The Buffalo River Trail needs your help

For the last several years construction of a part of the Buffalo River Trail east of Tyler Bend has been stymied by an old obstacle known as “The Roberts Tract”.  This is a 64-acre parcel that for various reasons was not purchased outright by the National Park Service when the Buffalo River National Park was being formed.  Instead, NPS basically settled for a scenic easement that restricts what the owners can do with it but does not permit public access and therefore, no hiking trail.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

NTD at CRSP with the OTA

June 3 was National Trails Day and I chose to spend it this year doing some work with the Ozark Trail Association.  I’ve been a member of the OTA for 5-6 years but this was my first event with them so it was way overdue.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

OHT detour between Stack Rock and Dry Creek

A landslide has erased the Ozark Highlands Trail near mile marker 152.  A 3.1-mile detour has been established using road FR1201 and an old logging road.  Hiking  around the top of the slide would be very difficult, especially with a backpack, due to the dense brush, down trees, and the fact the slide begins at the base of a bluff upslope from the trail so there’s no undisturbed ground on which to walk.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Backpacking 101 in the Hercules Glades Wilderness

It’s been about 2.5 years since my last trip to Hercules Glades, and for this trip I was accompanied by Hannah and Matt – a couple USFS interns working out of the Ava (Missouri) Ranger station.  They will be spending some time this summer evaluating certain aspects of the wilderness areas in that district (Hercules Glades, Devil’s Backbone, Paddy Creek, & Piney Creek).

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Shores Lake & White Rock Mountain Loop

A couple days with no rain and reasonably cool temperatures came my way and I made the most of it with an overnight trip on the Shores Lake & White Rock Mountain Loop.  It was the third time I’d hiked it, but my first time solo, and the first time going counter-clockwise.  In either direction there’s a climb of about 1200′ to the top of White Rock Mountain so I don’t think there’s an easy way – except to drive.

There are USFS recreation areas at Shores Lake and 6 miles north on top of White Rock Mountain.  The one on top has some of the best views in the Ozarks and is especially popular in the fall when the autumn color arrives.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Just say no – to camp fires

My first on-line diatribe!  A recent paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) indicates that over a 20-year study period 84% of wildfires were started by humans. Can you f-ing believe that?

Since the vast majority of camp fires are built just for entertainment this is a pretty disgusting situation.  Camp fires mar the landscape with blackened rocks and piles of ash and non-flammable trash. They leave areas stripped of the dead wood that constitutes the base of the food chain for much forest life. There’s a greater-than-zero percent chance you’ll start a wildfire. Do you find all that entertaining?

If you need a fire in a non-emergency situation to cook or stay warm then you’ve failed the first principle of Leave No Trace.  It’s way past time for people to regard camp fires as another one of those things people did back in the olden days when they didn’t know any better.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

In search of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker

I was invited to float part of Bayou DeView in Monroe county Arkansas to seek evidence of the elusive and endangered Ivory-billed Woodpecker.  The leader of the expedition was Jim Carpenter, founder of Wild Birds Unlimited, and a long-time “hunter” of the bird.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Ozark Highlands Trail – Salt Fork Creek to Ragtown Road

It didn’t feel like it had been over 3 years since last hiking this part of OHT section 2.  There was a good rain a couple days earlier so there was water running everywhere and I was glad not to contend with the snow and ice like last time.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

North Sylamore Creek Trail – Cripple Turkey to Barkshed

This was the first trail I hiked in Arkansas during visits almost 5 and 6 years ago and reading those posts again sure brings back some memories.  My intention this time was a 2-night backpacking trip from Gunner Pool east to Allison and back, then west as far as I could go and back in the remaining time.  When I got to Gunner Pool I found a bulldozer and USFS chainsaw crew cleaning up damage from a big wind storm a few nights earlier, and the trail closed in both directions.  I headed for the west end – the Cripple Turkey trail head – to see if it was open, and it was.  On the way up AR-314 I could see smoke from yet another wildfire in the Leatherwood Wilderness.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Wildcat Mountain – Take 2

It sure didn’t seem like 2 years had passed since my last visit to the Wildcat Mountain trails in the eastern Ouachitas between Lakes Sylvia and Winona. I hiked a couple short trails I missed last time, and was able to get into the southeastern area as the tornado damage I saw last time has been cleared.  My map of the area will soon be more complete.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment