055 027
Richland Creek Wilderness Area
  The weather has been crazy nice for the past 4 Saturdays and I have taken advantage of every one! The temp was 35 degrees at the start and 72 at the finish for this hike. This week I went back to Richland Creek Wilderness Area to check out a ridge that I have always wondered about. This ridge pretty much runs along the south side of Richland Creek from the campground to Richland falls. It peaks out at the top of 1,882 foot high Stump Mountain. I began at 6:45 while it was still fairly dark. The hike along the top of this ridge was not very enjoyable due to lots of downed trees and brush and a lack of good views. Another annoyance was the constant hum of what I assumed to be a natural gas well somewhere to the east. Something really needs to be done about the noise pollution these wells spew forth along with the other problems they create. I have been in wild many locations around northern Arkansas where you would expect to hear nothing....yet you hear the drone of this crap. Luckily the sound was absent in the valley. The ridge did end at a nice rocky outcropping and bluff well above where Richland Creek makes a hard left to the south at the confluence with Devils Creek. A cool view was available from this vantage point....so I did partake of it. I located a slot down the bluff and made my way to Richland Falls which was flowing at a staggering 2.6 cfs. This was better than Falling Water Creek since it was essentially dry save for a trickle here and there. After spending some time there I pointed my nose down the trail that parallels the creek back to the campground. For some reason someone had tied orange ribbons all along the trail so as not to get lost or guide others down the trail that is already easy enough to follow. I have encountered this practice in many areas....mostly placed by horseman....and I find these flags to take away from the experience of being in a wilderness area, so I removed them all. I was back to the campground by 1:15. The gate was closed on this visit but it is easy to drive around the gate...so I did. I encountered no other person on this hike except for a couple of hunters piddling around the creek at the campground. I ran them off with my badger imitation....which is quite life-like. The total trip was around 5.3 miles. The road in from the south is still closed.....so I opened it with the ram bars on the front of my big-rig 4x4 hunt truck.

Photos Click Here

 Map Action