A E T N Logo P B S logo
Support the Programs You LoveDONATE NOW

Exploring Arkansas April 2012

Loading the player…

Caddo Bend Trail, West NW Scenic Byway, Sentinel Rock & Bingham Hollow Falls
The Caddo Bend Trail at Lake Ouachita State Park is a 4 mile hike around Point 50 Peninsula which includes many scenic vistas of the lake. The West Northwest Scenic Byway southeast of Fort Smith, is the newest addition to the Arkansas Scenic Byway system. Comprised of four state highways and traversing mainly through the Ouachita National Forest, this byway offers many scenic views, with one of them being the tallest peak in the state - Mt. Magazine. Sentinel Rock and Bingham Hollow Falls in northwest Arkansas are a couple of lesser known waterfalls that will simply take your breath away when they're at their optimal flow.

TRANSCRIPT

AT LAKE OUACHITA STATE PARK, A REALLY NEAT TRAIL TO TAKE IS THE CADDO BEND TRAIL. AS OF THE CADDO BEND TRAIL.  AS OF *} APRIL 11 TEES TAKEN ON AN ENTIRELY NEW LOOK.  JOINING US IS PARK RANGER JAMES WILBORN.  THIS 4 MILE LOOP TRAIL IS RATED MODERATE AND STRENUOUS AND YOU SHOULD ALLOW AT LEAST HALF A DAY FOR A LEISURELY HIKE.  THIS AREA, I GUESS YOU CALL IT THE BOULDER AREA? 

CORRECT, THESE BOULDERS ARE A POPULAR STOP ALONG THE TRAIL.  THEY ARE ABOUT HALF A MILE IN AND THEY ARE TYPICAL OF THE SANDSTONE THAT YOU FIND HERE THROUGHOUT THE OUACHITAS, BUT THIS NICE BOULDER OUTCROPING HAS BEEN A REAL POPULAR PLACE FOR PEOPLE TO TAKE THEIR FIRST BREAK ALONG THE TRAIL.  AFTER THE APRIL 2011 TORNADO UPROOTED THOUSANDS OF TREES, THE CADDO BEND TRAIL WAS CLOSED FOR ALMOST A YEAR FOR CLEAN UP AND REPAIRS. 

THE AMERI-CORPS TEAMS, WHICH ARE A FEDERALLY FUNDED PROGRAM OF YOUNG PEOPLE, GROUPS OF ABOUT 10 OR 12 COME INTO THE PARKS AND THEY DO COMMUNITY SERVICE, DISASTER RELIEF AND SO ON, AND WE HAD TWO TEAMS THAT WORKED ON THIS PROJECT FOR ABOUT 4 MONTHS CHAIN SAWING AND CLEARING DEBRIS AND WORKING ON THE TREAD OF THE TRAIL, REALLY IMPROVING IT QUITE A BIT. 

AS WE'VE SEEN, IT'S ACTUALLY, YOU KNOW, FOR ALL PRACTICAL PURPOSES, HAS BECOME A BRAND NF NEW TRAIL BECAUSE OF ALL THE VISTAS OF THE LAKE NOW. 

CORRECT, THAT WAS ONE OF THE BENEFITS OF THE TORNADO, WE HAVE ALL THESE WONDERFUL VISTAS PARTICULARLY ON THE SOUTH SLOPE OF THE TRAIL.  YOU GET SOME SPECTACULAR VIEWS THAT YOU DIDN'T GET BEFORE. THE TRAIL WAS CLOSE TO THE WATER AND YOU GOT SOME GOOD VIEWS BUT NOW THE VIEWS ARE SPECTACULAR.  WE'RE REAL PLEASED WITH THE WAY THE TRAIL TURNED OUT AND THE FACT WE HAVE NEW TREAD IS WONDERFUL, EASY WALK AND LOTS OF FUN FOR FAMILIES AND PEOPLE TO ENJOY. 

IT'S AMAZING THAT OBSERVATION DECK REMAINED STANDING AFTER ALL THIS TIMBER HAS BEEN BOWLED OVER. 

THAT OBSERVATION DECK HAS BEEN THERE FROM THE BEGINNING AND NOW THE VIEWS FROM TOO, TOO, ARE SPECTACULAR.  THE OBSERVATION DECK IS ABOUT 2 MILES OUT ON THE PENINSULA AND IT COVERS THE ENTIRE WESTERN END OF THE LAKE FROM THERE. LOTS OF PEOPLE ENJOY HIKING THIS SECTION TO VIEW THAT AREA.  LAKE OUACHITA IS ARKANSAS'S LARGEST LAKE.  THE NAME OUACHITA ORIGINATES FROM THE NATIVE AMERICAN WORD THAT MEANS HAPPY HUNTING GROUNDS.  I'VE BEEN TO LAKE OUACHITA STATE PARK ONCE BEFORE, THAT DAY WAS MISERABLE, HIGH HUMIDITY.  WE DID NOT HIKE THIS TRAIL BECAUSE IT WAS CLOSED OFF DUE TO THE TORNADO, BUT THE TRAIL WE DID HIKE, I THOUGHT IT WAS BEAUTIFUL.  IT WAS MUCH DEEPER INTO THE WOODS.  AT ONE POINT IT BROKE OUT AND YOU COULD SEE THE WHOLE LAKE.  I'VE BEEN TO ITALY BEFORE AND I REMEMBER HIKING ALONG THE MEDITERRANEAN AND IT REMINDED ME OF THAT.  IT BROUGHT BACK A LOT OF GOOD MEMORIES.  IT'S DEFINITELY A UNIQUE TRAIL TO HIKE.  WITH ALL THIS DESTRUCTION AROUND HERE I'M NOT USED TO SEEING BUT IT'S GORGEOUS, GREAT SCENERY, DEFINITELY VERY IONIC OF ARKANSAS. 

OUT OF THE BAD CAME THE GOOD AS FAR AS OPENING UP SOME OF THE AREAS FOR THE SCENIC VISTAS. 

HOPEFULLY ONE DAY IN THE FUTURE ALL THIS CAN CREATE SOMETHING NEW, LIKE A DIFFERENT, SOMETHING WE HAVEN'T SEEN BEFORE, SORT OF A DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE FOR OUACHITA STATE PARK. 

  LIZ BELGT, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS? 

I'VE NEVER BEEN TO THIS PARK AND I LOVE HIKING, SO I FEEL LIKE A LOT OF THE TIME IN ARKANSAS THE TREES ARE VERY BIG AND I LOVE THE PINE TREES, BUT IT MAKES IT TO WHERE THE VIEWS ARE REALLY HARD TO SEE.  SO I REALLY LIKE THIS.  I REALLY LIKE -- WE JUST HAD A PICNIC, PERFECT VIEW OF THE WATER.  SO DESTRUCTION, BUT IT'S REALLY PRETTY. 

YOU CAN DEFINITELY SEE THE LAKE NOW. 

YEAH. 

LAKE OUACHITA'S SUPERB WATER QUALITY AND UNDEVELOPED SHORE LINES MAKE WAY FOR UNIQUE AQUATIC LIFE SUCH AS FRESH WATER JELLYFISH.  BECAUSE OF THE REMARKABLE WILDLIFE HABITAT OF THIS AREA, YOU MAY ALSO FIND SIGNS OF DEER, BEAVER, FOX, COYOTE, ARMADILLO, BOB CAT, WILD TURKEY AND EAGLES, DEPENDING ON WHAT TIME OF THE YEAR YOU VISIT.  LAKE OUACHITA IN THE OUACHITA MOUNTAINS OFFER SOME OF THE MOST UNIQUE GEOLOGICAL FORMATIONS IN THE WORLD INCLUDING AN ABUNDANCE OF QUARTZ.  SINCE THESE MOUNTAINS ARE PROTECTED BY THE U.S. FOREST SERVICE AND MANAGED FOR MULTIPLE USES, YOU CAN DO YOUR PART BY PRACTICING THE LEAVE NO TRACE ETHIC.  A SELF-GUIDED CADDO BEND TRAIL BROCHURE CAN BE PICKED UP AT THE VISITOR'S CENTER.  .

WEST NORTHWEST, NOW THAT MAY SOUND LIKE AN OLD JOHN WAYNE WESTERN, BUT ACTUALLY IT'S THE OLD WEST NORTHWEST BY WAY BY 40 SMITH GOING MAINLY THROUGH THE OUACHITA NATIONAL FOREST.  THE WEST NORTHWEST SCENIC BY WAY IS ACTUALLY MADE UP OF A SERIES OF HIGHWAYS WHICH INCLUDE HIGHWAY 10 FROM OLA TO THE OKLAHOMA STATE LINE, TO THE LOGAN COUNTY LINE AND HIGHWAY 96 FROM HIGHWAY 71 TO HARTFORD.  WITH 261 MILES OF COMBINED BY WAY, YOU CAN OPT TO EXPLORE THE ENTIRE ROUTE, MAKING IT A FULL DAY, OR JUST HALF OF THE ROUTE IF AN ENTIRE DAY ISN'T POSSIBLE.  THIS BY WAY TOUR WILL TAKE YOU THROUGH MOUNTAIN LANDSCAPES, VALLEYS, LAKES SUCH AS BLUE MOUNTAIN LAKE SOUTH OF HIGHWAY 10 NEAR WAVELAND, ALSO MANY OUTSTANDING PANORAMIC VIEWS THROUGH THE ARKANSAS RIVER VALLEY AND THE OUACHITA MOUNTAINS.  ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEST NORTHWEST SCENIC BY WAY IS ACTUALLY IN THE  OZARK NATIONAL FOREST NEAR HAVANA.  AT 2,079 FEET, MOUNT MAGAZINE HAS LONG LURED NATION TOUR LOVERS AND VACATIONERS.  IT ALSO PROVIDES HABITATS FOR MORE THAN 90 SPECIES OF BUTTERFLIES, INCLUDING THE DIANA FRITILLARY, ARKANSAS'S STATE BUTTERFLY.  SO IF YOU'D LIKE TO UNWIND AND FORGET ABOUT THE EVERYDAY WORRIES OF THE WORK ADAY WORLD, TAKE A DRIVE ALONG THE WEST NORTHWEST SCENIC BY WAY AND EXPLORE THE BEAUTY OF THE BACK ROADS OF ARKANSAS AND FOR MORE ON THIS SCENIC BY WAY, PLUS 10 OTHERS, THE ARKANSAS SCENIC BYWAYS PAMPHLET IS AVAILABLE THROUGH THE ARKANSAS HIGHWAY AND TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT OR BY GOING TO ARKANSASHIGHWAYS.COM.  . 

YEAH, BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY HERE. 

WE MET UP WITH BRIAN EMFINGER, A STORM CHASER WHO ALSO HAPPENS TO BE A WATERFALL DISCOVERER AND EXPLORER.  ON THIS DAY, BRIAN WAS EAGER TO TAKE US TO TWO WATERFALLS HE RECENTLY DISCOVERED AND NAMED IN THE OZARK NATIONAL FOREST ALONG THE MULBERRY RIVER REGION.  OUR FIRST TRUE AND CORRECT IS ABOUT A 2.2 ROUND TRIP TO SENTINEL ROCK FALLS WHICH INVOLVES MEETING TYPE BUSHWHACKING BUT DON'T WORRY, YOU WON'T NEED YOUR MACHETE  ALONG THE WAY WE CAME UPON TWO SMALLER WATERFALLS THAT ARE WORTHWHILE TO STOP, TAKE A BREAK AND OBSERVE.  TO GET TO WHERE THIS HIKE BEGINS FROM COSS GO EAST TO THE REDDING NATIONAL FOREST CAMPGROUND ABOUT A MILE AND TURN RIGHT ON FOREST ROAD 1504, WHICH IS ALSO CALLED LOW BRIDGE ROAD.  GO 2.4 MILES AND PARK AT THE INTERSECTION WHERE AN OLD JEEP ROAD VEERS OFF TO THE EAST. NIEK 9/10 OF A MILE ON THIS ROAD UNTIL YOU COME TO A CREEK.  FOLLOW THAT CREEK DOWNSTREAM AND YOU WILL COME TO THE TOP OF SENTINEL ROCK FALLS.  THERE IS A WAY DOWN THROUGH THE BLUFF LINE TO GET TO THE BASE OF THE FALLS ALONG THE RIGHT-HAND SIDE PAST ANOTHER WATERFALL.  SENTINEL ROCK IS A SPECTACULAR 52-FOOT TALL TWO TIER WATERFALL THAT BRIAN NAMED AFTER THE LOAN ROCK IN THE POOL BELOW.  I HAD TO ASK BRIAN HOW HE WENT FROM STORM CHASING TO WATERFALL EXPLORING. 

IT ALL STARTED REALLY WITH OUR ARKANSAS WATERFALL GUIDEBOOK.  FIRST OFF WENT TO ALL OF HIS WATERFALLS OR A GOOD NUMBER OF HIS WATERFALLS AND I JUST DECIDED TO CHECK OUT SOME OF THE AREA AROUND ME.  I KNEW THAT SOME PEOPLE HAD, THERE'S A COUPLE GUYS I KNEW WHO HAD FOUND SOME WATERFALLS AND I HAD ORIGINALLY THOUGHT THAT ALL THE WATERFALLS IN ARKANSAS WERE PROBABLY IN TIM'S GUIDEBOOK. SO I STARTED LOOKING AND I FOUND A 40 FOOT WATERFALL ONLY 2 MILES FROM WHERE I LIVED AND IT WAS ON A PRETTY SOLID BLUFF LINE SO IT KIND OF DAWNED ON ME, IT MIGHT BE A GOOD IDEA TO GO TO WHEREVER THAT BLUFF LINE INTERSECTS A STREAM, SO I DID THAT AND FOR A FEW WEEKS I WAS FINDING WATERFALL AFTER WATERFALL AFTER WATERFALL AND PRETTY SIGNIFICANT ONES FOR ARKANSAS, 40, 50 FEET.  IT JUST CONTINUED FROM THERE.  I KIND OF LOST COUNT HOW MANY WATERFALLS I'VE GOT AT THIS POINT, SIGNIFICANT 30 FOOTERS, GOT TO BE 50 OR 60 AT LEAST, COULD BE WAY MORE THAN THAT.  AS FAR AS, YOU KNOW, NICE ONES THAT ANYBODY WOULD LIKE TO GO, IT'S IN THE SEVERAL HUNDRED, NO DOUBT ABOUT IT.  I HARDLY EVEN KEEP TRACK OF THE SMALLER WATERFALLS ANY MORE, IT'S MAINLY THE NEATER ONES IF THEY ARE INTERESTING AND SMALL THAT'S GOOD.  AS FAR AS DIFFERENT THINGS, ALMOST EVERY TIME I GO HIKING, EVEN IF I DON'T FIND A NICE WATERFALL, THERE'S SOMETHING OUT THERE, WHETHER IT'S ANIMAL, BEAR, DEER, SNAKES, AND A LOT OF TIMES EVEN JUST AN OVERLOOK.  A LOT OF THE AREAS WHERE I'M AT IT'S ALONG A BLUFF LANE SO THERE'S SO MANY GREAT OVERLOOKS I'VE FOUND OVER THE ARKANSAS RIVER VALLEY, OVER THE MULBERRY VALLEY, JUST A LIZARD ON A ROCK, YOU KNOW, A BIRD ON A TREE, JUST ABOUT EVERY TIME THERE'S SOMETHING THAT IS A MEMORABLE TIME EACH TIME, WHICH IS KIND OF SURPRISING.  YOU'D FIGURE THERE WOULD BE TIMES WHEN YOU'D GO OUT YOU MIGHT NOT SEE TOO MUCH OR SEE ANYTHING PHOTO WORTHY AND NEARLY EVERY TIME I GO OUT, WHICH GETS ME TO GO OUT MORE AND MORE AND MORE. 

TELL US ABOUT THIS ONE. 

THIS WAS ONE THAT I FOUND, I GUESS IT WAS PROBABLY ABOUT TWO YEARS AGO.  IT WASN'T TOO HARD TO KNOW THAT THERE WAS A WATERFALL HERE, I LOOKED AT GOOGLE ERT AND THE TOPOGRAPHIC MAP AND IT WAS OBVIOUS THERE WAS A SIGNIFICANT DROPOFF, THERE WAS A NICE STREAM HERE, SO I BASICALLY -- AND IT'S REALLY SHADOWED ON GOOGLE EARTH AND THE SHADOW IS JUST LIKE RIGHT NOW, IT'S SHADOWED IN HERE AND YOU CAN SEE THAT WELL ON GOOGLE EARTH AND IT GIVES YOU A GOOD IDEA WHERE THE BIG DROPOFFS ARE.  SO I CAME HERE AND STUMBLED UPON THIS, IT WAS PRETTY MUCH WHERE I EXPECTED IT TO BE, WHICH IS PRETTY MUCH THE CASE. IMMEDIATELY I SAW THE ROCK IN THE POOL THERE.  PART OF THE PROBLEM WHEN YOU FIND A WATERFALL, ESPECIALLY IF YOU FIND A BUNCH, IS NAMING.  THIS HAS NO STREAM NAME, IT FLOWS INTO THE MULBERRY, THAT'S ALL WE KNOW.  THIS ONE WAS PRETTY EASY, I NAMED IT SENTINEL ROCK FALLS AND THAT'S KIND OF CAUGHT ON.  . 

GETTING TO OUR NEXT WATERFALL, WING UM HOLLOW FALLS, IS CHILD'S PLAY, STARTING BACK WHERE WE PARKED BY THE OLD JEEP ROAD, START OFF ON LOW BRIDGE ROAD AND GO A HUNDRED YARDS OR SO UNTIL WE CAME TO THE TOP OF THE FALLS.  TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THE FALLS, FOLLOW THE BLUFF AROUND TO THE RIGHT A COUPLE HUNDRED YARDS DOWN A SOMEWHAT TRAIL, WHICH WILL EVENTUALLY TAKE YOU TO THE BASE AND THEN UNDER A BLUFF OVERHANG AND IF YOU CONTINUE WALKING, YOU WILL END UP BEHIND THE WATERFALL ITSELF.  . 

BINGHAM WAS ACTUALLY THE SECOND SIGNIFICANT WATERFALL I FOUND.  I NAMED IT BINGHAM HOLLOW FALLS.  BING HAM IS ABOUT 50 FEET AND IT IS, LIKE, YOU CAN HEAR THE WATERFALL FROM THE ROAD AND THE ROAD IS GOOD. IF YOU'RE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE YOU DON'T WANT TO HIKE 10 MILES TO A WATERFALL, WHICH WE HAVE THOSE OBVIOUSLY IN ARKANSAS, BUT ANYBODY CAN HIKE TO THIS WATERFALL.  I'VE TAKEN LITTLE KIDS DOWN THERE.  IT HAS A HUGE CAVERN DOWN THERE, AN UNDERCUT, IT HAS A HUGE AUSTRALIA-SHAPED POOL, I PONDERED NAMING IT THAT FOR A LITTLE WHILE, AUSTRALIA FALLS, BUT BINGHAM IS ONE OF MY FAVORITES.  I'VE BEEN TO BINGHAM SO MANY TIMES JUST BECAUSE IT'S SO EASY TO GET TO.  IT CAN BE POURING DOWN RAIN AND YOU CAN GET BEHIND THE WATERFALL IN 3 TO 5 MINUTES AND TAKE ALL THE PICTURES AND NOT WORRY ABOUT THE RAIN.

HOW DID YOU COME TO THE NAME BINGHAM. 

ON THE MAP, THAT HOLLOW IS NAMED BINGHAM.  IF THERE'S A PLACE NAME I CAN FIND, I'M ALWAYS GOING TO USE THAT. WHAT'S ACTUALLY KIND OF FUNNY, WHEN I FOUND IT I HAD ALREADY BEEN IN CONTACT WITH TIM ERNST JUST A FEW DAYS PREVIOUSLY WHEN I FOUND WHITE OAK FALLS, WHICH WAS THE FIRST FALL THAT TIPPED ME OFF TO THIS WATERFALL AND THIS SEARCH BLUFF LINE.  AS SOON AS I GOT HOME, I EMAILED HIM AND IT TURNED OUT THAT SAME DAY HE CAME DOWN AND TOOK A PICTURE OF IT.  BECAUSE THE NEXT MORNING I CAME OUT THERE AND THERE WERE FOOTPRINTS THERE.  OH, MY GOSH, SOMEBODY KNOWS ABOUT THIS WATERFALL BUT IT WAS TIM'S FOOTPRINTS, HE HAD BEEN THERE THE AFTERNOON I TOLD HIM, THAT'S HOW SPECTACULAR IT IS, HE HAD TO GO TAKE A PICTURE OF IT. 

AND WE HAD TO DO THE SAME. BINGHAM HOLLOW FALLS AND SENTINEL ROCK FALLS, TWO GEMS IN THE OZARK NATIONAL FOREST. IF YOU'D LIKE TO SEE MORE OF HIS WATERFALLS, GO TO HIS WEB SITE, REALCLEARWX.COM.  SO EXPLORE SENTINEL ROCK FALLS AND BINGHAM HOLLOW FALLS.  TO ORDER A COPY OF AN EPISODE, VISIT OUR WEB SITE, AETN.COM/EXPLORINGARKANSAS.

AETN.org > Programs > Exploring Arkansas > Exploring Arkansas April 2012