When Mother Nature’s critically acclaimed performance of changing leaves of green to gold, crimson, burgundy, tangerine and all colors of the autumnal spectrum has concluded and the leaves like her curtain have fallen, in Eureka Springs the show is not over. For here, in the midst of the Arkansas Ozarks, this iconic historic village unveils her “discovery days”. For when this cavalcade of color drifts down from its hardwood canopy, the hidden hillsides expose a whole new level of charm, architecture and mystery. Easily said, there is much more to see with no leaves on a tree.
“Being a town that was literally nearly totally built in the mid- to late-nineteenth century, the vast majority of our homes and buildings are more than a century old,” stated Jack Moyer, a historic architecture buff. “As a general manager of two historic hotels, one that is 110 years old the other 129, architectural style and design of the era are easy to fall in love with.
“But most of our homes and buildings were constructed in a time when basically our two mountains were clear cut. This means that our new, century old tree stand has hidden these structures even though most are located just a block or so off the main downtown streets. So as the leaves fall, these interesting structures begin to magically pop out for public view.”
Moyer further explained that Eureka Springs’ historic downtown area is crisscrossed with urban trails. “Our trails are easy to get to and easy to traverse. For throughout the years, many of Eureka’s original horse and foot traffic pathways have remained unpaved. This has produced an instant myriad of interesting trails along limestone bluffs, and past century-old homes and buildings not often seen. Numerous foundations of buildings long gone can also be discovered along these pedestrian routes over ‘hills-n-hollers’.”
Moyer wanted to emphasize that most are casual trails -easy to moderate- perfect for everyday hikers. This profusion of routes will lead ramblers up the “hill” where the iconic 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa sits and down to the downtown “holler” that features shops, galleries, restaurants and bistros. Challenging to difficult trails lead more aggressive hikers to still-operational WPA projects like the dam at Black Bass Lake and a similar structure at Lake Leatherwood which includes a waterfall.
In conclusion Moyer said, “One more thing that only the astute traveler takes note of is the fact that the beautiful, colorful leaves that once hung from tree limbs can still be seen but now they are on the ground, many maintaining their color for weeks once grounded. That is why during our discovery days, days that last well into late November, we encourage our visitors to enjoy not only our hidden architectural treasures but also our fallen colors that are always accompanied by fallen room rates.”
For more information on things to do and fallen room rates, go to EurekaSpringsOnline.com.