Blair Creek North Section with Pics

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Blair Creek North Section with Pics

Postby mike » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:47 pm

Blair Creek Section (north) in and out on April 2nd and 3rd 2011. Started at Highway P Trailhead to Blairs Creek Cemetery (18.9 MM).

About the middle of last week I checked the forecast for the weekend and could hardly believe what I saw; clear skies and temps in the 70’s. Finally a break in the weather to get some yard work done…. or I could go hiking, tough decision. Oh well, I figured the yard would most likely still be there when I returned so I planned to head for the hills Saturday.

I decided to finish up the Blair Creek section since I had only done the southern portion. I decided to start at the Hwy P trailhead and hike to the cemetery, camp on Blair Creek, then hike back. The Trip Planner showed this to be about 19 miles each way. My GPS tracked it at 20, go figure.

I managed to be at the trailhead by 8:30AM arriving to clear skies and a temp of 34. The first couple of miles of the trail heads back into the woods and follows a small creek. The trail then follows an old tram-line for about 4 miles which parallels Hwy P then CR-235. One thing I can say about these 4 miles is they are the longest basically level stretch of trail I have been on in the Ozarks.

At the end of the tram-line the trail comes out on CR-235. There is an OT blaze straight across the road and I assumed the trail continued there. There is not a tread, corridor, or blaze once you cross the road. I headed in the direction I felt the trail should follow and eventually saw one of the old dark gray diamond blazes and knew I must be going in the right direction. I eventually intersected with the defined trail which I found out on the return trip goes on out to CR-235 where the TH parking area is. I would recommend to anyone hiking southbound from the Hwy P TH to hang a right when you come to CR-235 and hike the road down to the parking area where it is obvious where the trail continues.

About 1.5 miles from CR-235 I came to the side trail to Blair Raised Fen. I decided to wait until the return trip to check this area out.

A few miles on farther down the trail I came to a sign post noting Laxton Hollow. I didn’t have time to check this area out but from what I saw later on down the trail looking down on the area it looks really pretty. I’ll have to come back and check it out another time.

Not too far after the Laxton Hollow junction I met another hiker and his dog. We chatted for a few minutes then continued on down the trail. This was the only other person I saw all weekend.

Around the 13.5 – 14 mile point the trail begins to pretty much parallel Blair Creek. This is a really beautiful creek with crystal clear water. The only downside is once the trees leaf out you’ll hardly be able to see it. I think it was in this section I came across an old storm cellar that was pretty interesting. Harper Spring is also in this area and is a nice spot to take a break.

I arrived at the Blair Creek crossing around 5:30PM and went a short ways up stream to where I had camped in February and pitched the tent. After getting camp in order I hiked on down the road another ½ mile to the old cemetery. I don’t know what there is about these old cemeteries that attract me but I just can hardly pass one by without stopping and checking out the markers.

Later that night the moonless crystal clear skies revealed stars so numerous and bright the sight was breathtaking. You really have to get way out away from all the man made light to experience this.

I awoke Sunday morning to warmer temps than I had expected. It was warm enough I didn’t need anything other than my t-shirt and shorts, a sign of what the day would hold. I managed to be packed up and back on the trail by 7:30AM.

You might think hiking back out the same way you came in would be a bit boring but I find I always see things I missed. There have been a few times on my returns I would see something and think how in the world did I miss that!

My return trip was a near repeat of Saturday except the temperature was warmer. I did make the side trip to the fen area. There is a pedestal there with a sign on it explaining the area which I found informative since I had no idea what a fen is.

At 4:20 Sunday afternoon I arrived back at my truck, hot and tired but mentally relaxed and mellow. Nothing like a walk in the woods to soothe and calm the inner spirit.

The temp was 85 at the end of my hike. It had been 34 the previous morning, that’s a pretty big swing! My GPS showed the total trek was 38.8 miles. Overall the trail is in pretty good shape with some areas that could use some maintenance.

Here are a few pics:

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At the Trailhead ready to go.

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Trail on old Tram-Line

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Pretty little water fall

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Old Storm Cellar

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Butterflies....

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Harper Spring

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Taking a break at Harper Spring

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Crystal Clear Blair Creek

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Campsite beside Blair Creek

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Old Cemetery

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Rope swing on Blair Creek

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One of many small caves along the trail

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Laxton Hollow sign post

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The Fen

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Whew, man it's hot!
mike
 
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Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 3:37 pm
Location: Paragould, AR

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