This is still the most difficult hike I had ever done, twice. I have hiked to the summit of several other mountains since but this one tops them all. I loved the view from the summit this time. I was up there all by myself and got to walk around a bit. The views of the hawks below and seeing miles in each direction. This is also a hike that tested my ankle. I slipped once and my ankle held up so I feeling confident I will be able to run on the trails again.20190208_083324.jpg20190208_085459.jpg20190208_085848.jpg20190208_091518.jpgDSC01513.JPGDSC01528.JPG

I still have an interest to hike the east trail but after seeing it from the summit, I do not think I am ready. I will be back in the state later this year and I might give it a try.

Next up is a very flat trail in this state park.

Mount Magazine State Park

This is another run/hike situation. It was suppose to be a twelve mile trail run that turned into a run/hike due to all the pictures. I actually ran a decent time considering the conditions. The temperature was in the mid 80s which is not too bad but the humidity was at 70%. It was the humidity that was the most difficult obstacle to overcome. Did I mention that the run was on a mountain. The course had a two two and half mile uphill climbs. When you put the heat, humidity and hills together, you get a difficult trail race.

The park is located north west of Little Rock, AR in Paris, AR. The park is very spacious and also has the highest point in Arkansas. Of course I had to get to that point. I did but the sign was gone and there were several people looking at the ground. I had a race to run so after I realized the sign was not there I continued my run. The course had so many views. The course lead runners on narrow trails with a ledge on one side and the mountain wall on the other side. Eagles were soaring below the ledges and you would look down on treetops. Even though it was a humid and hazy morning, I could still see for miles from the ledges. I had an awesome time in the Arkansas mountains.20180512_073148.jpg20180512_091007.jpg20180512_091850.jpg20180512_092039.jpg20180512_092318.jpg20180512_095923.jpg

This was a challenging 12 miles but I would do it again. I more than likely will do it again next year. Plus there is another race in another state park in the area I want to run. This was hike 29 in my 52 Hike Challenge Explorer Series.

Next blog is the park I have been waiting two years to get to in Arkansas.

Race the Base 4M

The last trail race of the year was at Pinnacle Mountain State Park in Little Rock, Arkansas. The morning of the race was freezing, really. The temperature was thirty degrees. The race only had one distance option so I was hoping not to come in last. I think there were more road runners on the course than trail runners. The runners seemed more aggressive on the trail and tended not to move to the right when a faster runner was passing. Plus it was the middle of fall and leaves were all over the trail. Leaves on the trail do two things, first they are slick and secondly they hide roots and rocks. They made the race very difficult because the course had more roots and rocks than any other trail race I had run. With all that being said the race was enjoyable and extremely scenic. The mountain was a nice sight and the parks in Arkansas are always nice. My time of 53:45:06 was not too bad considering they threw in a super steep and long hill at the end. The course was odd in the way it was flat but with only steep inclines and declines. I came in the bottom half overall, gender and age group but was not last. IMG_0934.JPG20171111_082716.jpg20171111_082502.jpgIMG_0745.JPGIMG_0747.JPG

I did like the run but will not do it again next year. I did like the fact that I got to hike Pinnacle Mountain, Hot Springs NP and Lake Catherine SP. I also like the race shirt and finisher’s cup.

I will back to blogging about my hikes. I have done six hikes so far. I have the 52 Hike Challenge Explorer Series. I have a great problem because five of the six hikes were so amazing that I cannot believe that I can find better places to hike.

Pinnacle Mountain State Park

 

I really need a good camera. I had another day of not great sun light. I digress, this is almost a part two of my first trip to Pinnacle Mountain State Park. I wanted to hike/climb to the summit at that time. I did not get a chance because of the crazy heat. The state park is located on the west side of Little Rock, AR. The mountain has four trails that go around and up and down the mountain. The rest of the park also has about four trails in which I had already hiked on my first trip. The summit trail is what I wanted to do and finally completed. I bonus on this trip is that I got to do a trail race on one of the trails around the base of the mountain. I will blog on that race later.

I had two options on trails to the summit. I took the relatively less difficult summit trail but they both looked equally strenuous.20171111_133406.jpg

I quickly found out that hiking in Arkansas is easy to follow but heed the warnings. I hiked the entire weekend without trail maps. I have a tendency to get lost but the trails are clearly marked and they have signs at every split in the trail.20171111_133633.jpg

As a bonus, they have trail markers that tell you where you are on the trail. It was nice to have the peace of mind not ever being lost. I was making decisions on what path to take depending on what I wanted to see. 20171111_144642.jpg

The hike itself was very strenuous and I had a great time getting to the summit. The only thing I did not like was that the trail was very crowded. This was the first time I had hiked on a trail that was this crowded. I usually see around ten people or less per hike. I saw around 100 people on this hike. It was hard to get pictures with all those people. I could not get a good one without people in the shot. I got to the summit and had such a feeling of accomplishment. I just wanted to yell but I would have scared the other twenty plus people already on the summit. I just soaked in the view took many pictures and headed back down the trail.20171111_141337.jpg20171111_135205.jpg20171111_141713.jpg

The pictures from the summit were nice but seeing it live was much better. I also got a little surprise on my way down the trail with a wish stump.20171111_145050.jpg

The hike was awesome and I need to get back to Arkansas and hike to some more summits.

The next blog is back at Lake Catherine SP for another summit.