Ponca, Arkansas is one of the most visited nature destinations in northwest Arkansas. And guess what? It’s right around the corner from Hare’s Hideout. Many people come to hike the local trails or to put in kayaks and canoes at the Buffalo River. During summer, the low-water bridge is a popular swimming hole. A lot of people go there to capture beautiful photographs. I go there to paint.
Photos from Ponca
One of my friends, Terry Stanfill, makes regular trips from his home in far northwest Arkansas to Boxley Valley and Ponca. Here’s a few of his photos.
If you’re on Instagram, you can follow the hashtag #poncaarkansas to see a lot more images of this local little hot spot for nature. while you’re there, follow @hareshideout, too! If you’re a photographer and you’d like to share one of your photos from Ponca on this page, email it to me and I’ll get it posted.
Plein air painting
I’m just beginning to learn the art of plein air painting and there’s nowhere better to set up an easel. Last week I went down to the low-water bridge at the Ponca access point. Since it was on a week day, it wasn’t crowded. In fact, I was the only one there. I started working on a watercolor of this scene. I didn’t get very far on it before I had to pack up and leave, but I’ll go back next week to finish up, or I’ll just finish using the photograph I took before I left.
How to get there
Ponca is on Hwy 43 between Boxley Valley and Compton. If you’re coming north from I-40, exit north on Hwy 21. Take a right on Hwy. 43 when you get to Boxley Valley. If you’re heading south on Hwy. 21 from Hwy. 412, go south through Kingston and pass the Hare’s Hideout entrance to go on down the hill into the river valley. Take a left on Hwy. 43.
You can also get here from Harrison if you take Hwy. 43 west out of Harrison. If you reach Hwy. 21, you went too far.
Here’s a map embed from Google. That’ll make it a lot easier.
Campground near Ponca
If you want to stay around for a little while, consider camping at Hare’s Hideout! We’re just back up Hwy. 21 going north toward Kingston. Literally, just around the corner. Of course, a block corner out here in the Ozarks might be a bit different than your usual city block. It’s all relative! But seriously. We’re only a few miles away.
About the Author
Madison Woods is a local artist who makes her watercolor paints from the Ozark rocks.