Devil’s Canyon SIA

Devil’s Canyon Special Interest Area is a couple miles southwest of Fern AR and features a canyon carved by tributaries of Mill Creek to a depth of 200+ feet and numerous waterfalls – one with a height of 63 feet.  Shores Lake and White Rock Mountain are a few miles northeast of Fern.

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Ouachita Trail – AR-7 to Ouachita Pinnacle

Rain most of the day Friday left me with a short weekend but I managed to hike the Ouachita Trail from the AR-7 trail head to Ouachita Pinnacle – miles 160.4 to 147.0 and back.   At 1961 feet, Ouachita Pinnacle is the highest point on the eastern part of the trail (the highest point for the whole trail is on Rich Mountain near the Arkansas-Oklahoma border at about 2630 feet).

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Ouachita Trail – AR-9 to AR-7

I managed to turn Thanksgiving into a 5-day weekend and I chose to spend it thanking mother nature for the Ouachita Mountains.  So begins my section hike of the 233-mile Ouachita Trail.

Ouachita Trail - AR7 to AR9.2014-11-26.051

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Ponca Wilderness

A friend and I hiked in the Ponca Wilderness from the Schermerhorn trail head over to the Centerpoint trail head this weekend.  This route includes the Bench, Hemmed-In-Hollow, Old River, and Centerpoint trails.  I’ve seen some of this area before on two previous trips but have now filled the gaps.

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Pinnacle Mountain State Park

Located just a bit northwest of Little Rock is Pinnacle Mountain State Park, featuring the highest member of a mountain chain called the Maumelle Pinnacles.  Pinnacle Mountain is only 1011′ in elevation but it rises rather sharply from a base at about 300′ so it has a pretty good elevation change and is very prominent.  Other nearby features are the Arkansas, Big Maumelle, and Little Maumelle Rivers plus Lake Maumelle.

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Petit Jean State Park – BSA trail

The BSA (Boy Scouts) trail is a 12-mile loop that serves as a “backbone” for Petit Jean’s trail system, connecting all the shorter trails and sometimes sharing the path with the Seven Hollows and Cedar Creek trails.

One part that I hadn’t hiked until today was from the Rock House junction around to Blue Hole.  The part north and west of Red Bluff Drive is an old CCC-built road (now gated) all the way except for the last hundred yards, so it’s a pretty easy walk with some nice CCC handiwork on display.  The area was very quiet and felt nicely isolated.  I imagine this is the least-used part of the whole trail system.

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Caddo Bend Loop

The Caddo Bend Loop is a 4-mile loop within Lake Ouachita State Park that starts near the visitor’s center and follows the south side of a peninsula out to the tip (“Point 50″) then returns along the north side.

Caddo Bend Loop.2014-11-12.005

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Hunt’s Loop

Hunt’s Loop is a 4.3 mile loop on the west side of AR 7 north of Jessieville, Ark.  You can get to it from either the Iron Springs Recreation Area, or the Ouachita Trail’s highway 7 trail head.  About 1.2 miles of the loop is shared with the Ouachita Trail.

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Buffalo River trail building – Fall ’14 progress report

The Buffalo River trail building camp at Tyler Bend will be open through Nov 12 for anybody that wants to contribute a bit of sweat but I may be be done for the season.

As of Nov 2 we built an estimated 1.25 miles of new trail, substantially narrowing two of the biggest gaps.  Gap “A” is on the west side of Bear Creek and is still about 0.25 miles.  Gap “B” is in Ezell Hollow between Red Bluff and Brush Creek roads and is now only about 50 feet.

6 other gaps remain unchanged.  Some are still awaiting clearance by the state archeologist, one is a chunk of private property where some arrangement will have to be worked-out.  In all, only about 3 miles are left to construct in the area between Tyler Bend and South Maumee Road!

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Waterfalls along the OHT

It rained over NW Ark much of the day Friday into early Saturday morning so it seemed like a good time to check out waterfalls on a part of the Ozark Highlands Trail where I knew they were plentiful.  It was also a good time to get some experience with my new compact camera – a Canon PowerShot S110.  So far it’s proving to be a major improvement from the old HP R740 (that was literally the cheapest camera available at Super Target).

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