arkoutdoors' digest

Lew Racewalker
arkoutdoors features outdoor recreation in Arkansas.
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Lew Racewalker's interests include:
mountain biking
hiking /backpacking
ham radio (WB5HGU)
contemporary Christian music
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Road bicycling

The Arkansas Bicycle Club sponsors rides every Saturday and Sunday. Ride lists and newsletters are available here and in bicycle shops.

March ABC meeting — p.m. Thursday, March, Buffalo Grill. Watch for info.

Peter Levene, an Englishman who visited Arkansas in April 1997, sent me a nice Christmas card and a copy of his club newsletter. Peter wrote about his week in Arkansas. Thanks, Peter! I really enjoyed the Crows Loop ride! Peter's son is a nurse at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

A number of other clubs exist around the state.

IndexBicycle surfing!

Mountain biking

Womble, Ouachita trails

There are several good trails for mountain biking in western Arkansas. The Womble Trail on National Forest land near Mount Ida is truly great! The 37-mile trail includes awesome views of the Ouachita River. It connects with the Ouachita Trail near Sims. Check out Arkansas Trails on the BikeArkansas' home page or e-mail me. A 50-mile section of the Ouachita Trail is open to mountain bikes on a 2- to 3-year trial basis. (Mountain bikes are not allowed elsewhere on the OT. Horses and motorized vehicles are banned.)

The 2001 Arkansas Mountain Bike Championship Racing Series Planning MeetingThe AMBCS held its planning meeting Sunday, Nov. 12 in Hot Springs after the Attila the Hun Race.

The Attila the Hun Mountain Bike Classic is NORBA-sanctioned and returns in November.

Millwood Trail offers short route

A 4-mile MTB Trail at Millwood State Park was dedicated in September 1997. There is also the 1.5-mile Waterfowl Way trail that is open to walking and bicycling.  Feel free to contact superintendent Lee Howard or assistant superintendant Paula Majors at 870-898-2800.

Arkansas Trails weekend

The Arkansas Trails Weekend was held last September at Moccasin Gap on Highway 7 north of Russellville.

Participants learned about new ways to enjoy your Arkansas' trails, learn how you can help make our trails better and more enjoyable for everyone, or just come to meet new friends, have a good time and share common interests with other trail users.

There were demonstrations of trail maintenance techniques, trail safety and etiquette, latest equipment, observed trials demos, beginner and intermediate mountain bike skills classes.

For addition information call the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest at 501-968-2354 or Ed Hawkins at 501-637-4377.

The Truth at Last! "I invented the mountain bike!"

arkoutdoors' index Mountain Bike surfing!

Racewalking & running

Yorktown Bay Half Marathon

The Yorktown Bay Half Marathon celebrated its 22nd-anniversary Sunday, June 4 at the camp near Lake Ouachita State Park. It's a scenic, well-run race that includes a half marathon, 10K and 2-mile run, as well as a vegetarian banquet afterwards and use of the camp facilities.


The Sportsfest (formerly Healthfest) fitness weekend in Hot Springs — Friday, Nov. 10 through Sunday, Nov. 12 — is one of the state's premier fitness events. Annual activities include the 5K racewalk, Spa 10K run, a wheelchair race, children's run,the Attila the Hun Mountain Bike Classic, a bicycle road race up West Mountain, long-distance swimming, aerobic dancing and health seminars. Make plans to attend Sportsfest in November 2002.

Index Runners' surfing!

Hiking & backpacking

Western Arkansas is graced with the Ouachita Trail and the Ozark Highlands Trail. The OT runs 222.5 miles from Pinnacle Mountain State Park near Little Rock west to Talihena State Park in Oklahoma. The Womble Trail near Mount Ida (see mountain biking) is a loop off the OT. The OHT runs from Lake Fort Smith east to the Buffalo River. Eventually this trail will link up with other trails in the Ozarks to create a footpath all the way to St. Louis, Mo.

Many state parks also have nice dayhike trails. (1-800-NATURAL).

IndexHikers' surfing! Campers' surfing!


Arkansas has many great streams. A good after-work float trip is on the Ouachita River from Jones Mills to Rockport (Hot Spring County). Access is easy, yet the bluffs and lack of development provide a feeling of wilderness.

The free Arkansas Floater's Kit is a collection of maps that is available from the Department of Parks and Tourism (1-800-NATURAL), the Game and Fish Commission and also the Department of Heritage. It features 17 of the state's best floats. The scenic Buffalo National River is perhaps the most famous, but the Big Piney, the Mulberry and the Cossatot offer more challenging waters at optimum levels, while the Spring provides reliable year-round floating.

The Arkansas Canoe Club holds the annual Rendezvous in September. I've attended twice at Camp Couchdale and really enjoyed the free clinics and fellowship.

The ACC's 500 members are active in racing and recreational paddling. A beginner's clinic was held last August at Lake Catherine. For information on future clinics, contact Gordon Kumpuris or visit the club's beginner clinic page.

Visit the Ozark Society, a group that grew out of the successful struggle to save the Buffalo River. Site includes the club history, a books sales page, a chapter list and other information.

IndexFloaters' surfing!

Ham radio/Scouting

The 42nd-annual Jamboree on the Air was held in October 1999. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Guides from around the world were guests of amateur radio operators to experience the thrill of live contacts around the globe.

Find callsigns easily at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Radio Club site. This is a great service of the club!

Visit the Ouachita Area Council's web page.

IndexAmateur Radio surfing! Scouting' surfing!


The Central Arkansas Audubon Society (bet you wondered what "birding" is) has a homepage listing their activities, including a Rare Bird Alert. It's time to add a lifer or two.

Arkansas Audubon Society's annual Edith and Henry Halberg Ecology Camp is held in June every year. The camp is named for the Little Rock couple who have been long-time leaders in Audubon Society work. The camp is for boys and girls 11 and 12 years old and has been held at Camp Clearfork in the Ouachita National Forest west of Hot Springs.

Christmas Bird Counts offer birders a chance to add to their life list. One of the best —— consistently atop or near the top in number of species —— is the Ouachita-Caddo Audubon Society's circle at Arkadelphia. Birders saw 113 species in 1997; 110 in 1998 and 104 in 1999. Arkadelphia is located at the edge of the Gulf Coastal Plains and the Ouachita Mountains, so there is great diversity in habitat. If you are interested in birds, please contact me and I'll try to direct you to the nearest Audubon group, or beginners can find information about feeders, houses, birdbaths, books and binoculars.

IndexBirders' surfing!
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This page visited  times since Sept. 22, 1997

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(last updated Feb. 21, 2002.)
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