|photography < ozark st. francis & ouachita national forests|
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Sylamore Ranger District Mountain View, AR
Blanchard Spring & Gunner Pool See more photos.
Syllamo Mountain Bike Trail - White River Bluff Loop See more photos.
Blanchard Springs Caverns (The Discovery Tour) See more photos.
Butterflies See more photos.
Mirror Lake See more photos.
Primitive Camping See more photos.
Ouachita National Forest - Eagle Rock Loop Trail (28 miles)
See more photos.
We did this hike in 2007 but due to the recent June 11th flooding of this area, including the
Albert Pike Campground which the Eagle Rock Loop Trail crosses, we thought it appropriate to share the images now.
It is hoped the images are a reminder of the wonderful natural spaces outdoor lovers,(including those who died in the flood)
have available to them. Remember you are more likely to die driving to your next outdoor adventure, as our parks and
forests are safe places to visit; they do require a certain level of respect. We hope you continue to enjoy the healthy
lifestyle and beauty of our wild and natural places.
Planning a Trip to this area (helpful resources):
Ozark St. Francis National Forest Home Page
Sylamore Creek Camp Owned and opertated by Guy Harris who will take the time to
answer your questions before, after and during your stay as well as offer cabins, RV and camping along the beautiful Sylamore Creek.
Blanchard Springs Caverns. They are not allowed to advertise
(I'll do it for them) see this before you die. With White-Nose Syndrome killing our bats, it's one of the few
bat caves open to the public. The Dripstone and Discovery Tours are $10.00 each (we took those) lasting about 1.0 to 1.5 hours.
They also offer a 3 - 6 hour crawling exploration tour for $75.00.
Resources/Tips for Mountain Bikers:
Forest Service Trail and Contact Info Get a map!
They don't have maps posted at the trail heads. The week of memorial day we saw maybe 20 bikers,
2 along the trail wanting to know, "Where the heck am I and how do I get out".
Note the name difference of "Syllamo" Mountain Bike Trail and "Sylamore" Creek and save research time.
Plan on ZERO water along the trail and at the trail heads. The topo map shows creeks all over the place and almost all are dry.
Check for ticks at home. We wore 100% Deet and still had 5 tick encounters each.
Take caution during hunting season (think that's Nov - Feb). A biker got to the trail
head during first week of hunting season and found a bunch of hunters with guns.
He got in his car and left, as no amount orange clothing made him feel secure enough to ride the trail on that day.
Depending on when you go, the $3.00 a day trail fee may be waved. On some trails we encountered six foot high,
quarter inch long thorny plants (or the blood letting sections of the trail). Go to the trail head or to places where the
trails cross Green Mountain Road, walk down the trail a bit and check out the conditions first.
This will allow you to figure out your game plan (wearing knee high socks and arm bands, taking the pain or not going).
We found trails to scenic spots were in much better condition due to rider volume.
Take trail difficulties and lengths seriously. From easiest to most difficult:
1. Bad Branch Loop (4 miles beginner)
2. Bad Branch Loop (8 miles beginner)
3. Bad Branch Outer Loop (12 miles beginner)
4. The Jack’s Branch Loop (14 miles intermediate)
We can confirm what we were told by a ranger who helped develop the trail, the
bluff view here is the best view along all 50 miles of trail (park topo map grid 4).
5. Bald Scrappy Loop (7.3 miles intermediate)
6. White River Bluff Loop (4.5 miles advanced) Bluff views here is worth the time it takes to get there
(see images above).
7. Scrappy Mountain Loop (12 miles advanced) Three creek crossings. The one we did was East of the
North trail head and the view was wonderful (park topo map grid 36).