My absolute favorite place in Little Rock is at the top of Pinnacle Mountain. The peak rises a little over 1,000 feet, and it's about a 1.5-mile round-trip hike. I can be up and back in less than an hour if rushing to beat sundown, but I prefer to bring a book and my ipod and take a moment at the top instead.
(I love Arkansas' state parks network, so I'll take this opportunity to direct you to their site: http://www.arkansasstateparks.com/pinnaclemountain/
There are 52; we're not called the Natural State for nothing.)
The summit of Pinnacle has become my "me" place. I hike it alone, and when I'm there, I'm in my own, intentionally isolated world. Once up there, the placid water of Lake Maumelle glitters below, while the Arkansas River is visible nearby. (This, in fact, is the image on the front page of the blog.) The rest of the view is green pastures that look as soft as freshly mown grass. This place is a mere 10 or so miles west of Little Rock, but for me, it's my place outside the city and everything work-related, stress-related and just daily-life-related.
Hiking Pinnacle is always strenuous, which provides a sense of accomplishment that can last the whole day. It's the way I'd start every weekend if I could. It's rejuvenation for the week ahead. It's peace. It's quiet. Next to lying on a beach at the Kinneret, it's what I picture in mind's eye when I seek perfect calm. And though I typically savor my time there by myself, it's also the first place I take anyone who comes to visit. And it's one of the reasons that when they leave, Arkansas' beauty isn't such a hidden treasure anymore.
The one time I brought Clyde, my 11-year-old bichon frise. He was one tired pup.