Arkansas Nature January 21, 2017
These 9 Arkansas Wonders Look Man Made, But They’re All Natural
It’s kind of ridiculous that we say there are seven wonders of the world. The world is full of wonders, and a lot of those wonders are right here in the Natural State. Below you’ll find nine wonders, but there’s something extra-extraordinary about all of them. You see, these natural wonders all look like they were created by human ingenuity—but really they’re all natural features of the Natural State.
1. Natural Dam
This perfect dam spans the entire width of Mountain Fork Creek, making it look like it was engineered and built by human hands. In fact, it just happened to form that way. In periods of heavy rain this totally naturally occurring dam becomes a spectacular waterfall. You can find it north of Van Buren on Highway 59.
2. Natural Bridge of Arkansas
The Natural Bridge of Arkansas looks like someone built a solid stone bridge and placed it in the forest, but no human designed this stunning natural arch. This natural bridge is in a privately owned park with paved pathways located in Eureka Springs, a park it shares with Pivot Rock, the next item on this list.
3. Pivot Rock
Located in the same park as Natural Bridge of Arkansas in Eureka Springs, this stone landmark looks just like someone carefully balanced an upside-down boulder, doesn’t it? Surely some genius got the rock to balance like that, right? It’s a feat of engineering? Nope. This formation is an all natural feature of the Ozarks that you can see by driving to Pivot Rock Road in Eureka Springs.
4. Alum Cove Natural Bridge
Okay, so mankind did have a little something to do with the railing on Alum Cove’s Natural Bridge, but the bridge itself? It’s totally natural. This bridge is the result of a combination of elements and a lot of time. It spans 130 feet and is 20 feet wide, which probably why early settlers used the Alum Cove Natural Bridge as an actual bridge. You’ll find the trail Alum Cove Natural Bridge Geologic Area near Jasper.
5. Pedestal Rocks
Located at Pedestal Rocks Scenic Area, these gigantic gravity-defying formations look like someone put a lot of energy into making them balance. On the contrary, these enormous formations are not the product of man hours, they’re the product of lots and lots of time. Pedestal Rocks Scenic Area can be found on AR-16 near Witts Springs.
6. Turtle Rocks
You’ll find Turtle Rocks at Petit Jean State Park. It appears that someone has carefully sculpted turtle shells along Seven Hollows Trail, but they’ve actually been sculpted by nature. Petit Jean State Park is located at 1285 Petit Jean Mountain Road in Morrilton.
7. Indian Rockhouse Cave
To me it looks like someone decided to live inside the mountain at the Indian Rockhouse and then carved a perfect entry into the forest, but it’s actually the opposite. Native Americans found this perfect, livable cave and moved in there. The trailhead to Indian Rockhouse Trail is located in the Buffalo National River area at Buffalo Point.
8. Natural Bathtub
Located on the trail to Indian Rockhouse Cave you’ll find a natural bathtub. It’s called a natural bathtub not just because it looks exactly like a custom made bathtub with a stream conveniently pouring into it—but also because archaeological evidence suggests it was used as a bathtub by the Native American tribes that lived in nearby Indian Rockhouse Cave.
9. Painted Bluffs along the Buffalo National River
Sure, it looks like someone dripped paint down these bluffs, but that’s not what happened. There’s a fairly long explanation about it that would be better told by a geologist. It all has to do with manganese oxide and sandstone. You can find these painted bluffs along the upper portion of the Buffalo National River.
If you want to explore Arkansas’s natural wonders,
you’ll want to take this road trip. You’ll also want to see this list of Arkansas oddities and this list of natural wonders you can see from your car.