From Smith Creek, we drove down the hill and into one of my favorite place in the state. Boxley Valley is just an amazing spot - there is a perfect combination of history, natural beauty, and wildlife. It's all located along what has to be the most interesting stretch of road in Arkansas.
I've been here dozens of times, but I never tire of stopping to take pictures of the old barns and homes that line the road through Boxley. Our first stop on this visit was the Edgmon barn, which was built around 1920.
The conditions were perfect too - the light rain had left some fog drifting through the valley, hugging the tops of the mountains. The light was perfect for taking a few more pictures...
A few cows, grazing in the fog:
And the same cows, with the old Boxley Church (built 1899) in the distance.
After that we drove over to the Lost Valley trailhead, just to see how things looked. The campground and trail at Lost Valley saw some significant damage after the floods. The wooden footbridge over Clark Creek was destroyed. The flood waters actually ripped the middle section of the bridge out, carrying it downstream a few hundred feet.
At the time we visited, Lost Valley was still open. People were camping there, and hikers were going in and out of the trail. But that wouldn't last for long, sadly. As of this writing, Lost Valley is closed until further notice. Along with the destroyed footbridge, there was considerable damage to the trail itself. According to the National Park Service, it's going to cost $250,000 to get everything back to normal. And to make matters worse, the Park Service is going to permanently close the campgrounds at Lost Valley. Hopefully the trails can be quickly rebuilt...