All posts by Shelley Smart

Shelley Smart is a CPA in northwest Arkansas who loves to go hiking and backpacking with her husband. Shelley is also the author of the blog (A Hiking We Will Go).

Bella Vista: Tanyard Creek Nature Trail

[This post was originally published February 9, 2011 on “A hiking we will go…”]

I have been remiss in my blogging and have been admonished for my digression.  Indeed, there was a hike last weekend, but I did not manage to get anything written until today.  We have had an incredible amount of snowfall in the last week. In fact today, we are snowed in once again, but Mother Nature allowed us a brief reprieve over the weekend, and we scooted down the road to Tanyard Creek Nature Trail here in Bella Vista.

The Tanyard Creek Nature Trail in Bella Vista is inside the city limits and was built and is maintained by volunteers.  It’s one of my favorite places to go because of the great scenery and all of the informational signs posted. I can spend hours wandering around. Continue reading Bella Vista: Tanyard Creek Nature Trail

Big Bluff Trail (Buffalo River)

Hike Date – September 22 – 23, 2012

Big Bluff Trail (Buffalo River) photoAfter the last hiking attempt, we opted to head out on a dog-free backpacking trip which means enjoying the wonders of the Buffalo National River.  The weather was perfect, no chance of rain…70’s during the day, 50’s at night.

The hike – Centerpoint Trailhead to Big Bluff, camp by the river, see Granny’s cabin and head back the next day.

The hikers – Shelley, Stuart, and Craig

Big Bluff Trail (Buffalo River) photoThis particular route is about 4 miles out and back.  The crown jewel is the awesome view from Big Bluff.  There is a trail about 300 feet above the river that hugs the side of the bluff leading to a natural rock shelter that overlooks the Buffalo River.  The view is astounding and the acoustics are amazing.  The only trick is overcoming the elevation change, which is approximately 1,200 feet down and then back up. Continue reading Big Bluff Trail (Buffalo River)

Richland Creek Wilderness Hike (Ozark Forest) 2012

Hike date September 8-9, 2012

Richland Creek Wilderness in the Boston Mountains is managed by the USDA Forest Service.  There is a nearby campground called Richland Creek Campground. The directions on the USDA Forest Service site are the clearest. Richland Creek Wilderness Hike (Ozark Forest) 2012 photo  I wouldn’t recommend directions from Google Maps.  Our goal on this backpacking trip was to see Richland Falls, Twin Falls, and maybe the Sandcastles.  Alas, it was not meant to be.

Richland Creek Wilderness Hike (Ozark Forest) 2012 photoTim Ernst mentions the Richland Creek Wilderness in both the Arkansas Hiking Trails and Ozark Highlands Trail books, which are excellent resources for planning a hike.  We decided to start at Hill Cemetery and hike south to Twin Falls.

This is not an easy spot to find.  The USDA Forestry site mentions the road is not recommended for passenger vehicles.  I wouldn’t recommend it at all, the road is very rough at two spots and appears to be washed out, at the end, there is very limited parking.  After a scouting mission by Stuart and Dan, the decision was made to back the CRV up and head toward Richland Creek Campgrounds. Continue reading Richland Creek Wilderness Hike (Ozark Forest) 2012

Shores Lake/White Rock Loop Adventure (Ozark Forest)

Memorial Day weekend we headed out for a backpacking trip on the Shores Lake/White Rock Loop with the best intentions for a two-night trip to one of the most scenic hikes in Arkansas. Unfortunately, this time our hike had some unplanned difficulties that caused us to turn back after our first night.Shores Lake/White Rock Loop Adventure (Ozark Forest) photo

So our first summit attempt has failed, but we will be back!

Unplanned Side Trip

Shores Lake is in the Ozark National Forest, northeast of Fort Smith. A friend had mentioned that we should check out the Lake Fort Smith State Park visitor center if we were going to be in the area, and although we had a late start on Saturday, I had convinced hubby this was a good idea. Continue reading Shores Lake/White Rock Loop Adventure (Ozark Forest)