I decided at the last-minute I would do some research on Millwood State Park and their hiking trails. My son and I had planned on a hike since Sunday the week before. Here it is 8:30 in the evening and I am reviewing information on Millwood trails. Okay, both trails are rated easy so that’s good news. We haven’t been hiking in a while and usually we go to the hiking in Texas State Parks. So, the trails at Millwood Park in Arkansas will be a new adventure.
The Waterfowl trail is 1.6 miles long and the Wildlife Lane Nature Trail is 4 miles long but still rated easy. I’m thinking the Wildlife Nature Trail, we can do four miles no problem. Of course, you know how it is you are positive that it will be no problem and the bottom falls out. But because of past experiences I try to call the State parks before going to make sure the trails are open. Since it is 8:30 the night before there will be no calling. So when my son arrived at 6am for us to leave I tell him about Millwood State Park and their trails and ask him what he thinks. He says, “Sure, let’s give it a try.” Apparently, we are looking for adventure not surety.
And so, our story begins, we carried plenty of water and Gatorade and we also remembered the bug spray, this is a good start. We drove to Saratoga, AR (Millwood State Park). Stopped by the park rangers station to ask about the trails and where there entrances were located. One of the rangers told us that there is water covering parts of the trail but we could skirt it and still make the hike. He told us that we caught it just in time, once the water level rises a half-foot more they would be closing the trails. The other ranger showed us where the trails entrances were. Fortunately, both trails begin at the same place.
We drive to the lot for the trails and park, by the way there is no fee for the hiking trails. As we gather our drinks and cell phones we notice how quiet the area is. No one else is around. We could hear the birds chirping and the leaves rustling from the wind. Once we got on the trail we realized just how wet it really was. we got about a quarter of a mile in and heard, then spotted two deer running through the trees. We startled them as much as they did us. As we continued the ground was getting a lot softer and puddles of water were everywhere. We thought it might dry up some a little further ahead. Of course, we weren’t that lucky the trail pretty much disappeared under water. We still tried to continue by skirting around the trail. But once my son’s foot disappeared under leaves and water we decided the shorter trail sounded a lot better.
Enjoy The Scenery But Be Aware
And off we went to Waterfowl Lane. The wind blowing through the trees was the only sound, but a lot tiny frogs captured our attention. As we followed the winding trail beside the lake we seen a white-water bird. Shortly after we seen the white-water bird we heard a huge splash. As we took this into consideration and recalling that Millwood Lake is known for Alligators our alertness doubled. We walked further away from the lake and kept an eye on the area behind us. No we didn’t see an alligator, and believe me we were okay with that. Before we finished our hike we did see three more deer.
As we wrapped up our adventure, we recalled our last-minute decision of where to go. Checking in with the park rangers. Our up close and personal experience with nature; deer, birds, tiny frogs, and potential alligator. We can say we enjoyed our time at Millwood State Park and will go again.
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Contact Millwood State Park Rangers Office before trying to go in.
Contact Millwood State Park
Phone: 870-898-2800 or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
From junction I-30 and U.S. 71 at Texarkana, travel about 19 miles north on U.S. 71 to Ashdown, then go nine miles east on AR 32.