Internet Articles Used for Day of Discovery


 House on the Ricks Estate (Fordyce)

Photos courtesy of Rodney Harrell


One of the local citizens of Hot Springs decided to find some of the many extraordinary places revealed through these Internet articles on the  web page.  Rodney Harrell decided to discover for himself the sites that make Hot Springs a very unusual place.  His wife was out of town one weekend, so Rodney got his map and headed out.  Here is what he wrote:

Dr. Rando,


I really enjoyed your articles about Hot Springs History.  In fact I enjoyed them so much I decided to take a weekend excursion and see what I could find.  Armed with your articles, an Arkansas Atlas & Gazetteer, and a good pair of hiking boots I set out.


 I started my trip by going to 3 Sisters Fountain.  It was very easy to find as it is in Lake Ouachita State Park and they have signs pointing you to it.  I don't think anyone would want to drink the water now, as all of the springs are full of leaf litter.  It was still neat to see 3 springs coming up so close together and it only cost me a little drive time.


Present Day Three Sisters Springs


My next stop was at the old Fordyce home and their hydroelectric mill.  Since I am a mechanical engineer, I was very intrigued by the mill and all of its machinery.  However it could really use a good restoration project.  This site is also very easy to find and you can park on the side of the road right beside it.  The old house that is on top of the hill is occupied and I think it is private property so I didn't venture up there. 


Fordyce Hydroelectric Mill


My third stop was Hell's Half Acre.  I followed the directions given by one of your previous readers and that got me very close.  I would add to their directions the following:  When you get to the top of the mountain (Indian Mountain) where the road splits, do not go right which leads up to the water tower.  Turn left and go about 50 yards, park and walk over to the south side of the mountain.  Climb down for about 1/4 mile and you will be there.  Be careful which trees you hold on to going down because there are a few thorn trees (I found out the hard way).  This place is as desolate as your article described and the rocks do make strange noises as you walk on them.

Approaching Hell's Half Acre



Hell's Half Acre with Screaming Rocks

Fourth on the list was Indian Mountain, which was much easier to get to than Hell's Half Acre.  I parked at Gulpha Gorge Park and walked across the road from the campground to the trail.  There were fallen trees on the trail but only for the first 20 or 30 yards.  After that it was an easy half-mile walk up a gently sloping trail to the old mines.  The trail splits just before you get to the mines and you should go right. 

Indian Mountain Mines

The mines consist of several (20+) pits that are dug into a vein of Novaculite over about a mile stretch.  Most are filled with water and leaves.  There are also large piles of discarded chips that are easy to spot.  The trail pretty much ends when the mines begin so it is pretty tough hiking to get to the end (or beginning) of the mines.  There is a power line cutting across the mines about 2/3 of the way along them.

 I have attached some of my better photos I took along the way.

 Enjoy, Rodney Harrell

All photos are courtesy of Mr. Harrell.  Our Internet articles can make for a great day of adventure.  If you make a great discovery, let us hear from you.  Click my signature below and drop me a note!

Dr. Rando PhD of Wit


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