- Arkansas is a very unique place to live and recreate in, especially with respect to whitewater paddling. Home to more than 1000 miles of navigable waterways, Arkansas is definitely a place for all paddlers. Most of the whitewater paddling exists in two out of the five main physiographic regions of Arkansas.
The Ozark Plateau and the Ouachita Mountains, both offer great whitewater, but the characteristics are very different. All paddlers in Arkansas will tell you that it is a special day when you get to hit the creeks. This is mainly because Arkansas whitewater is completely rain dependent. In times of draught, time is spent scouting, hiking, and cleaning creeks. Then when it does finally rain, the telephones ring, plans are made, and usually some drive time is involved to get to where the water fell.
There is no true “paddling season” in Arkansas, which makes it hard to plan a visit to Arkansas just to paddle. For locals, this means no lines at play holes and surf waves and small groups on rivers and creeks. What does that mean for people visiting the area? If you’re a boater and just so happen to be here when it rains, you’ll definitely be welcome to join us and guaranteed a good time.
Hometown Throwdown for 2017…
This year we are going to be spreading the love over the state at the following locations and dates …
- Horseshoe at Dierks,AR Sat.
- Fishers Ford ,AR Sat
- Rockport at Malvern,AR Sat
The first weekend in may is always the ACCs school of whitewater paddling. This is a event that is near and dear to most of the arky boaters because at one time they were in the school theirselves. I showed up on Thursday about noon, to make sure I got a good camp site. Thursday afternoon to me is always the best time because you don’t have to worry about school stuff, you can just hang out and catch up with old friends and meet new ones.
Friday was filled with activates!! Jermey Mackey of OOO had a hydrology workshop with the River Hydrology tank from Adam Willard. Next Tom Burroughs had a outfitting class. Next up was a slalom clinic headed up by Jim Enns and myself. If you liked the mini clinics please let the school directors know!
Saturday was the first day of classes. The mulberry was low but everybody made the best of these condition. The playboat class ended up at the new Fishers Ford whitewater park in Siloam Springs. Great times on the river then it was time for the annual fish fry put on by the NWA chapter, then on to the ACC board meeting, and finally Mas Aqua kicked off for for a night filled with live music,log of interest,and there might have been some water balloon launching!!!
Sunday morning is the annual pancake breakfast that is always a great way to start the day. Sunday is full of working the soreness out from class the day before and learning a few more things before its time to head back to camp , pack up and say goodby to friends. This is always the hardest part of the weekend for us….. So until next year…….
Well the stars lined up and the Cossatot first timers trip was a go this year!!!! The trip happen the week after the school of whitewater paddling , so the students can put there newly learned skills to use on the Cossatot river! The trip gives the first timers the opportunity to run a class II – IV river with lots of safety set in case something was to happen. This trip is scheduled every year but the river has to be above 3ft for it to be a go.
This years trip was one of the best we have had. We had 15 first timers and 22 safety boaters!!
We started at Ed banks bridge and the takeout was at the Cossatot river state park.
Lots of good lines….. And several bad ones!! But hey that’s what it’s all about, learning. So proud of these newbies. Something about watching them progress in there paddling career, just make the smiles bigger!!!
There is a video below, it’s a little long but there’s lots of good stuff and even a carnage section!
Until next time……
HTTD #1 is in the books and what a great time it was… Thanks to all the folks that showed up, we could not have had more fun and what a large crowd of smiles!