Anything but Dismal

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After a long hot summer, I always get excited as the fall breezes begin to cool the land and transform the leaves to their bright fall colors. The slow fall of leaves from the trees is a sure sign that it is once again time to explore the rugged wilderness that is the Ozarks. One of the great benefits of living in the Ozark Mountains is the opportunity for an almost exhaustive list of … [Read more...]

Your Playground Needs Help

Hikers on the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail (photo courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism)

I was looking through some past posts the other day and came upon this one from early spring, Trails don’t just happen. Looking for something in particular, I was disappointed to find no links to one of the most basic ways that anyone can support trail building and maintenance in Arkansas. The trails in Arkansas have many types of users: dog walkers, day hikers, backpackers, wildlife … [Read more...]

Trails don’t just happen

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One of the most popular activities in parks and wilderness areas is hiking on trails. For thousands of years trails have been used for transportation, hunting, exploring, commerce. Long before roads, trails were created not on purpose but through repetition of use, the path of least resistance to travel from one point to another. In the late 19th century, as our technological world expanded … [Read more...]

Mount Kessler – A Personal Perspective

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She confused me and bruised me, but when I saw the massive rock formations and multicolored splendor of Mount Kessler's foliage, it was love at first sight. This love affair begins in 1995 when I was attending Arkansas Tech University in Russellville. My friend and I started a mountain bike team and had been training for about a year when we saw an Arkansas Mountain Bike Championship Series … [Read more...]

Staying Close on Christmas

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With plans for extended  family gatherings on Christmas day, Lisa and I decided to keep our traditional Christmas Day Hike close to home. It's often hard to find a trail nearby that we haven't already walked or ridden too many times to count.  The lucky thing for us is that there are a lot of places in Central Arkansas where you can suddenly feel like you've gotten away from it all, even just a … [Read more...]

The Joy of the Urban Trail

New Bridges at Lake Fayetteville Trails.

I could never resist the call of the trail. - Buffalo Bill To be happy living in the city, I need to have a trail nearby. Not a paved trail like the Arkansas River Trail or the Razorback Greenway Trail. Although trails like those are very nice and necessary for both transportation and recreation, I'm looking for natural surface, dirt, singletrack, a path through the woods. When I first moved to … [Read more...]

2013 Saddlebock Mountain Bike Festival – Fun for the Whole Family!

Enjoying the bonfire.

Through word of mouth, the hidden gem of Hazel Valley Ranch had been talked about among my fellow mountain biker and cyclist friends here in Central Arkansas.  I was determined to get up to NW Arkansas the next time an event was held there, and when Joe invited me to accompany him to the Saddlebock Mountain Bike Festival, I jumped at the opportunity.  Billed as a "Family Friendly weekend event", I … [Read more...]

Hazel Valley Hospitality – The Saddlebock Mountain Bike Festival (Part 1)

The waterfall at Spongebob Creek.

I first visited Hazel Valley Ranch to cover the White Rock 50 Mile Mountain Bike Race early last year. I vowed I'd be back. When Roger Raines of Hazel Valley Ranch let me know of the plans for the Saddlebock Mountain Bike Festival I was all in. Sponsored by Saddlebock Brewery and Ozark Off-Road Cyclists, the festival was to feature mountain bike rides, food, music and buffalo...then it … [Read more...]

Bear Creek Canyon – Winter Hiking

Hikers carefully work their way along the edge of Bear Creek, where water from recent rain gushes with great force through the deep rock slot.

Waterfalls, gushing currents slicing through rock highlight overnight trip I recently guided 14 hikers into Bear Creek Canyon to explore the waterfalls and rock formations in this steep and beautifully rugged area. I had been looking for something new and wanted an off-the-beaten path (literally) hike to discover together with the group. It was a perfect winter’s day, and I was even … [Read more...]

So Cool They Gave It Two Names

Register Here, Don't Panic

Heading back to Little Rock from Eureka Springs we decided to make a full day of it with a short hike to one of the most iconic places in the state. After a little over an hour of driving through the hills and hollows of the Ozarks we came to Cave Mountain Road, just off highway 21. A dirt road that starts beside the Buffalo River in Boxley Valley and heads straight up Cave … [Read more...]