Years ago–back in the early ’90s when I was living in Ft. Smith, Ark., helping organize a Women Build house for the local Habitat for Humanity–I went hiking many weekends with three wonderful women friends.
One of our favorite northwest Arkansas day hike destinations was White Rock Mountain in the Ozark National Forest. (Read more about it below.)
During the summer we would strike out early on a Saturday morning, driving the 50-mile trip before the heat and humidity reached the sweltering point.
After our hike, we would ALWAYS drive through Alma, just off I-40 on US 71. It was known as the ‘Spinach Capital of the World,’ but much more important, especially on a hot day, was that Alma is home to a Braum’s Ice Cream shop, 129 US Hwy 71 North. Open daily at 6 a.m. to 10:45 p.m.
While my favorite after-hike treat is a thick chocolate milkshake, there is a huge selection of scooped ice creams, sundaes, sodas and floats. Braum’s, a family-owned chain of more than 280 ice cream and dairy product outlets, can only be found in the country’s heartland of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas.
For more about the World’s Largest Can of Spinach and Alma’s Popeye Park, click on this link to RVShortStops.com.
Now, getting back to White Rock Mountain: It’s rim sits at about 2,260 feet which presents incredible 360-degree scenic views. White Rock Mountain is the hub of several National Forest hiking trail systems including the easy 1.9 mile Rim Loop Trail around the mountaintop (great for sunsets and sunrises), the moderate-difficult 13 mile Shores Lake Loop Trail, and the renowned Ozark Highlands Trail.
White Rock Mountain offers 9 primitive family camping sites. Small RVs or pop-up campers can fit in a few of the shaded sites. Access to restrooms and water. For more camping information on camping click here.
Photo: World’s Largest Spinach Can (Stephanie Geckle). Bottom: Panoramic view of Sunset Shelter from the White Mountain Rim Trail. (Mike Newman/Arklahoma Hiker)