Welcome to the ESOA blog!

Here you can check out the latest happenings of the ESOA, share pictures and stories from your own trips and see what's next for the ESOA. Members can post messages about upcoming trips and service projects and hopefully find new people and activities to engage in.

You can e-mail Nick Cross at nickcross2000@yahoo.com
to receive an invitation to join the blog.
You need an invitation in order to post to the blog.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Black Bass Sunday Hike

Sunday was a perfect day for a walk around Black Bass Lake and Nick, Abby and I took advantage of it! We were rewarded with the sighting of a beautiful bald eagle soaring above the lake, circling, possibly looking for an afternoon snack. Shortly after the eagle sighting, 2 red-tailed hawks circled above us. What an amazing afternoon! Winter is definitely the best time to be outdoors--don't let this season pass you by without experiencing it...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Oak Hill Land Trust - Work-day

On Saturday, November 22nd members of the ESOA met and worked on opening up the existing trail to a nearby spring. Work included raking leaves and rocks from the existing old roadbed, pruning along the corridor and removal of some downed trees.
This area is a great resource for the community as the trust has been set-up specifically for hiking trails. We encourage hikers to get out and enjoy the two existing trails: to the Pivot Rock and to the spring. You are asked only to respect the area and remember these trails are for hiking only.
For more information on the trails and how to get there, contact Nick Cross 479-244-5775.

Black Bass Lake - Day-Hike

A group of 14 participants gathered at Black Bass Lake on Sunday, November 16 for an ESOA day-hike. Black Bass Lake which is in the process of being developed into a designated park property has a new system of trails which the group covered in the 1.5-hr hike.
A mindful eye kept a look-out for future ESOA project potential, as the area still has the feel of a work in progress. We are thankful for this new in-town trail resource and are excited about the possibilities that it holds.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Land Trust Work Day

Thanks to the ESOA, there is now a great trail to the Pivot Rock on this Ozark Regional Land Trust property. Way to go everyone! A delicious potluck was enjoyed by all after a hard day's work.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Oak Hill Trail Clean-up, Nov 8

EOSA November Service Project - Oak Hill Trail Clean-up & Bonfire

Saturday, November 8th--meet at Lorri's house at 1:30 pm.

We will begin work on a trail clean up at the Oak Hill WIldlife Area, this is the land trust property we visited last Spring. Our goal for this work day will be to clear obstacles and briars from the beginning of the trail to the Pivot Rock. We will need the following tools:
Pruning Saws
Breaking Bar
Heavy Rakes

We will meet at Lorri's house and will carpool to the trailhead. After our trail work we will relax with a nice autumn bonfire and barbeque back at Lorri's. Please bring a side dish and beverages.

ESOA Hawk's Bill Crag Hike

Thirteen of us enjoyed a great hike out to Hawk's Bill Crag in the upper Buffalo wilderness area Sunday, Oct 26!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Board of Directors elected and Upcoming Social Activity

We are official now! At the October ESOA meeting, we elected a Board of Directors. Congratulations and thanks to the new Board members:
Nick Cross, President
Lorri Carter, Vice President
Heather Quinney, Sec/Treas
Dorothy Guertin, Social Activity Coordinator
Creek Wenger, Service Project Coodinator
Christie Braswell, Member
Jerry Landrum, Member
Chris Fischer, Member

The next social activity is Sunday, October 26, 1:00 pm at Hart's: A Fall hike to Hawksbill Crag.

Hawksbill Crag is definitely one of the most recognizable sites in Arkansas and fall is a great time to visit--I expect the leaf color will be fantastic. Hawksbill Crag is located in the Upper Buffalo Wilderness Area, overlooking Whitaker Creek. The hike to the crag is short, only1.5 miles, with a couple of small to moderate climbs. Children should be watched with caution, as there are a few spots on the trail that follow right along the rim of the bluff. The drive will last about 1 - 1.5 hours, with about 6 miles of uphill dirt road. Parking at the trail head is very, very limited. Carpooling is necessary. We will leave the Hart's parking lot at 1:00 pm; please try to arrive a bit early so we can organize as few cars as possible.

Our service project is planned for Nov 8, at the Ozark Land Trust property we explored last spring. Details will be posted soon!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Leatherwood Ball Fields Kiosk Dedication

Members of the ESOA, Community First Bank and the Eureka Springs Parks and Recreation Commission met at the newly completed ball fields kiosk for a dedication ceremony on Monday, September 22, 2008.
The dedication of the kiosk marks the end of our first major project which started in March of this year. Funding for materials was provided by Community First Bank and labor was provided by the volunteer efforts of ESOA members.
Congratulations to everyone involved on a job well done!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

ESOA Meetings Resume

Hello Everyone-
The Eureka Springs Outdoor Alliance is resuming it's monthly meetings. The next meeting date is scheduled for Tuesday, September, 16th, 6:30pm at Sparky's Lounge.

Some things that we would like to cover at this meeting include, identifying board positions that need to be filled in order to pursue non-profit status and to identify and schedule social activities and service projects for the next month. Ideally we could have some nominations and an election for ESOA positions at our October meeting.

Also, I am in the process of organizing a dedication ceremony for the Leatherwood Ball Fields Kiosk that is near completion. We will give the date at the September meeting so that as many members as possible can attend. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.

Nick Cross


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Canoe/Kayak Group

I just wanted to let everyone know about a new canoe/kayak club that is forming in Holiday Island. See below for more info:

The group plans to have a couple of trips a month with different people in charge of the trips (varying degrees of difficulty so all can enjoy). No fees, dues, etc...just fun. They plan to use public access areas and shuttle ourselves.
On June 21st, 9:30 am, Ozark Mountain Traders are bringing some kayaks to the parking lot by the handicap fishing pier (just across the bridge from the marina at Holiday Island) for demonstration and a little instruction. People will be able to actually 'try out' the boats.

Feel free to email or call Sue Faulkner for more information.
E-mail: 479-981-6332

Nick Cross

It's Been A Great Year!

It's early June and I am reflecting on the accomplishments that the ESOA has made in the short time that it has been together. The group formed in September of last year (2007) and did not waste anytime getting involved in the community.
Accomplishments include:
- Two Lake Leatherwood work-days and clean-ups
- Cold Spring work-day
- Kiosk project at Lake Leatherwood Ball Fields
- Two Kansas St. Trail workdays
- Day-hike to Kettle Falls
- In-town trails day-hike
- Land Trust day-hike
- Design of a logo
- Formation of a mission statement
... and we built some real outdoor community in our area!
This is an amazing amount of activity for a new group to have in it's first 9-months. Let's hope we can keep the momentum rolling.
The ESOA has suspended it's regular monthly meetings until the end of the summer, resuming in September.
I would like to see more structure added to the organization via designated positions and a board. I would also like to see the group obtain non-profit status, so that we can be eligible for grants and other funding possibilities.
Have a great summer everyone and I'll see you in September!
-Nick Cross

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

In-Town Trails Work-Day

The ESOA has scheduled a work-day for Sunday, April 27 at 1:00pm. Participants will meet at Kansas St. (off the upper-historic loop) and will be working on the section of trail above the old limestone steps near the Little Red Schoolhouse site. The focus of the work-day is to remove gravel from a filled in drainage ditch and re-distributing it on the trail. This work-day is part of an E.S. Parks and Rec. project which includes improving the trail all the way down to Harding Spring. Please bring any tools that you have ie: shovels, picks, rakes, loppers, etc.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Ozarks at Large - KUAF

Hey, I wanted to let folks know about this week's Ozarks at Large program on KUAF featuring interviews of Don E and Chris Fischer. The program focuses on the work being done on the springs and reservations in town. Chris references the ESOA and our work project at Cold Spring. The program aired Friday 4/18 at 6pm, but the program will air again tomorrow, Sunday April 20th at 9am. The program will be archived for access on line soon and we'll try to get a link on the blog.

Kiosk Project

Progress on the kiosk project is coming right along. After two evening work sessions last week, the structure is now standing and has rafters but still needs decking and shingles. Volunteers are meeting Tuesday April 22 at 5:00pm to finish it up.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Land Trust Day Hike

On Sunday April 13, twelve participants met North of Eureka Springs for a hike on a 154-acre land trust. Sites ecountered on the hike included beautiful bluff-lines a "pivot rock" and a running spring. This area could be the site of a future ESOA service project focused on opening up the existing trail by cutting overgrowth and downed trees out of the corridor. The trails are pedestrian only by request of the property owner, so no bikes would be allowed. This could be a great place, close to town, that folks could visit for a little quiet and solitude.

Monday, March 24, 2008

More HI to Beaver Images

I wanted to add some more images of the HI to Beaver Adventure. In these you can see some close shots of the bridge, the spot where we portaged near the trestle, as well as a good image of the water level at the trestle. All in all we paddled about 7 miles and never changed elevation.

HI to Beaver Kayak Adventure

On Saturday a a group of us (Heather, Christy, Dorothy and I) decided to go out and explore the high water at Beaver Town. After scouting both sides of the bridge for a parking spot Christy Braswell came up with the idea of paddling from the Holiday Island point towards Leatherwood Creek and portaging where the old railroad trestle would have crossed from Table Rock Lake to Leatherwood Creek. We have thought of paddling up her before and climbing over - who would have thought that you could just carry your boat a few feet to the other side. 

It was all so surreal - we paddled both over and under the Golden Gate Bridge! From the bridge we paddled up the hiking trail - it was clear and out of the wind - did you ever imaging that you would be able to paddle behind Poker bluff? There were a couple of copperheads trying to get up out of the water on the bluffs.

We also explored up Butler Creek (hardly a "creek") and paddled nearly to 187. We passed the Blue Heron Rookery and saw lots of wildlife. Once we hit current in Butler Creek we turned back.

The water on the Beaver side was a beautiful blueish green - the Holiday Island side was kind of brown. There was not as much debris as I would have expected - there were spots like the trestle where it gathered and you could see some in the treetops where the water had receded. 

Back at the put in you can see that the old HI bridge is completely underwater - not at all accessible - except by Kayak!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

ESOA, March 18 Meeting

At the March 18 meeting, we planned a couple of events for April. If you need more info, please call Nick at 479-244-5775. We hope to see you at one of these events or at or next monthly meeting!

Service Project
Tuesday April 15, 5:30 'til dark,
Leatherwood Ball Fields
Thursday April 17, 5:30 'til dark,
Leatherwood Ball Fields
Meet at the Leatherwood Ball Fields parking lot. Due to people's busy schedules and the start of daylight savings time we decided to schedule two short work days during the week. We will be continuing work on the Kiosk at the ball fields. Work will consist of framing the kiosk structure, bring carpentry tools or just a helping hand.

Social Activity
Sunday April 13, 2:00pm, Sunfest Parking Lot
Day-hike on 154-acre land trust property, north of Eureka Springs. This is a privately owned property that has been put into to a land trust, so as to preserve it's natural character. The owner is an active hiker and is open to the idea of developing hiking trails on the property.
We will be hiking on an existing trail and scouting the potential for future ESOA trail projects. This is a great opportunity to visit an area that sees very little human traffic and is relatively close to town. Meet in the Sunfest parking lot, across from the main Holiday Island entrance at 2:00pm. From there, we will carpool and caravan the short distance to the hiking area.

Next meeting: Tuesday, May 13, 2008, 6:30pm (location to be determined)

Other items from our meeting:

-On Sunday March 2, 16 volunteers came out to contribute nearly 45-hours of work at Lake Leatherwood. Participants spent time digging holes and pouring concrete during completion of phase I of the kiosk project. Other volunteers spent time hiking the trails, picking up trash and cleaning trail markings left from a race recently held at the park. Six large trash bags full of trash were collected throughout the day!

-17 participants met at Harmon Park on Sunday, March 9 for in-town, off-road hike. The days route, approx. 3-miles passed many of the springs, scenic areas and green spaces found right here in town. Areas for upcoming ESOA service projects were also identified during the hike.

-The logo committee gave a report/presentation of concepts that they had been working on since the last meeting. The concepts they shared were very impressive. You can see the logos on the next post down, please take a moment to post a comment giving your input on the logo designs.

-After the business portion of the meeting, Steven Foster gave a slide show presentation on medicinal plants in the Ozarks. Steven is world-renowned in the field of medicinal plants and his presentation was nothing short of amazing. We are very fortunate to have Stephen involved with the ESOA!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

ESOA Logo Poll

At the last ESOA meeting on Tuesday, March 18th, the logo committee gave a report on the progress that had been made on the logo design since the last meeting. The group worked from an original hand-drawn sketch for the "panorama" logo and Lorri contributed another idea based on the periodic table of elements. We want feedback on these designs before moving forward with finalizing the logo concepts. Please take a moment to look at the following logos and to share your thoughts by posting a comment. Also a big "thanks" to Chris Fischer, Lorri Carter and Christi Braswell for working on these concepts.

Full Color Panorama
Black and White Panorama #1

Black and White Panorama #2

"In Our Element" logo

Table of elements logo #1

Table of elements logo #2

Please comment on these logos, your input is valued and apprecitated!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Kiosk Work Day at Lake Leatherwood

Thanks to everyone who came out to Lake Leatherwood March 2 for a great work day! About 20 people showed up throughout the day to break ground and pour concrete for the new Kiosk sponsored by Commnunity First Bank and the ESOA and to clean trails. We hauled out 6 large bags of trash!

Nature-Land-Art Workshop

Thursday, February 21, 2008

ESOA Feb. 12 Meeting

At the Feb 12 ESOA meeting, we planned a couple of events for March. Nick will be out of town, so if you need more info, call me, Heather, 479-244-5431. Hope to see you at one of the events or our next meeting!

Service Project
Sunday, March 2, 1:00pm, Lake Leatherwood
Meet at the shower house. We will be hiking the trails used in the Freakin' Eurekan trail run a couple of weeks ago, picking up trash and removing orange spray paint used to mark the trail run. Orange arrows were sprayed on the ground, in debris and on rocks. Please bring a trash bag and wire brush or scrub brush of some type. Hopefully all of the rain has helped diminish the bright orange paint along the trails. We can get some hiking in and clean-up at the same time!

Social Activity
Sunday, March 9, 1:00pm, Harmon Park
In-town, off-road hike. We will visit springs, greenspaces, and lots of hidden nooks and crannies in in the downtown area. This is a great opportunity to discover what really makes Eureka the gem it is! As we hike, we will take note of possible future projects for the ESOA. Allow a couple of hours if you want to complete the entire hike. Otherwise, feel free to peel off the trail at any time.

Next meeting: Tuesday, March 18, 6:30pm (need a location, Sparky's will be closed)

Other items from our meeting:

-A logo committee was formed: Lori, Chris, and Christie will work on creating a logo for the ESOA. Chris Fischer's draft logo is attached for feedback. We all agree the logo should be simple and easily distinguishable from a green group logo (like the Sierra Club); should focus more on activity

-In an effort cover costs of small administrative fees like copying, we will collect $1.00 from each person at our monthly meetings. Heather and Nick will open a bank account at Community First with the money collected. Please bring $1.00 to future meetings.

-Creek, Al and Nick will be in charge of the Lake Leatherwood Kiosk project. Community First will deposit the $1000 for the kiosk directly into our account and we can begin ordering materials from Hill Country. Some of the project can be completed off-site, but the initial steps will take place out at Lake Leatherwood. We need carpenters to help with this project. If you have a few free hours during your week, please think about helping us.
It was recommended that etched metal be used for the kiosk signs when possible, as it is durable and will not be affected by weather. Good idea. Creek will get the project rolling and let us know what he and Al need from the rest of us.

-Nick mentioned Ecotourism month: mid-March through April. The planning committee needs help with Bikes, Trikes & Hikes, specifically, a team of people to produce the event including one to oversee and maybe a couple more to help.
We had some ideas on how to improve the event from last year:
Make events separate
Give away a bike
More races with trophies

Ruth says the event is targeted at locals more than tourists--it is an effort to give kids and families exposure to Lake Leatherwood. If you are interested in helping with this event, let me know and I'll put you in touch with the appropriate person.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Kettle Falls Day Hike

The ESOA held an organized day hike to Kettle Falls on Sunday. Clear blue skies, plenty of sunshine and temps nearing 60 degrees brought 36 hikers out for the excursion. The large group was divided into 3 smaller 12 person groups in order to spread out the impact on the area. Participants enjoyed the short but scenic hike; some of the things encountered included numerous groupings of ice features, overhanging bluffs, crystal clear pools and of course the unique Kettle Falls pour-off. Although the waterfall itself was dry, many people were impressed with the site and talked of coming back in the spring after some rain.

Kettle Falls Day Hike Pics

Participants of all ages took part in Sunday's excursion

Some interesting shelf fungus found along the way

Day hikers enjoying the scenic walk down Warm Fork

Lots of bluffs and rock formations kept the hike interesting

Ice formations were plentiful during the hike

Friday, January 18, 2008

Cold Spring Coverage

We got great coverage in the local papers for our efforts at Cold Spring. Hopefully, it will help get some more people interested in joining the ESOA!

Check out these links:


Monday, January 14, 2008

Cold Spring Work-Day

Click on photos for larger image

The ESOA held a work-day at the Cold Spring Reservation on East Mountain on Sunday. Despite the cold temperatures, fifteen volunteers came out for a combined effort of over 41 work hours.

The group was able to collect and remove several large piles of brush, limbs and vines from the spring reservation. Most of the debris was stacked near the road for a scheduled pick-up while the large pile of vines was burned on-site.

Also, significant progress was made on a new trail running through the spring reservation.

The large group was able to make fantastic progress in a short amount of time. Participants could really see the impact they were having on one of Eureka's special places. Although, we accomplished a lot in just one work-day, there is still more to be done at Cold Spring, so look for another scheduled work-day coming soon...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

January 2008 - Meeting Notes

The ESOA held it's fifth meeting at Sparky's on Tuesday night. Below you will find notes reviewing the topics covered at the meeting.

Review of the Mission Statement:
The mission of the Eureka Springs Outdoor Alliance is to build an outdoor community through social activities, service projects and outdoor advocacy, guided by the principles of conservation, restoration and stewardship of our outdoor resources.

Logo Concepts:
Christie and Nick shared logo ideas that they had been working on. The group discussed the design features that we needed in the logo and the different applications that the logo will used in. We are continuing to brainstorm and members are encouraged to bring ideas and concepts to the next meeting.

At our last meeting the idea of official membership and dues was introduced. The group decided that we should do some research on how other organizations structure membership and dues before making any decisions.
Christie and Dorothy presented the following info:
- different membership levels: individual, business, senior, family, etc.
- benefits included: newsletter, free/discounted programs and training, discounts from outdoor retailers
- $40 was the average of the 5 organizations studied, we discussed something more along the lines of $20
- No decision was made regarding dues/membership, we may want to wait until we a larger group of participants

Service Projects:
- The December Lake Leatherwood work day was cancelled due to weather, we will re-schedule
- The Cold Spring work day will be on Sunday, January 13, noon at Cold Spring Reservation on East Mountain
- The kiosk project has had significant developments:
- Creek's design has been approved by the Trails Committee
- Creek compiled a materials list and an estimate of materials cost
- Yahkie was able obtain funding for the project from Community First Bank
- Next steps are to establish a project leader and schedule work days

Social Activities:
The group scheduled a dayhike to Kettle Falls in the Madison County WMA
- Sunday, January 27, 1:00pm at Hart's to carpool/caravan to the trailhead

Next Meeting:
Second Tuesday of the month: February 12, 6:30pm at Sparky's

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Icicles, Moss and Buzzards

Icicles, Moss and Buzzards
Icicles dripping down some lush moss growth.
This is from an outcropping above Cardinal Spring in Harmon Park from last January's cold spell. Walkers along Fuller St. will notice the huge dropping zones of the Turkey Buzzards that are currently roosting in the hollow, primarily in the huge dying Sycamore along the road just above the Park boundary.