If you're looking for an end-of-days setting for your next movie shoot, try Gillam Park. Still officially listed among the Little Rock Parks Department's offerings, but currently leased by Arkansas Audubon, this southeast Little Rock park is all but closed for most park activity. A gate blocks vehicular entrance to a paved drive that leads to an abandoned swimming pool, basketball court and extended green space. But hikers and bikers are still welcome. Park outside the gate and follow a paved walking trail past the pool into a wooded area. If you stay straight, after about a half a mile, you'll find an oxbow lake created by Fourche Creek that's prime birding territory. The trail is paved or covered by gravel to the lake. Beyond the lake and on a spur trail that goes upland, it's a little more wild. Look out for snakes and ticks. And bring a buddy. It can get lonely.
Who says you have to trek up to Northwest Arkansas to find good hiking in Arkansas? In 10 minutes or less, all Little Rockers and North Little Rockers can get to an urban trail that'll put them in a natural state of mind.