Whenever we go on an overnight trip to a state park, we try to see what parks might be nearby or on the way. Sometimes we find a hidden gem that we make a point to visit again; other times, we find a place that isn’t exactly our cup of tea.
In April 2015, while spending a long weekend at Robbers Cave State Park in Wilburton, we decided to drive down to Talihina to visit Talimena State Park. This park is all about location, rather than amenities and activities; it mainly consists of picnic areas and RV and tent camping. However, the park is the gateway to the Talimena National Scenic Byway, a road that runs along the ridge line of the Winding Stair Mountains between Talihina and Mena, AR. It’s an amazing drive, especially during the fall. The park also features a trail head that will take you deep into the Ouachita National Forest for hiking and backpacking.
We visited Talimena on a rainy Friday afternoon. We were prepared for the weather, fortunately, and the thick forest canopy provided some cover as well. We hiked around and splashed in the puddles, then packed up and headed back to Wilburton. This park is a great jumping-off point for a nice drive or a challenging hike, and that’s the main reason we’ll probably come back some day.