Winter is my favorite time to hike the almost-5-mile-long Seven Hollows Trail at Petit Jean State Park – mostly because during leaf-off you can really see the shape of the hollows and bluffs that erosion has carved into this landscape over the centuries (but also because it’s cooler and the bugs are gone!) This Natural Arch (or Bridge) is one of the spectacular features on this trail – and it’s believed that it may have spanned the entire hollow at one time, since you can see huge blocks of the same stone laying in this hollow as if they had fallen there. (Again, you can see this much better in Winter … and more …)
Seven Hollows is the trail where you’ll find the unusual “Grotto” – a somewhat rugged side-trip you can make. But there’s no end to the fascinating geology you’ll pass over and through on this trail – like this whimsical “Heart of Stone” that you can find right at your feet if you know where to look!
This lithic needle-in-a-haystack can be found specifically at N35 06.446 W92 56.685 – or better yet, just download my GPX file (zipped) of the whole trail with several POI’s marked including this Heart, the Arch, Grotto, Trailheads/Crossings, and the complete hiking track : 7-Hollows-TR-Petit-Jean-AR-GPX
If you need to convert this GPX file to different formats, try GPSBable.
Note that this file is provided with no warranty as to it’s usefulness and you will be using it at your own risk – but it was recorded under optimum conditions with a hand-held Garmin and matches known coordinates to a high-degree. (If you use MapSource or another product that can use Garmin Maps, I highly recommend this free AR topo map to use with it … it’s better than the high-$$$ ones!)
Likewise, you should use caution if you plan to hike the Seven Hollows Trail… It describes a rough oval running north-to-south and the upper (beginning & ending) sections of the trail are relatively level and easy to walk – but the lower (southern) sections of the trail become very steep and rugged in places. Good hiking boots are a must, and a walking stick wouldn’t hurt. Give yourself plenty of time, be careful and watch your step – especially on mossy and wet rocks. Keep a good eye on kids and don’t let them go running-wild, because there’s too many high places they could go tumbling from…