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RIVER VAL LEY ADVENTURES

VOL.1 ISSUE.1

CLIMBING Dardanelle Rock

EXPLORING Regional Waterfalls

RUNNING & HIKING Area Trails

KAYAKING

Nearby Whitewater

MOUNTAIN BIKING Local Trails

PLAYING

Disc Golf

•Four Fantastic Falls • Gear Review: GOALZERO • Mountain Bike Basics • Climbing “D-Rock” • No Clubs Required: Disc Golf • Chain Reaction Cycling • Top 7 Trails • Profile: Robert Vogler • Moore Outdoors • The Love/Hate List




CONTENTS | RIVER VALLEY ADVENTURES

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07 09

WELCOME TO RIVER VALLEY ADVENTURES Our Contact Information

16

MOUNTAIN BIKING BASICS

18

CLIMBING “D-ROCK”

21

PROFILE: ROBERT VOGLER

22

MT. NEBO

25

THE BUCKET LIST

27

HEAD’S UP LAST

If you own a mountain bike and love it, congrats! But if you’re wondering what they’re all about, read on.

A local climber “talks technical” about an Arkansas River Landmark. By Liz Chrisman

Meet a Local Ultra Marathoner

Hanging Up Your Hammocks...

10 Things You Should Do in The River Valley

A Larger-Than-Life Birthday Run. By Michael Roys.

THE ADVENTURER’S KITCHEN Almond Butter Banana Smoothie

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IT’S REALLY A CHAIN REACTION

12

GEAR REVIEW

Two Key Players in the Business of Bikes Mesh Gears

GOALZERO Nomad 7 Adventure Kit

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DOING Get Inspired

14

4

FOUR FANTASTIC FALLS

Arkansas is home to nearly 200 identified waterfalls and cascades

River Valley Adventures • @adventureARV

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TOP 7 TRAILS

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TOP 10 ESSENTIALS

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3 LOCAL CREEKS

39

WANT TO FLOAT?

40

NO CLUBS REQUIRED

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Something For Everybody

When You Go Hiking

Easy, Medium and O.M.G.

Choose the Right Boat

Disc Golf. The Latest River Valley Craze.

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MOORE OUTDOORS

43

THE LOVE/HATE LIST

44

TIPS FOR A SAFER PADDLING TRIP

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EVENTS PAGE

30 Years of Creating Adventure on Big Piney

Dontcha Love It? And Don’t You Hate That?

If you paddle, you probably already know this list. If you don’t paddle, please read this carefully before you go. Safety first.

There are Many Opportunities for Adventure in this Great State

PHOTO CREDITS: Liz Chrisman, Joe Branch, Dan Daniel, Will Wetzel, Michael Poole, Jed Bolyard, Jake Bolyard, and Michael Roys. SUBSCRIPTION For information on subscription rates for delivery to home or office please e-mail us at: mroys@exploretherivervalley.com.

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River Valley Adventures is an AdventureARV publication Vol. I, issue 1 July 2013. Although we make every attempt to ensure accuracy of our content we assume no responsibility for errors, changes or omissions. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed by contributing writers are not necessarily those of the publisher. NO PART OF THIS MAGAZINE MAY BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT PRIOR CONSENT OF THE PUBLISHER. Advertisers and advertising agencies assume all liability for content of all advertisements.

@adventureARV • River Valley Adventures

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WELCOME TO RIVER VALLEY ADVENTURES River Valley Adventures -- the activities -- have always been part of me. My first kayak was a Perception Mirage, 13’2”. Kerry Moore, the legendary owner of Moore Outdoors on Big Piney Creek, taught me to roll that puppy (in a stainless steel swimming pool) in 1980. I became Moore Outdoor’s first schlep/shuttle driver and was happily hooked on the sport for life. YoungLife ski trips (remember those?) introduced me to many things, not the least of which were skiing fast and straight, the “real” mountains, and sharing adrenaline rushes with truly great friends. I was all about the outdoors. Since those days I’ve been lucky enough to have mountain biked 100+ mile races, climbed a lot of Colorado 14ers, run the Sylamo Trail (ugh), hiked the Ouachita Trail, and explored and enjoyed our beautiful backyard solo and leading large and small groups. I hope this magazine and associated e-media will expand your adventure experience in the River Valley. The possibilities are endless, most within an hour or two drive from Russellville. I am fired-up and humbled to make River Valley Adventures -- the magazine -- my newest passion. I hope it helps you do something new, something inspiring, something adventurous. Take me outside!

Photo By: Liz Chrisman

Michael Roys


Rim Trail on Mount Nebo Falling Waters

Fuzzy Butt Falls

WELCOME TO

RIVER VALLEY ADVENTURES

Contact Us: Michael Roys Cell :: 479.567.1269 Email :: mroys@exploretherivervalley.com Like us on Facebook :: River Valley Adventures Instagram :: @adventureARV Follow Us on Twitter :: @adventureARV   @adventureARV • River Valley Adventures

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THE NATURAL CHOICE IN THE NATURAL STATE The verdant beauty of the Arkansas River Valley is centered near Russellville, Arkansas, a growing area conveniently located at the cross-roads of Interstate 40 and nationally Scenic Highway 7. The city of Russellville offers 14 parks, soccer, softball and baseball complexes, skate board park and memorial parks with pavilions and modern facilities for the public enjoyment. From fishing and hunting to kayaking and canoeing, we believe you’ll find more than enough to see and do in the Arkansas River Valley. With 4 State parks – Lake Dardanelle, Mount Nebo, Mount magazine and Petit Jean – each offer a beauty all their own. Plan a day trip or an overnight visit and enjoy the hiking, fishing, swimming and park interpretation offered at these unique locations. Russellville is the proud town to Arkansas Tech University with over 10,000 students. Come and experience the great community spirit of our little town. We hope to see you soon! Christie Graham

Photo By: Liz Chrisman

Executive Director of Tourism


RIVER VALLEY ADVENTURES | THE ADVENTURER’S KITCHEN

ALMOND BUTTER BANANA SMOOTHIE

You will Need: • 1/8 cup (10g) oats • 2 Tbsp. almond butter • 2/3 cup soy milk • 1/2 tsp. real vanilla extract • 1 frozen banana • 2 Tbsp. wheat germ • 1/2 cup ice

Directions: Put oats in the blender and pulverize. Add the remaining ingredients and blend til smooth. Serve immediately and Enjoy!


CHAIN REACTION | RIVER VALLEY ADVENTURES

IT’S REALLY A CHAIN REACTION Two Key Players in the Business of Bikes Mesh Gears If you ride in the River Valley, it’s likely you or someone you know got a bike from Carr’s Chain Reaction or Poppa Wheelies. Additionally, you’ve probably heard of or taken advantage of the bike service expertise of Doug Housley at Poppa Wheelies. And if you’ve been in Carr’s lately you might have done a double take. These two companies have joined forces to bring cyclists the best of both worlds. Stop in Carr’s and Housley will probably be behind the counter ”We’re real excited about the future” says Clint Carr, owner of Chain Reaction. ”It’s an idea we’ve been talking about for a long time” adds Housley. “We actually finalized a business arrangement more than a year-and-a-half ago, but waited until the lease on my former space was up to announce anything,” he added. “It’s a natural fit.” Carr’s operation was built by his father, Tim Carr, and in the early years was focused primarily on high-quality outdoor power equipment. Later they added Trek, Cannondale and Gary Fisher bicycles as a side line, an addition Clint Carr was excited about. ”I always loved bikes and am and outdoor guy, but I intended to be a physical therapist. I started down that path then Dad asked me if I was interested in the business,” Carr said. “It’s all worked out great.”

10 River Valley Adventures • @adventureARV

Pictured left to right: Clint Carr, Doug Housley


Housley, on the other hand, has been a cycling guy as long as he can remember. “When I was a kid I had a pile of bikes this high,” he says, motioning to make a mountain in front of him. He said his stepfather would bring home broken-down bikes and he would tinker with them from a young age. Housley graduated from Russellville High School in 1993 and moved to Arizona in 1996. “I worked in a bike shop and a ski resort . . . it was the first time I actually got paid to work on bikes.” he said. He returned home and opened Poppa Wheelies in 2004. ”He’s the Chuck Norris of bike service and repair,” Carr says of Housley with a grin. Carr’s Chain Reaction has even bigger plans for the future. The operation will soon be moved to a bigger space currently leased by Cleo’s Furniture on Arkansas Avenue. In the facility they will offer a wide range of products: bikes and bike service, but also gear for climbing, camping and disc golf among others. “We want our location to be a staple for the outdoor enthusiast,” Carr said.

@adventureARV • River Valley Adventures

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PRODUCT REVIEW| RIVER VALLEY ADVENTURES

GEAR REVIEW

GOALZERO Nomad 7 Adventure Kit with Guide 10 Plus Battery Pack This is one gadget that we highly recommend. Rugged and compact, this solar charging device delivers on its promise to charge almost any handheld device. The Nomad 7 Adventure Kit delivers an ultra-compact yet powerful solar panel that enables you to charge your handheld devices directly from its USB and 12 Volt DC charging ports. This amazing device collects 7 watts of power from the sun in a foldable, rugged and weather resistant design. This is a cool company with deep roots in humanitarian volunteer work. Go to their website at www.goalzero.com to see more about this innovative company and their wide range of products.

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RIVER VALLEY ADVENTURES | INSPIRATION

Doing. There’s dreaming, and then there’s doing.

You can get the best advice in the world, but you still have to do. You can visualize and imagine all the ways your journey can play out, but you don’t know until you dare to do. You can plan your days and schedule your life down to the minute, but there’s no time like now to do what needs to be done. You can promise yourself that this time, you swear, nothing’s going to stand in your way, but it’s all just an excuse until you finally do. You can watch videos online of others doing things—amazing, inspiring things—but that’s them, not you. You can buy all the gear and read all the instructions, but that’ll just make you the best-dressed non-doer out there. Doing’s not that easy, we tell ourselves. Doing takes time, and skill, and money, and everything that we don’t have enough of, right? No. Doing takes courage. Courage to follow your own best advice. Courage to stop just visualizing and turn your ideas into realities. Courage to break out of your scheduled life to do what you feel within you. Courage to decide excuses aren’t good enough for you. Courage to live your dreams. The courage is within you.

Everest is a free app that helps people live their dreams and achieve personal goals. From paddling your first Class IV, to learning how to cook, to getting in shape. Everest helps people break goals into smaller daily steps, get support and accountability, and beautifully captures their journey. Get the app or follow us for daily inspiration. “Get the app” link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/everest-live-your-dreams-achieve/id581016826?ls=1&mt=8 “Daily inspiration” link: https://www.facebook.com/everestapp

@adventureARV • River Valley Adventures

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WATERFALLS| RIVER VALLEY ADVENTURES

FOUR FANTASTIC FALLS

Arkansas is home to nearly 200 identified waterfalls and cascades. Although the best time to see a running fall is late autumn to early summer, here are

Photos By: Danny Hipps Photography

four beauties in-or-around the River Valley to put on your “What Should We Do Today?” list. We strongly recommend Arkansas Wildlife Photographer Tim Ernst’s book Arkansas Waterfalls (www.timernst.com) for the definitive guide to all things waterfall. Plan to do a little bushwacking, and we suggest taking a compass.

Cabin Falls/Maidenhair Falls

Long Pool Falls

From Russellville: North on Hwy 7, 1.1 mi.

From Russellville: North on Hwy 7 to

past Mac Pines (if you get to Moccasin Gap

Dover, Left on Hwy 164, Right on CR #14,

Trailhead you’ve gone .6 mi. too far) Park on

go 4.8 miles to the Long Pool Recreation

the side of the road.

Area.

Hike north in the powerline easement about

Starting at the Long Pool Recreation

100 yards. Go Right and head downhill

Area go to Loop B Camp area. Between

to the creek – keep going downhill and in

campsites #14 and #19 follow the trace

about .3 mi you will end up at the top of

road past the old water tank. Hike .75 mi.

Cabin Falls. Follow the stream below Cabin

upstream on Big Piney Creek (west) of the

Falls – you’ll see several (5 or 6!) small

beach area. You’ll see a small fall first,

waterfalls along the way (.4 mi.) The creek

cross that creek, go Right, the Long Pool

will join another creek, turn Right (south)

Fall is behind a boulder outcropping.

follow this creek upstream. You’ll see one more waterfall before you get to Maidenhair about .3mi. from the turn. Lots of falls for one trip!

Tim Ernst’s book Arkansas Waterfalls is a must for waterfall enthusiasts. Go to www.TimErnst.com for ordering information.

Kings Bluff Falls From Russellville: North on Hwy 7 to Pelsor, Right on Hwy 16. Go about 6 miles, look for the signs on the right (Pedestal Rocks). From the trail head go across the stone bridge, turn Right to take the Kings Bluff Trail. Take the trail (which begins on an old road then changes to a “plain” hiking trail) until you get to the switchbacks which take you to the top of the bluff. BE CAREFUL with children. This is one of the tallest (more than 100’) and most spectacular waterfalls in Arkansas.

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Native American Falls From Russellville: North on Hwy 7 past Dover. Watch for the Wildlife Management Area sign on the Left and park there. From the sign, head into the woods (west) – there’s not a clearly marked trail, so you’ll have to bushwack – turn Left (south) and follow the creek downstream about .6 mi. to Native American Falls. BTW – a slot canyon, two smaller falls and a grotto fall are a little further downstream if you’re exploring.

@adventureARV • River Valley Adventures

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MOUNTAIN BIKING| RIVER VALLEY ADVENTURES

MOUNTAIN BIKING BASICS If you own a mountain bike and love it, congrats! But if you’re wondering what they’re all about, read on. Check Carr’s Chain Reaction, 201 W. Parkway, Russellville AR for a full selection of mountain bikes, accessories and expert service (479.890.4950.)

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Mountain bikes are made for unpaved environments and are designed to handle terrain with rocks, washouts, ruts, loose sand and gravel, roots, and steep grades (both inclines and declines).

Bike Basics: A basic mountain bike should have suspension on the frame and fork, large knobby tires, durable heavy duty wheels, powerful brakes (often disc brakes), and lower gear ratios needed for steep grades with poor traction. Most designated mountain bike trail areas (and we have some great ones) fall into one of two types. Single Track is a narrow trail approximately the width of the bike. Single track is often smooth and flowing, but may also include technical rocky sections criss-crossed with tree roots. Double Track (also called Fire Road) is wide enough for fourwheeled off-road vehicles and may have fewer in-track obstacles that would impair regular vehicles.

Local Single Track: The trails at Old Post Road Park are mostly single track. Riders can expect a lot of variety on this trail as it works its way up and around Old Post Park and through the 18-hole disc golf course. This is a mountain bike course, but you will also see people hiking and trail running. Please give right-of-way to these athletes. Part of the trail system goes along the river bluffs along the Arkansas River for a great view of the river and dam. Take your time on one lap and enjoy the scenery and wildlife (deer, raccoons, rabbits, a few skunks and the formidable king snake). Take another lap and test your gear-changing skills as you wind your way around the trails.

Fire-Road Trail: Check out the Bench Trail (on Mt. Nebo), a wide four-mile fire-road trail with wide turns and not-too-steep up and downhills. A welldesigned mountain bike is perfect for this ride; however, on any day you might see single-speed bikes, hybrids or kids riding their bikes on the trails with parents hiking along side. Rumor has it that there is a unicycle rider that has been seen on this trail! The trail is open to foot and horse traffic (give plenty of right-ofway). This is a great trail for the beginning mountain biker but can offer the serious mountain biker a chance to “let it all out” and achieve some serious lactic acid build-up grinding out multiple 4-mile laps around the trail. Throw in a lap or two to the top of the mountain and you are well on your way to being in some serious bike shape. Mountain biking is getting more popular every year and the River Valley is fortunate to have these trails in our park system.

@adventureARV • River Valley Adventures

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CLIMBING| RIVER VALLEY ADVENTURES

CLIMBING “D-ROCK”

A Local Climber “Talks Technical” about an Arkansas River Landmark Photos & Story By: Liz Chrisman

Dardanelle Rock or “D-Rock” as it’s known

documented information about its early

the highest percentage of 3 and 4 star

by most locals and climbers, is located

climbing history.

classics of any climbing area in the state.

in Dardanelle, Arkansas just south of

If you aren’t climbing at least a solid 5.11

Russellville. Its location is the midpoint on

Jason Cook (a Dardanelle local) was the

it’s probably not worth a trip if you’re

the river between Arkansas’ two largest

original to scope out this area and place

traveling a distance, but the fact that 21

cities (Fort Smith and Little Rock) and

(and replace) the sport climbing hardware.

of the 24 sport routes have fixed draws

was known to early settlers as “Big Rock”

Stark Ligon (a Little Rock climber) finished

is quite the convenience. The approach

while the next outcropping downstream

the job with help of Jason. Its one of

is about a minute as parking is directly

was dubbed “Little Rock.” there isn’t much

the smallest crags in Arkansas yet holds

across the road.

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As with most climbing areas in Arkansas, the best climbing temperatures are in the Fall and Spring. As an added bonus, most of the crag goes into shade after 11am so even summer climbing can be bearable. Some of the most popular routes located on this small crag are: The Stark Wall Money Shot (5.11a)**** Natural Born Drillers (5.11d)**** Rebel Yell (5.12a)****

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Profile: Robert Vogler

RIVER VALLEY ADVENTURES | ROBERT VOGLER PROFILE

Meet a Local Ultra Marathoner

Name: Residence: Occupation: Hobby:

Robert Vogler Russellville, Arkansas Pediatric Physical Therapist Life long runner. Began Ultra Marathon Running in 2001

Definition of Ultra Marathon: Any race longer than 26.2 miles

Training: Does not track miles. Goes for 2 hour runs during the week followed by 3-6 hours runs on the weekend. During his “peak” training he will run 3-4 hours for 2 days in a row followed by a “marathon run” the third day.

Quote: “Enjoy the run. Your body is going to tell you it’s tired and your body is going to want to stop. You have to say no and keep running.” Major Accomplishments: Too many to mention, but here are the “major ones” •Three time winner of the Arkansas Traveller 100 •Completed the Grand Slam of Ultra Running over a period of 11 weeks in 2012 The “Grand Slam of Ultra Running” award is recognition for those runners who COMPLETE the four oldest trail runs in the U.S. The “Slam” consists of “officially finishing” the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, the Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run, the Leadville 100 Trail Run and the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run, ALL IN THE SAME YEAR. The award was established in 1986.

in Silverton Colorado. Considered the hardest 100 mile run in the world with 33,992 feet of climb and 33,992 feet of descent for a total elevation change of 67,984 feet with an average elevation of 11,186 feet - low point 7,680 feet (Ouray) and high point 14,048 feet (Handies Peak).

Photo By: Joe Branch

Next Goal: Hardrock 100 Mile Endurance Run July 12-14, 2013


HHH| RIVER VALLEY ADVENTURES

MT. NEBO Hanging Up Your Hammocks... The Rim Trail on Mt. Nebo offers

the rock formations, but makes up for it

to moderate, family-friendly hike, but is

something a little different every time you

by creating beautiful shady areas to stop

not stroller-friendly. Care should be taken

hike it. During the fall and winter months

and take-in the River Valley’s lush green

with small children because of the risk

the trail reveals many rock outcroppings,

scenery.

of falling. This is not a trail to try to set a speed-walk record. There are numerous

formations, bluffs and a view of the surrounding River Valley area which, on a

The Rim Trail is a 3.5 mile loop. The trail

trip hazards because of the rocky nature

clear day, allows you to see 100 miles in

circles the top of the mountain and is well

of the trail. Take your time and enjoy all it

any direction. In the spring and summer,

marked with yellow “blazes” -- paint on

has to offer.

the trail’s vegetation swallows some of

rocks, trees and signs. The trail is an easy

THE NEWEST “THING” IS TO FIND A GREAT SPOT ALONG THE TRAIL AND SET UP A HAMMOCK. 22 River Valley Adventures • @adventureARV


The newest “thing” is to find a great spot along the trail and set up a hammock. If you don’t already have one, you should consider this small investment. They are super lightweight to carry and brands like ENO include quick set-up straps to get you going in any spot in a matter of minutes. It’s not uncommon to come across a group of people hammocking along the trail, relaxing and enjoying the surroundings. We call these hammocking places “Happy Hammocking Hangouts” (HHH) and many hikers/ hammockers have their own special place. There are several of these “HHH” on the back side of the mountain near Lover’s Leap and under Sunrise Point. Be respectful of other hikers and hang your hammock several feet off the marked trail. Find your own HHH and let us know where they are @adventureARV.

The trail itself is maintained and stays in good condition. It was originally developed by the residents of Mt. Nebo in the 1890s and then further developed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). You can see where the CCC built stone steps and walkways along the trail. The trailhead is behind the Mt. Nebo Park Visitor and Information Center which has adequate parking. Be sure and pick up a map. Don’t miss Cave Springs, Sunrise Point and Sunset Point. The map will also identify short “detours” along the hike such as Stone Bridge, Lover’s Leap, and other landmarks, as well as access to other trails along the mountain.

@adventureARV • River Valley Adventures

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We want to hear from you.

Share your adventure • Show us your photos • Post your event • tell us your story • Give us your feedback ContaCt uS: Cell: 479.567.1269 email: mroys@exploretherivervalley.com Like us on Facebook: river valley adventures Instagram: @adventurearv Follow us on twitter: @adventurearv

24 River Valley Adventures • @adventureARV


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Then we were there.“The Falls” are spectacular at high water. The din of the crashing water drowns out everything like you are in a horribly loud silent movie. Measure risk. My motto is, “I have to

Will was 50 yards in front of me, paddling

when you roll.” Right. I agree. Dang!

go to work on Monday.” The rain was

ALL OUT straight for the edge. Will’s not

HARD to do when you’re being pounded

still coming down on the drive to the

afraid of anything. He was there, then

by thousands of gallons of rushing water.

creek. The water was rising. Excited? Yes.

he wasn’t. He silently, quickly vanished

I believe I tried to roll twice. Then I had

Swallowing hard? Yes.

over the horizon-line of the fall. I looked

to do it. I ejected. The bad news is that

toward Michael just as he also vanished.

ejection is an act of survival or exhaustion

At Falling Water most of the time,

I prayed. I visualized sailing over the fall.

most kayakers loathe. The good news is

paddlers put-in just below “The Falls”

I paddled hard, really hard. Those who

that once ejected, you can get to safety

because even with optimum water, the

know me, know I say out loud “Here We

much more easily. Not so fast in this

10-or-more foot drop over the waterfall

Go” when something big is happening. I

story. Out of my boat, the falls forced me

and the trees directly below in the

said it.

completely under again. I struggled to get my head above water, going under two

recovery pool are daunting. But, the water was high so we put-in upstream

I dropped straight down. So here’s what

more times before I was able to break

above the horse camp. We were headed

we all decided afterward: I leaned too

free from the pounding water from above

right for ‘em. However no time to think

far back on the fall, and not far enough

and the boiling water below. Washed up,

about that -- immediately the water was

forward on the landing. Epic fail: and it

frustrated and full of creek water, I made

very swift and technical – large rocks,

wasn’t over yet. My boat went under and

my way river left where my partners were

submerged trees and strainers. I chose

then shot up out of the water at a steep

patiently waiting for me.

to follow behind the guys, watching their

angle. Because I wasn’t leaning forward

lines and trying to hear their advice and

OR paddling hard enough, I was sucked

Will handed me the kayak boot that had

warnings above the roaring water as we

back under the falls. I went under again,

been sucked off my foot. Michael handed

flew down the narrow and fast flow.

came up, and tried to roll the kayak over.

me my kayak. I looked up and noticed 25

Funny, although totally deafened by the

folks, kayakers and observers, watching

Then we were there. “The Falls” are

falls, I could hear new paddling partner

both successful landings and that day’s

spectacular at high water. The din of the

Michael’s voice from just a few minutes

carnage at “The Falls.”

crashing water drowns out everything like

earlier -- “Remember, your head is the

you are in a horribly loud silent movie.

last thing that comes out of the water

28 River Valley Adventures • @adventureARV


The rest of the creek lay before us. I mentally toyed with hauling my kayak up to the road sit and wait for my buddies to finish the day; then I rejected it. I took a deep breath and we continued our adventure. Falling Water is a solid class II and III+ especially above 6’. Again bringing up the rear, I followed Will and Michael through the incredible falls, technical turns and narrow paths between the tree-lined banks. I managed pretty well, despite swimming three more times during the paddle when I failed to relax through my rolls and tried to raise my head before my hip snap (I hear ya, Michael.) Then, somewhere above where Falling Water meets Richland Creek, I relaxed and enjoyed the journey. The author looks forward to another great run with Will Wetzel and Michael Poole soon. Thanks guys!


TRAILS| RIVER VALLEY ADVENTURES

TOP 7 TRAILS

Something For Everybody This issue we have chosen 7 trails we love in the area: two great (and very different) hikes on Mt. Nebo, a beautiful spiral down to a waterfall on Petit Jean Mountain, a 14-miler (one way) to the highest point in Arkansas on Mt. Magazine, and 3 “destination hikes” co-located in the Pelsor/Boxley/Ponca area. Here’s the basic info on each, trust us, just go.

1. Nebo Rim Trail Dardanelle AR

10 Miles (15 minutes) from Russellville Distance: 3.5 miles round trip,

2

2. Nebo Bench Trail

Dardanelle AR 10 Miles (15 minutes) from Russellville

Blaze Color: Yellow

Distance: 4 miles round

Difficulty: Easy

trip Blaze Color: Yellow Difficulty: Easy

If you haven’t made it, the drive to the top of Mt. Nebo to the trail system is definitely part of the adventure. The last two miles are steep and windy; if you’re vehicle is multi-axle you might want to scope it out in a single-axle first. Begin the Rim Trail by picking up a map at the Mt. Nebo Visitor’s center. The Rim Trail provides access to all of the park’s 14 miles of trail and since you’ll hike a bluff that circles the entire mountain, prepare for spectacular (sometimes 100-mile views) of the Arkansas River Valley. Highlights: The views, the waterfall at the intersection of the Gum Springs Trail, Sunrise and Sunset Points.

Before you get all the way to the top of the mountain, look for the Bench Trail sign, you can park here. This almost completely foliage-covered woodland trail follows the “bench” around the mountain and feels like a deep woods adventure complete with wildlife and interesting rock outcroppings. The trail ends at a lookout pavilion for a nice vista about .2 miles from the start. The trail is also used by mountain bikers, so keep your ears open for an occasional “on your left.” Highlights: Fern Lake, primitive “hikein” campsites (check with the visitor’s center for permits), historic springs, and remnants of the early 1900s resort that made Mt. Nebo a famous summer destination back in the day.

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1

6


3. Cedar Falls Trails

Outside Morrilton – 29 miles (40 minutes) from Russellville

4. Mt. Magazine Trail

9 miles outside Paris, AR – 42 miles (1 hr.) from Russellville

Distance: 2 miles round trip

Distance: 14.2 miles (one way)

Blaze Color Orange/Peach,

Blaze Color: White

Difficulty: Easy, Downhill in/fairly strenuous uphill out

Difficulty: Long and moderately strenuous in some areas.

Of the several good trails on Mt. Petit

3

Jean Mountain, Cedar Falls Trail is one of

If you like to make a day of it, this trail

the most traveled. Obviously best when

provides a good variety of scenery on the

it’s wet, you might call ahead to see if

way to the highest point in Arkansas (elev.

the fall is running. The trail begins at

2,753) on Mt. Magazine. To do the full

Mather Lodge – this view is breathtaking.

trail bottom-to-top bring two vehicles and

Follow the trail down, crossing the creek

leave one at the Greenfield picnic area

and heading toward the

at trail end. Stop at the Mt. Magazine

90’ waterfall. Note the bridges and rock steps, they were all

Visitors Center for a trail map and take a look at the Lodge before heading to the trailhead at Cove Lake. Camping sites are also available, check at visitor’s center.

carried in by hand. The

Highlights: Mile-3 scenic overlook of the

last quarter

mountain you are about to climb, rock and

mile climb back to the lodge is strenuous

7

4

boulder gardens, cedar tree stand, glade and wildflower areas (in season), scenic pond, “we-did-it” feeling at trail end.

for novice hikers.

Highlights: The Falls, excellent plant life including brightly colored lichens and towering trees, bolder fields and rock “glaciers,” smaller waterfalls during wet season, amazing trail construction, and did we say the Falls?

5

@adventureARV • River Valley Adventures

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5. Pedestal Rock Loop

6. Lost Valley Trail

Outside Ben Hur, AR – 47 miles (1 hr.) from Russellville

Buffalo National River (Between Boxley and Ponca) – 76 miles (1 hr. 45 min) from

Distance: 2.6 miles round trip

Russellville

Blaze Color: follow signs

Distance: 2.3 miles round trip,

Difficulty: easy

Difficulty: Easy, bring a flashlight if you

LOST VALLEY TRAIL

want to cave This trail in the Ozark National Forest is one of two trails that share a trailhead (the other being King’s Bluff Loop, 1.9 miles.) Both are beautiful and can be combined into one trip, but if we picked one, we’d do Pedestal Rock. It’s a surreal sandstone world. Natural bridges, an arch big enough to drive a car through, and beautiful pedestal formations stand like giants. The trail goes along the edge of high bluffs in places – use your judgment if you’re taking small children. Highlights: The whole thing. During wet season there are even creeks and falls. Gotta go.

Worth the drive! WORTH the drive! This place is a wondrous little world complete with babbling creek, amazing “Jig Saw Block” formations, a natural bridge, “Tarzan vines” hanging from the trees, a beautiful waterfall and Eden Falls Cave – if you make the crawl inside during the wet season you’ll see another waterfall INSIDE the cave. All in one mile. Even if the kids are bored and vaguely carsick after the

7. Hawksbill Crag Trail

drive, we promise, they’ll be impressed.

Hawksbill Crag Trail to Whitaker Point Upper Buffalo Wilderness, 8 miles from Boxley, AR – 85 miles (2 hrs.) from

Highlights: Forestation, “Siamese

Russellville

Beeches,” Eden Falls, Eden Falls Cave,

Distance: 3 miles round trip

200-ft. bluff.

Blaze Color: Red Difficulty: Primitive but fairly easy

“Spectacular” and “breathtaking” are overused, but Whitaker Point holds up. The rustic, mostly enclosed 1.5-mile hike on the Hawksbill Crag Trail also has some small interior bluffs (perfect for rappelling, if you bring your gear) along the way. Last visit we packed-in a lunch and “chilled” on Whitaker Point (complete with ENO hammocks) to give the view and the experience the time it deserves. Caution must be used; it’s 150’ down if you slip off the Point, which sadly, has happened as recently as 2012. Highlights: Talking some other hikers into backing up the trail about .1 mile to an outcropping so they can take a picture of

MT. MAGAZINE TRAIL 32 River Valley Adventures • @adventureARV

you standing “on air” on the Point.


@adventureARV • River Valley Adventures

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HIKING ESSENTIALS| RIVER VALLEY ADVENTURES

TOP 10 ESSENTIALS When You Go Hiking

INSULATION It looks like the original 10 essential list was compiled in the 1930s by The Mountaineers, a Seattle-based organization for outdoor adventurers. Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills now in the 50th anniversary edition is the renowned bible of climbing and mountaineering. The editor of the book explained, “The purpose of the list has always been to answer two basic questions; first, can you respond positively to an accident or emergency and second, can you safely spend a night – or more – out?”

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Through trial and error we’ve learned . . . and developed this list of essential gear for a day (or longer) hike. The most important

HYDRATION AND NUTRITION

lesson learned is to pack and CARRY the essentials on your hike.

1 Map/Compass 2 Sun Protection (Sunscreen, Sunglasses) 3 Insulation (Extra Clothing) 4 Illumination (Headlamp/Flashlight) 5 First Aid Kit 6 Fire 7 Repair Tools 8 Nutrition 9 Hydration

PACK AND CARRY

10 Emergency Shelter

FIRST AID KIT AND EMERGENCY SHELTER @adventureARV • River Valley Adventures

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3 LOCAL CREEKS| RIVER VALLEY ADVENTURES

3 LOCAL CREEKS Easy, Medium and O.M.G.

Tom Kennon’s A Canoeing and Kayaking Guide to the Ozarks is an indispensible resource, available at amazon.com. For more information about rentals, shuttles and gear available on Big Piney, check Mooreoutdoors.com.

Photos By: Danny Hipps Photography

Whether you’re an easy fisher/floater, a

info about your trip. We also recommend

creek stretches 67 miles from its source

creeker with a little experience who wants

Tom Kennon’s book, A Canoeing and

in Newton County, the best sections

to get better, or a rock-n-roll, no-limits

Kayaking Guide to the Ozarks for great

for canoes, kayaks and rafts (when the

madman, there’s a creek for you right in

info and maps on all floatable waters in the

water’s up) are the two middle sections,

our backyard.

region.

described below.

All creeks (and especially these three)

As always, be prepared. Whitewater is

Helton’s Farm to Long Pool – On this

have completely different personalities

NOT a safe solo activity, always wear a

10-mile stretch the hills crowd the creek

yielding drastically different experiences

PFD, have basic safety gear, make sure

creating good, manageable rapids (Class

for the boater depending on the time of

someone “back home” knows your trip

II, II+), popular with the less-experienced

year, the water level/temperature and the

plan, and “leave it better than you found it.”

whitewater crowd. Infamous rapid

weather on the day you make the run.

sections with names like “Roller Coaster”

Please note the optimum water levels

Big Piney Creek

listed with each creek and check www.

Big Piney Creek offers, mile for mile, one

others have adjacent gravel bars, good

ozarkpages.com for information regarding

of the best floats in what some say is “the

for resting, picnicking, or rehashing the

water levels, detailed directions to the

classic Ozark stream.” Located north on

carnage. Local landowners at Helton’s

creeks, access points and other important

Hwy 7, 10 miles past Dover. While the

Farm (FR 1805) allow put-ins for a

and “Cascades of Extinction,” among

BIG PINEY CREEK

36 River Valley Adventures • @adventureARV


HURRICANE CREEK small fee. Please pay it, park civilly and pick up your trash so it continues to be available. Take-out at Long Pool is free, pay Recreation Area fee ($3) if you’ve parked there.

As always, be prepared. Whitewater is NOT a safe solo activity, always wear a PFD, have basic safety gear, make sure someone “back home” knows your trip plan, and “leave it better than you found it.”

Hurricane Creek This creek begins near Deer, AR and flows to the creek’s confluence with Big Piney Creek. Difficulty is a step up from Big Piney but not as difficult as Richland Creek. Chancel to Fort Douglas – The put-in for this 10.2-mile run actually begins on Cub Creek at the low-water bridge, about 500 ft. from where it meets Hurricane Creek. The first 4.5 miles of this run are a good-scenery run with Class II and II+ rapids much

Long Pool to Moore Outdoors – This 5-mile stretch slows

of it canopied by hardwood trees. The middle 4 miles or so are

down, the creek widens (for the most part) and the pools are

Class II and III containing “Boulder Garden” and then “Double

longer interrupted with mostly Class I rapids. Great for beginners,

Drop” followed by a short pool to get ready for “Pyramid Rapid”

kids learning to kayak, canoe-fishermen or those looking for a

which during high water can become constricted by boulders

relaxing float -- and can be run in fairly low water with minimal

to less than 15 ft. across and a Class III+. One good drop at

boat carrying. Put-in at Long Pool is free, pay parking if leaving

“Drop Baby Drop” and you finish the run with 2.2 miles of Class

a vehicle. Take-out at Moore Outdoors is $2 -- this outfitter also

II rapids and beautiful scenery. Take-out on river left where the

offers boat rental and shuttle service for these sections for a fee.

road crosses the creek before it joins Big Piney Creek. Best Float: Great for boaters familiar with catching eddies

Best float: Late fall through Mid-June depending on water

and backferrying. Requires moderate experience-level and boat

level. 2.5 to 5.0 ft. is optimum. Higher than 5.0 ft. is considered

control. Optimum water level is 5.5 ft. to 7.0 ft. Dangerous

dangerous.

above 7.5 ft.

@adventureARV • River Valley Adventures

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RICHLAND CREEK

Richland Creek Richland Creek is not for sissies. It is also not easy to access, and these are just two of many things that make this creek so special to the accomplished creeker. Richland is located near Ben Hur (which is 7 miles from Pelsor.) If you’d like to enjoy the awesome scenery on this creek plan to get out of your boat because you won’t see it as you go by. Ben Hur to Richland Creek Campground – This is a six-mile run. This section drops 300 ft. in six miles, and includes very technical Class III+ and IV whitewater, drops and waterfalls, mean hydraulics, boulders, slots and everything else that gets experienced paddlers’ adrenalin running. Highlights include “Stolen Paddle,” “Bloody Knuckles” and “Upper and Lower Screw Ups.” The put-in is 3.5 miles north of Ben Hur on FR 1203 at the low-water bridge. Takeout is at the Richland Creek Campground. No fees. Best Float: This creek is very water-sensitive. It is typically floatable when other streams are flooded. In optimum or high water it is for experienced paddlers only. Water levels of 3.5 to 5.0 ft. are optimum. Dangerous over 5.5ft.

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RIVER VALLEY ADVENTURES |FLOAT

WANT TO FLOAT? Choose the Right Boat

Are you a loyal canoeist? A rugged rafter? Here are some tips for when and where the boat is right for the water . . . and the paddler. Whitewater requires quick and easy maneuvering - so the boats are generally shorter and rockered for easy turning. Wide-open longer and straighter. Steep mountain creeks are the domain of the expert creek kayaker Whitewater streams are home to whitewater kayak playboats

Flat water and wide rivers are suitable for touring kayaks

Fast high creek waters are perfect for rafts

Big bodies of water, estuaries, bays are made for sea kayaks

Oceans and surf are for sea kayak experts only

and highly rockered canoes

Photo By: Dan Daniel

Photo By: Joe Branch

Moving water, with few significant rapids are good for general touring canoes

waters require boats that hold the course easily, so they are •

@adventureARV • River Valley Adventures

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DISC GOLF| RIVER VALLEY ADVENTURES

NO CLUBS REQUIRED

Disc Golf. The Latest River Valley Craze. attended Arkansas Tech University and participated in just about all Intramural Sports on campus. A born competitor, after college he looked for a new sport. In 2007, he was invited to join a group playing disc golf. There were no “holes”, they aimed at trees. On his next birthday he got a starter set of golf discs and a bag. His first time out at the Pleasant View Disc Golf Course he said, “It was like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz when her life ‘before’ was in black and white then everything turned Technicolor.” He was hooked, and has played competitively ever since. Disc golf appeals to a wide range of players with varying abilities. The evening In the early 80’s we played Frisbee

Association in the 96-degree heat at the

we visited, there were roughly 15 golfers

golf. We played with a Whammo

Pleasant View Disc Golf Course. They’re

playing. Of that group, there was a

Frisbee probably purchased from the

having a regularly scheduled mini-

golfer who worked at the nuclear plant,

T.G.&Y. Our “holes” were buildings

tournament. We are introduced to Matt

a college professor, a Lowe’s employee

on the Arkansas Tech Campus; Hull,

Lloyd, president of the 85-member local

and gathering of other occupations; ages

Witherspoon, Crabaugh, and others. No

association.

ranged from 15 years to “older guys.” As with traditional golf, it does not matter if

specific place on the building . . . just hit the building. It was not uncommon for

Loyd is a locally-based disc golf

you can throw it 300’ or 50’ the object is

overshot Frisbees to land on a roof – to

professional; he designed the course at

to get the disc in the “hole,” a chest-high

protect the not-so-innocent we can’t

the Corps of Engineers Old Post Road

basket made of steel and chain.

reveal who climbed up on the buildings

Park, the only disc golf course on Corps

to retrieve them, but to a group of novice

of Engineer’s property in the state. “They

The course at Old Post Road Park is

mountain climbers it was part of the fun.

were great to work with and assisted us in

approximately 2.5 miles in length-- good

designing and building the course.” Lloyd

exercise walking the somewhat hilly

Fast track to 2013. My volunteer

is passionate about the emerging sport

terrain. Due in great part to the growing

photographer and I meet up with

he practices, competes in, and promotes

popularity of the disc golf, vehicle traffic

members of the River Valley Disc Golf

daily in and around the River Valley. He

at the park has increased more than 250

40 River Valley Adventures • @adventureARV


percent since the course opened. Disc golf is fun, inexpensive and right here in our back yard. For more information about disc golf in our area or to join the River Valley Disc Golf Association call Matt Lloyd 479/264-4469.

@adventureARV • River Valley Adventures

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OUTFITTERS| RIVER VALLEY ADVENTURES

MOORE OUTDOORS

30 Years of Creating Adventure on Big Piney

Moore Outdoors has been the outfitter of choice for Big Piney Creek since 1978, beginning in a rented house on North Arkansas with five canoes and some camping gear. As their business (and family) grew, Kerry and Debbie Moore built a log cabin home below Twin Bridges on Big Piney Creek and then an outfitting store on the corner of Highway 164 West and Old Highway 7 toward Long Pool Campground. You could say Kerry is the Old Man of the River (sorry Kerry), and is probably the wisest and most experienced paddler in this region. Moore has a wealth of knowledge of area creeks and rivers -- he’s paddled them all, in all types of water and weather conditions. If he’s not out working the creek you might find him “sittin’ the porch” of Moore Outdoors with fellow paddlers, swapping stories and tales, and offering wise advice on any creek adventure. He’s guided a lot of people over the years and has pulled out “many an inexperienced paddler” from the creek. Debbie is the Admiral; she keeps the store running and vehicles and boats moving, advises you on what to rent, offers valuable advice on creek conditions, and is not afraid (along with Kerry) to sternly warn and/or refuse rentals to inexperienced paddlers when the creek is running fast. You won’t find another couple on the area’s creeks that care more about the creek and its visitors. Moore Outdoors has grown to over 35 canoes and sit-on-top kayaks, 9 rafts, two children, a son-in-law and a beautiful new grandbaby. Moore Outdoors is definitely an original and a “must go” place to visit.

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RIVER VALLEY ADVENTURES | THE LOVE/HATE LIST

THE LOVE/HATE LIST Dontcha Love It? And Don’t You Hate That? And sometimes it’s a lot of both. Here’s our first edition of The Love/Hate List. Help us make the list for the next issue. Send ideas to mroys@exploretherivervalley.com.

The first good hit of creek spray in your face

Sun “streaks” through the woods

Riding on new pavement on the Pottsville bypass

Climbing out of a warm sleeping bag on a cold morning to re-stoke the fire

Post-race massage stations

We hate: •

Mosquitoes in your bike helmet

Weedy open water swims

Weird tan lines from oddly designed gear

Texting through a ziplock baggie

Putting up gear

We love and hate: •

That good/nasty taste of a well broken-in water bottle

The sweaty drive home

Smelling the smoky campfire again when you wash your hair

Photo By: Jed Bolyard

We love:


TIPS| RIVER VALLEY ADVENTURES

TIPS FOR A SAFER PADDLING TRIP

If you paddle, you probably already know this list. If you don’t paddle, please read this carefully before you go. Safety first. •

Wear a properly fitted Personal

Flotation Device (PFD) - a life jacket. •

Paddle water appropriate to your

Learn to control your boat - be able to stop the boat at any time and know

Do not go into fast current unless

sweep boat - preferably have both be experienced paddlers: no one passes the lead boat or falls behind the sweep.

best. •

Do not paddle rivers in flood stage •

getting trapped between the boat

Don’t paddle alone - paddle with people who know the river. Let someone know where you will be and

Know what to do when you capsize: stay upstream of the boat to avoid

Stay alert to changing weather conditions.

shallow river. •

Wear proper clothing to avoid hypothermia - synthetic fabrics are

Walk around any hazard about which

become very swift, even in a normally

through. When in a group, assign a lead and

wallets in waterproof bags).

or after a heavy rain - currents can

you are sure you can safely paddle

reaching into the water); dams with

you have doubts.

how to land on shore.

Tie all your gear into the boat, but never yourself, children or pets (put

barbed wires across rivers. •

strainers (downed trees or branches hydraulic reversals; bridge piers;

skills. •

Learn to recognize river hazards:

when you plan to return. •

Take a paddling clinic or class.

and an obstacle; do not stand up in swift water (feet can get caught in rocks) but swim to shore.

REMEMBER: You are in control of your boat while on the water. The river is a natural environment and can have hazards, which could cause accidents and spoil your trip.

44 River Valley Adventures • @adventureARV


Photo By: Dan Daniel

@adventureARV • River Valley Adventures

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EVENTS| RIVER VALLEY ADVENTURES

EVENTS PAGE

There are Many Opportunities for Adventure in this Great State One mile fun-runs, 100 mile trail runs and everything in between. There are Mountain bike and adventure races, canoeing and kayaking events. Arkansas has it all. Get outside and check it out. Check these websites out to find your adventure in Arkansas.

Running/Trail Running

Adventure Racing Events

www.arkansasrunner.com

www.usara.com

www.rivervalleyrunners.com

Other Cool Sites

www.runarkansas.com

Multi-Sport/Triathlon Events

www.arkansascanoeclub.com www.kayaksession.com

www.dltevents.com www.climbing.com

Bicycling Events

www.dpmclimbing.com

www.arkansascycling.com

www.mountainbike.com

www.cyclingarkansas.com

www.trailrunner.com

Mountain Biking Events

www.runnersworld.com www.usara.com

www.ambcs.com

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