Painted Rocks, Superheroes & An Anonymous Artist Known Only As KH

Painted Rocks, Superheroes & An Anonymous Artist Known Only As “KH”

WARNING: Do not engage me in a debate about whether or not folks should leave/hide painted rocks on hiking trails. I’m not urging or condoning anybody to violate rules or laws within a State or National Park. If you think leaving painted rocks is a crime worthy of being beheaded, then just keep it to yourself. I find it great fun and very memorable. Besides, I’m not a stick-in-the-mud and have much bigger fish to fry when it comes to things that upset me. And since this is our podcast and website, I’m happy to offer you my point of view. Don’t like it? Then get your own podcast and website. 😉    -RC

There are over 30 miles of hiking trails inside Hot Springs, Village, Arkansas. There are 15 trails listed on this downloadable/printable map posted at One of my favorites is 3.1 miles – Cedar Creek Trail.

The last time my wife and I walked the trail – about a month ago – I was on my usual lookout for painted rocks. No, trails are not littered with painted rocks. Truth is, they’re a rare find for me. I’ve already been transparent in giving you my point of view.

Happily, I was surprised during our last hike of the Cedar Creek Trail. Easily spotted on the path about 1/4 mile in was the rock pictured above. How could you miss it?

It’s a great bit – painted rocks of superhero logos. I was jealous of both the artistry and the theme. I only know the artist by the initials on the back of the rock, KH. It was the first rock of a few. It weighs 2 pounds, 11 ounces, and measures 6″ x 4″ x 2.5″ – a load!

Thankfully, I had a small backpack carrying my phone, wallet, and car keys. I also brought it prepared to carry some rocks if I found any. I was not prepared to find 2-pound versions, but KH had a pretty clever bit. It wasn’t just the superhero logos, but it was using much larger rocks than any I had ever found in my past hiking adventures. The weight added to the fitness benefit of my hike on this particular day.

KH left a few more on the trail. I collected each of them. I photograph rocks where I find them, and often photograph them where I re-plant them. These, I’ve not yet replanted. In fact, I have two grandsons who were thrilled to look at them. I decided to let each of them pick one to keep. KH would be pleased. I think.

On our way back to the car, with only a few hundred yards of trail remaining (and with a full backpack of KH artistry), I spotted another one and said to my wife, “KH, you’re killing me. These beggars are heavy.

I don’t know who KH is. And I certainly would not do anything to bring trouble to KH.

KH, I appreciate your creativity. And you made a couple of my hikes very memorable. You also delighted two boys ages 6 and 8 who now admire your work every day as they look at the rocks proudly displayed in their room here in Dallas/Ft. Worth. They’ve never been to Hot Springs Village, Arkansas (yet), but they each own a rock they know was collected there.

So thank you, KH. Well done. Feel free to reveal yourself if you dare. Email me. Your secret is safe with me. So are your rocks!

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