Take a Hike: Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park

"I like the quietness and peaceful sounds of trees as they rock back and forth when the wind blows through them."

Oscar Martinez

Name: Oscar Martinez

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Currently Lives In: Prairie Grove, Arkansas

Occupation: Continuous Improvement Manager

Favorite Outdoor Space: Great Smoky Mountains / Chattahoochee National Forest

What’s one outdoor place you want to explore, but haven’t yet?  

Definitely the Ozark National Forest

What do you enjoy about the outdoors?

I like the quietness and peaceful sounds of trees as they rock back and forth when the wind blows through them, the beautiful sounds of birds singing to each other, floating/kayaking in a river and hearing the sounds of water splashing on rocks. Most of all, I love the different shades and tints of orange, red and yellow emitted by the trees during the fall season, which give such inspiration and beautifulness. 

What’s your favorite outdoor activity?

I love swimming on a lake or river especially during hot day

What’s your earliest memory of spending time in nature?

When I was 9 years old during a hike, three members of my family and myself got lost in a forest for about half a day in a small town name Tomatoya, which is part of Jinotega, a state in Nicaragua. Even though my understanding was that we were having fun at the moment, I remember passing through rivers where the water was so calm and clear that I could see all leaves, sticks and rocks at the bottom of river. I remember it was a cloudy, rainy day in this tropical forest where I could see the clouds falling into the hills where you can almost touch them.

As we walked on the trail I also remember the vivid shade of green color from the trees. just like a tropical forest would resemble. The funny anecdote during the hike was finding banana and mandarin trees along the way which kept us fed as we looked for familiar grounds.


Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park
Courtesy: Arkansas State Parks

Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park is known as one of America’s most intact Civil War battlefields, according to Arkansas State Parks. With more than 900 acres, this park commemorates the site of the Battle of Prairie Grove, where on December 7, 1862, Confederate and Union forces clashed in a day of fighting that resulted in 2,700 casualties. The Union won this battle, which marked the last major Civil War engagement in Northwest Arkansas.

The park offers walking and driving tours, programs, and weekend events. At the Hindman Hall Museum, artifacts recovered from the battle are displayed. Admission to the museum is free. Arkansas’s largest Civil War battle re-enactment takes place here biennially (even-numbered years) the first weekend in December.

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