Recreation: A Family Affair

The Mulberry River

Remember how it feels to be excluded, or feeling less than adequate because you haven’t quite mastered a skill?  Perfection, accomplishment, praise, recognition, attention drives you to keep trying, practicing, learning, reaching, for some sense of mastery. Current research indicates many positive health outcomes resulting from participation in recreational programs. Among these health outcomes … [Read more...]

Color in the Winter Woods

Orange Jelly Fungi On The Side Of A Tree. (iPhone)

Hiking everyday in nature is a new adventure.  Most days bring something interesting and a lot of days something new and exciting.   Having the camera ready to capture my finds, of course,  is a plus.  It’s exciting to share my photos and to bring others into the beauty of nature I get to experience daily. Lisa Mullis wrote about Winter Hikes a couple of weeks ago and I have to agree, … [Read more...]

Winter Hikes

Ouachita Trail Mile Marker

Every once in a while, someone will ask "what's your favorite time of year to hike?".  I know most people would answer autumn, for the fall colors. A few would say spring for the greening of the hills and meadows. My favorite time of year to hike is winter. Those who say that the desolation of a winter forest isn't pretty are entitled to keep that opinion, but I find beauty in the blankness of the … [Read more...]

What a Year of Advocacy Can Do

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It's been about a year. Central Arkansas Trail Alliance has been supporting trail access, building advocacy and maintaining local trails for about a year now as an organized group. So far CATA members have: Brought back the Boyle Park trails in Little Rock clearing trail corridors, rerouting poorly designed and worn out sections and building bridges to improve user experience. Performed … [Read more...]

Hike or Paddle or…

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...Both. This past weekend we spent some time exploring Fairfield Bay, Arkansas. Fairfield Bay is a small town of almost 2500 people, a resort community tucked into the north shore of Greer's Ferry Lake. Surrounded by the beautiful Ozark Mountains with access to one of Arkansas's pristine lakes, the town has a lot to offer visitors who enjoy the outdoors. We met local realtor, community … [Read more...]

Refreshingly Authentic

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The tag line on the visitor's guide website is Pagosa Springs: Refreshingly Authentic, come to Pagosa Springs, Colorado and enjoy simplicity on a grand scale. We walked through the front door of Riff Raff Brewing Company after a morning of hiking with good friends and former Arkansas residents Stephen and Randi Lynne Durham. The Durhams have been host to many an Arkansas mountain biker … [Read more...]

2014 Bike & Hike for ALS

On-Top

There is something really special that happens on the morning of the ALS Bike and Hike. Most days, as cyclists, we air up our tires, ice down our water bottles, and fill up our jersey pockets with “fuel.” But on this odd morning, we also pack up some tennis shoes and a ball cap for a mid-ride hike up Pinnacle Mountain. Let me tell you, it is a challenging event, but the sweet view from the top … [Read more...]

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...]