Cove Lake Loop

The Cove Lake Loop makes its way around the lake in the Cove Lake Recreation Area a couple miles north of Mt Magazine.  The length is either 2.9 or 3.5 miles, depending on whether you take the longer route via Lookout Window (which I did).  It appears in the upper right corner of this topo map.

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Mount Magazine – Dripping Spring Trail

Mount Magazine’s Dripping Spring Trail begins at the end of the road in the Brown’s Spring campground and runs about 2 miles along the north rim before intersecting Tower Road near the west end of the plateau.  I suspect it’s the least-used of the trails, perhaps because it doesn’t appear in any park brochures or trail guides (that I’ve seen), or maybe it’s because the park officially calls it a fire break.  The visitor center does have a separate write-up if you ask for it.

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Lake Sylvia Loop

The Lake Sylvia Loop is a 4.1 mile trail in the Lake Sylvia Recreation Area a bit south of Perryville, Ark.  It is mostly out in the woods, with only a short segment anywhere close to the lake.  The southern 1.25 miles of the loop are shared with the Ouachita Trail.

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Petit Jean State Park – Cedar Creek, Cedar Falls, Canyon, and Bear Cave Trails

This is a summary of 2 recent trips to Petit Jean State Park to hike some trails I didn’t cover on the first visit, plus a bit of volunteer work.

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Sam’s Throne

No, not a Walmart story!  Sam’s Throne is basically a rocky knob on the east side of the Big Creek valley.  It has sheer bluffs on all sides that are probably 40-60′ high and has some great views in all directions.  It’s south of Mt Judea (pronounced “judy”), Ark on the west side of AR 123.    The short story behind the name is that a while back some guy named Sam would climb up there to yell biblical stuff at his lucky neighbors in the valley below.

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Mount Magazine trails

Mount Magazine State Park features a collection of trails that encircle much of the rim and are interconnected so you can arrange a hike of varying lengths.  The best for scenic vistas is the Benefield East Loop with the North Rim a runner-up.  For a nice walk in the woods, they’re all good.

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Petit Jean State Park – Seven Hollows Trail and other attractions

Petit Jean State Park – Arkansas’ first state park and widely considered its crown jewel – is about 25 miles south east of Russellville.  It’s close enough to me now and has enough trail mileage that I’m sure it will be a regular destination when I need to get out and stretch the legs and don’t have something else planned.

The main target for me today was the 4.5-mile Seven Hollows Trail.  Tim Ernst says it’s one of his favorites and many others have praised it as well.  There are several other nice trails there too and they interconnect so you can arrange an all-day hike if you want.

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Buffalo River trail building – Fall 2014 kickoff

The trail building camp moves to the South Maumee campground this fall to fill some gaps west of that area.  Work begins October 13 and is expected to continue through November 14.

We had a very productive spring session – building about 3.6 miles of trail, which is about 50% more than had previously been done each year.  I think the latest estimate was that about 4.5 miles of tread still need to be cut so perhaps the spring ’15 session will close the final gaps to complete the 41-mile trail from the Wollum Ford to Dillard’s Ferry.

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A Wet Week in the Weminuche Wilderness, or A Soggy San Juans Story

The Weminuche Wilderness covers about 500,000 acres of southwest Colorado’s San Juan Mountains and is the largest in the state.  I and 4 other guys (RC, JH, TC, & WN) spent about 6 days exploring much of the Ute Creek watershed from the Rio Grande Reservoir all the way up to the continental divide (elevations of about 9500′ to 12000′).  Donna Ikenberry has a great book for this area and the neighboring South San Juan Wilderness.  Trails Illustrated map #140 is also very helpful.

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Mount Nebo Trails

I got out to do some hiking at Mount Nebo the last 3 mornings.  Rising about 1300′ above its surroundings, it’s a rather prominent feature with some great vistas.  The last time I was up there was also my first – a summer 2013 trip to scout the Russellville area before moving to Arkansas.  We’ve had some foggy mornings recently so I couldn’t get pictures of the surroundings this time – see the older post for that.  The Visitor Center has a brochure with a map of all the trails, and is one of several trail heads.

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