Hiking to Granny Henderson’s House


We had an unusual break in the Arkansas heat and made a quick hike to Granny Henderson’s house just below Goat Bluff on the Buffalo River. Steve, Eddie, and I were looking forward to the hike up and out to check our fitness level for future trips. It’s a pretty tough climb, but the rewards for going down are great. The hike back up gave us confidence that we’re in pretty decent shape for elder hikers.


I’ve hiked to Granny Henderson’s many times but was excited to see it again. I ended up noticing a few things I’d not seen before.

The most obvious difference was the season. We would normally hike this trail any time other than summer. Rains had been good, so everything was a rich, lush green.

From inside the house, you can see the stone root cellar a few yards to the rear. The roof is long gone, but the rock walls still stand.

We parked our day packs on the porch for lunch and some quick exploring. I went to the attic for a close look at some of the newspapers used as insulating wallpaper. An ad for a 1927 Chrysler 50 for $750 was still visible as well as a milking machine.



The wood-burning stove still stands close to the brick chimney along with a rusted out iron pan.


IMG_7720rrThis little moth visited on the front porch during lunch. We enjoyed the vivid colors.

I paused for one more glance back at Granny Henderson’s house, thinking of the lady who lived here alone from 1951, when her husband died, to 1979.


From here, it was all uphill, literally. We took a break at the Goat Bluff Trail and enjoyed the view down to the Buffalo River.


I couldn’t resist the urge to crawl through the small hole in the bluff where I’m sure children, and adults, have easily passed through for years.


Our hike back to the Center Point Trailhead felt good. We were pleased we went down in the morning as we met around eighteen hikers heading down to where we’d been. We had Granny Henderson’s house to ourselves, which is unusual.

IMG_4354rrI’m looking forward to visiting again in the fall. If you’d like a map and trail description, check out my guidebook, Five Star Trails: The Ozarks. It covers what we hiked on this trip as well as Hemmed In Hollow Falls for an 11-mile round trip.

If you’d like to learn more about Granny Henderson, the following video includes comments from her great-granddaughter, Marietta Williams. After that is a link to a song by Still on the Hill that relates to Granny Henderson.


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