|A bucket list for the 501|
|Monday, 20 February 2017|
Story and photos
If you love traveling but you don’t have a huge budget, here are five places to add to your 501 travel bucket list. They are amazing places in the 501 that are not too far from home.
Always on my list is visiting Magness Lake to see the wintering trumpeter swans. They are there from Thanksgiving to around the first of March each year. They return each year from their summer breeding habitat to winter on the 30-acre lake east of Heber Springs. The best time of day to see the swans is in the mid-afternoon to sunset. During the day, they are in the surrounding area, feeding.
Magness Lake is on Arkansas Highway 110 from its intersection with Arkansas highways 5 and 25 just east of Heber Springs. Go 3.9 miles from the intersection to Sovereign Grace Baptist Church, marked with a white sign. Turn left on paved Hays Road; the road sign is very small. Magness Lake is about a half-mile down Hays Road. You can view the swans from a public road, with parking space available in an S curve of the road.
How about a trip to Wye Mountain in Perry County? Early spring is the best time for viewing the daffodils. Kids of all ages will love running and walking among the thousands of daffodils. Consider taking a picnic. To get to Wye Mountain, take Arkansas Highway 113, north of Arkansas Highway 10.
Another spot that offers a lovely time is the Old Mill at T.R. Pugh Memorial Park in North Little Rock. The mill is an authentic reproduction of an old water-powered grist mill. The landscaping surrounding the Old Mill is beautiful. Spring brings on a colorful display of dogwoods and azaleas.
The Old Mill was the location of the opening scene of the classic 1939 film “Gone with the Wind.” According to the North Little Rock Parks and Tourism, it is believed to be the only building remaining from the film. The Mill was built in 1933. It was designed to look old so it would appear as if it was built in the 1800s. The park is decorated with sculptures of toadstools, tree stumps and a tree branch-entwined bridge. There are lots of foot bridges and paths. The Old Mill is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is located at 800 Lakeshore Drive.
If you are a history buff, then a must-see is the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, located at 1200 President Clinton Ave. in Little Rock. Museum hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. It is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. In the event of bad weather, check the web site.
The museum has a few days a year that there is free admission: Presidents Day, Fourth of July, the Saturday before President Clinton’s birthday, the Saturday before the Library’s grand opening anniversary and on Veterans Day. All active and retired military and their families receive free admission in honor of their service.
Housed at the Library are permanent and temporary exhibits. The permanent exhibits tell the story of the Clinton presidency. Gifts given to Clinton during his presidency are also on display.
My last suggestion is a fishing trip. Equipment doesn’t have to be expensive. Grab a cane pole and a bag of worms. The 501 offers miles of fishable creeks, rivers, sloughs and lakes to dip your pole. Not only are there a variety of freshwater fish species available but there is world class trout fishing in the 501 area code. A fishing license is required and if you are going trout fishing you must have a trout stamp. Visit the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission website for all the rules and regulations.
It will not be long until the weather improves and the travel bug will bite, so start planning a 501 travel bucket list trip. Put a little gas in the car and set out for an adventure in the 501.