Hey loves to get this section underway, I decided to go local and take you to one of my favorite places in the small town of Mena, AR a.k.a. Home.
You have probably never heard of it, much less know where is located but let me tell you that even though Mena is a small town in the middle of nowhere, is one of the most beautiful places in the state of Arkansas.
With 5,723 population and connected by highway 71, Mena is the home of Rich Mountain the second highest peak in the state of Arkansas with a height of 2,681 ft. As part of the Ouachita Mountains family, Rich Mountain has served as the host to the Queen Wilhelmina State Park and Resort for more than 100 years.
Queen Wilhelmina State Park, the original "Castle in the Sky", was born with the idea to give a place to rest to the passengers who were traveling through the new KCPG (Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf) railroad route in 1898. Proposed by Dutch investors along with the Kansas Railroad Vice President, Arthur Stilwell, this hostelry came alive after the construction did not spare extra expense on the making of the new railroad. Rich Mountain then became the perfect home for the resort due to its flat land, panoramic views, and its impressive foliage growth around the peak.
With a luxurious Victorian flare, the resort was named after the young Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands to honored her after her crowning in that same year. The resort provided a suite in her name in hopes she would visit the hostelry, sadly history says that she never did. After many years and some economic problems, the hostelry fell apart and in ruins. But It wasn't until the 1950s after the World War ll madness ended that the tourism industry came back to live, and that's when State Senator Landers Morrow along with other community leaders decided to make Queen Wilhelmina a state park.
After four years and a $3 million renovation in 2015 Queen Wilhelmina State Park looks better than ever. New suites for guests, a full-time restaurant, campgrounds, a modern bathhouse, an amphitheater, hiking trails, playgrounds, a seasonal miniature train and mini-golf makes this new establishment the best place to give yourself a well deserved vacation surrounded for what Arkansas is known for, Nature.
Click here for more information about the Resort and how you can book your weekend getaway in Arkansas's second highest peak.
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Till the next adventure!
PC: Lesly Zavala Photography