Tanyard Creek

My adventures led me south today, just across the state line into Bella Vista, Arkansas. I have driven through this community many, many times unaware of a nearby nature walking trail, located just a mile from the center of town.

I explored the beautiful Tanyard Creek area, walking the 2.2 mile trail through woods, up and down hills, and along the meandering streams.

The day started off cool and overcast, and I dressed appropriately. By the end of the hike, which took approximately two hours, the sun had broken through the clouds and temps had climbed into the 50s. I was happy to shed my Mizzou hoodie and head band when we arrived back at the car.

Arkansas is known as the Natural State. With an abundance of conservation areas, rivers and lakes, the state is well deserving of the nickname.

This is Tanyard Creek.

The wide asphalt trail quickly turned into dirt, which I loved. At times the path narrowed so that we had to walk single file. And, I have to confess, more than once we lost the trail, with the heavy coverage of fallen leaves, and had to backtrack. And a couple of times, the trail became well placed rocks across a stream.

There were multiple bridges due to the many streams and creeks that crisscrossed the area. Near the end of the trail was a suspension bridge across the water. That one was fun to cross!

Tanyard Creek Trail has dozens of small signs, placed near the paths, identifying trees and plants and flowers. I really appreciated the info. Often, on a walk, I pause to wonder what kind of tree this is or what shrub that is. Today, I was informed. Some of the signs told bits of the area’s history, or identified ruins as an old farmhouse foundation or an ancient country road.

I love walking through the woods. Add water, in the form of lakes, ponds or rivers, and I experience deep bliss. The gurgling sound of brooks and streams or the splash of water pouring over ledges of rock are music to my ears and my soul.

Most of my photos from today’s walk have water in them.

I am grateful that my daughter Adriel and son-in-law Nate told me about these trails. The walking difficulty is moderate, and I did great, which is such an encouragement to me. This is the longest hike I’ve done during my challenge, and I marvel at what I can do now, that I could not accomplish in 2016. This daily walking is good for me, on so many levels.

Less than an hour from Joplin, Tanyard Creek is close enough to visit frequently and explore at different times of the year. I’ll be back!