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Happy Trails this Summer

by Madelyn McConnell

Summer is heating up, and we’re ready to soak up the sun! But don’t just laze by the pool this summer (though that sounds pretty nice, too); it is a great time to get outside and enjoy nature. 

In honor of the start of the season, we here at Grand Savings Bank are hitting the trails. Whether you are a committed hiker or you’re just looking for a breath of fresh air, our region boasts plenty of beautiful trails to enjoy. We’ve picked a few of our favorites that are just a short drive from our GSB communities.

Lost Valley Trail – Ponca, AR

Lost Valley is the most popular trail in the Buffalo National River park–and for a good reason! A short, kid-friendly hike, Lost Valley has multiple incredible rock features to explore. Bring a flashlight if you’re feeling adventurous; the trail culminates in a 200-foot cave, though you’ll need some agility–and humility–to spelunk in this one.

Devil’s Den Trail – Winslow, AR

Devil’s Den State Park has multiple trails to enjoy on foot, bike or horseback. The Devil’s Den Self-Guided Trail is the most popular, featuring everything an Ozark hiker could want. It has rock formations, springs and waterfalls, just to name a few attractions. We also recommend checking out the less-traveled Yellow Rock Trail, as well. It ends in a beautiful overlook of the valley below, but be prepared for an uphill climb!

Ankle Express Trail at Greenleaf State Park – Braggs, OK

Greenleaf State Park is family-friendly with many amenities to enjoy. The Ankle Express Trail is one attraction not to miss. With views of the lake and forest, you’ll get the best of both worlds. The most exciting feature is a picturesque swinging rope bridge. Get ready to (hold on) and say cheese for this photo opp. 

Robber’s Cave State Park – Wilburton, OK

The Robber’s Cave Trail is the shortest trail on our list at just .5 miles, but it is a must-see. In southeast Oklahoma’s San Bois Mountains, it contains several large rock features, including the namesake Robber’s Cave. As the story goes, bandits Belle Starr and Jesse James used this spot as a hideout in the 1880s. Though it’s unclear whether these stories are true, we recommend reading up on the history before your visit

In the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life, it’s easy to forget how lucky we are to live near a wealth of outdoor opportunities. The natural beauty in our communities is an essential part of what makes them so grand!

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