Thursday, May 18, 2006

Eureka! Weekend Paddling Trip

Eureka Springs, Arkansas has long been a favorite vacation destination for Oklahoma folks. The little Ozark town is close enough for a quick weekend car trip, yet distant enough to provide an interesting change in scenery. Lots of Oklahoma kids first visit Eureka Springs to see the Great Passion Play, others visit to see the live music and variety shows or as a quick stop on the way to Branson, Missouri.

This weekend we are planning to make the short trip to paddle some new water. Eureka Springs appears to have at least two well outfitted paddling rivers: The White River and The Kings River. Since the main focus of the trip is celebrating our son Dylan's birthday, we may not actually get to paddle both rivers. However, one day we hope to explore them both.

The Kings River - Kings River Map

This river begins high in the Boston Mountains of Madison County. From here the stream twists its way northward to the White River and finally flows into southern Missouri's Table Rock Lake. The stream's water quality is usually very good to excellent, flowing clean, clear and very cold. A stage of about 3.0 feet is considered minimum for good boating.

The White River - White River Map

The White's upper reaches are strictly seasonal, with the late October through April/May period traditionally the best time for float trips. Below Bull Shoals Dam, the White River is a year-round float stream, with some of the best fishing reported during the winter months. The 10-mile stretch of White River tailwater below Beaver Dam is famed for its trout fishing. Canoeing and floating are also popular here, and there’s a handicap-accessible fishing area.

As I said, I don't think I will get the chance to paddle both rivers on this trip. If anyone has paddled these rivers, I'd love to know which one offers the more scenic trip. Leave a comment on our blog or send me an email with your tips!

Oklahoma Paddling News
Bill Becquart from The OKC Outdoor Network recently emailed me this exciting news:

Hi Tom,
As of last week there is now an
OKC Chapter of the Arkansas Canoe Club it is called....

Red Dirt Chapter of the ACC

I think it will be great to have a local branch of the ACC in OKC, ASAP. I enjoyed their video (ArKayaKansas) and I definately share their love of Ozark rivers. Thanks for the tip, Bill!

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