Hiking in Hot Springs National Park

During our visit to Hot Springs, Arkansas in early February 2024, we went for a hike on some of the trails of Hot Springs National Park. Our hike was actually a bit unplanned. We knew we wanted to try to find some trails, but we came upon them in an unexpected way.

Once we had checked in and put our stuff in our hotel room at the Arlington Hotel, we were going to go look around the hotel and then walk down the street. Laura looked down to the far end of the hallway where our room was, which was on the 7th floor, and said, “That looks like the pool!” So we walked to the end of the hall, and sure enough, there was a walkway to the pool, which was built into the side of the mountain behind the hotel. Once we got out there, I said, “Those look like trails!” So we walked on past the pool, and we suddenly found ourselves on the trails of Hot Springs National Park, as the park land is just behind the Arlington Hotel.

The sun was going to be setting in about 30 to 45 minutes, so we knew that we did not have all that long. But we also knew that rain was in the forecast for the next day, so that this might be our only chance to hike. So off we went along the trails. Here is some of what we saw.

Hiking the trails of Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas

Off we go! Fortunately, it was a warm day out, especially for early February, so that we did not need coats. And fortunately, I had brought my camera with me because I thought I was about to take photos of the Arlington Hotel lobby.

Hiking the trails of Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas

The trail looks pretty steep in this photo, but it was not too much of a climb. It did get our heart rates up some, but it was not anything that we could not handle.

Hiking the trails of Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas

Looking back behind us, we could see the Arlington Hotel through the trees. And you can also see one of the pools here, too. There was an upper pool, which was deeper, and a lower pool, which was shallower. There was also a hot tub out there, too. The pools were empty, having been drained for the winter. The hot tub had water in it, and people, too.

Hiking the trails of Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas

Because it was early February, there were not many leaves on the trees, except for some evergreens here and there. There were, however, lots of leaves on the ground. We were hoping that there were no snakes hiding in those leaves.

Hiking the trails of Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas

How can you not pause for a photo as you are hiking? We stopped for a photo every now and then. And just maybe it was a stop to catch my breath, too. But we have done steeper climbs before, and this one was not that bad.

Hiking the trails of Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas

The trail diverged in a few places, with some signs giving a bit of guidance. Even with the signs, we did not know for certain which trail we might need. Fortunately, there was enough cell phone service that I could pull up the map on my phone and zoom in to see the trails to figure out which way we needed to go.

Hiking the trails of Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas

It was nice to see the sun! We had been through some snow back home in recent weeks, and we knew that rain was on the way, so we enjoyed the sunlight that we got.

Hiking the trails of Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas

As we went up the mountain, we could look down into the valleys below us, and we could also see other mountain ridges off in the distance. Isn’t nature cool?

Hiking the trails of Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas

Every time it looked like we were at the top, the trail would turn and keep going up. Not that we minded, it was just a bit deceptive as to where we were on the mountain.

Hiking the trails of Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas

We finally did reach the top, and then we started back down. Again, it was not a very steep descent, which is a good thing. And some of the different trails ended up making a big loop back to the hotel, once I figured out from my phone which trails to take.

Hiking the trails of Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas

One more photo of Laura as the sun was setting and as we were nearing the end.

Hiking the trails of Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas

One last look through the trees before we got back to the hotel. We made it back before it got dark, which was a good thing. And there were still people in the hot tub when we went back by it. I hope they did not get too cold getting back to the hotel!

It is always fun to be able to say you hiked in a national park, and we were glad for this opportunity, especially when their forecast of heavy rain for the next day proved to be true. And we are looking forward to going back to Hot Springs and trying out some of the other trails sometime in the future!

Find Things You Love to Do Together

One suggestion you often hear for married couples is to find something you love to do together and then make time to do that. In fact, that was one of the points mentioned at the marriage seminar that we were in Hot Springs for.

Laura and I have lots of things that we like to do together. Hiking in the woods is definitely one of them. We have hiking shoes that we did not change into before this hike because it was unplanned. Laura gave me some hiking poles for Christmas, and I gave her some for Valentine’s Day, so we will have those for future hikes. Whenever we get a chance, we try to find some trails that are not that far from home to go for a hike.

There are other things that we like to do together, too. Going to the beach, going to museums, watching movies, eating, and the list goes on and on. Sometimes life gets us busy, and we don’t have as much time to do those fun together things as we would like, so we try to enjoy them whenever we get to do them. And we do what we can do to set aside times for them whenever it works out, too. Sometimes, the activity that we have planned does not work out exactly like we thought it would, but we still enjoy the time that we get to spend together, and we cross that activity off our list and plan something different for the next time.

One great way you can love one another in your marriage is to do things together that you both enjoy. It will always be worth the effort!

Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11

Love One Another

About the Photos

Yes, there are lots of photos in this post. Yes, some of them look a little similar to others. Yes, I don’t mind that at all. Yes, I did take other photos that I did not include here.

Also, the first photo was actually the last one that I took during our hike. But I thought it served as a good introductory photo, so I put it first.

Photo: Each photo is A single Raw exposure, processed in Raw Therapee and GIMP.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Rokinon 35mm f/1.8
Date: February 2, 2024
Location: Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas


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About Burnsland
Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.