Eleven Point to Sinking Creek Tower

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Eleven Point to Sinking Creek Tower

Postby jgoelleraka930 » Tue May 19, 2015 10:55 pm

My buddy and I hiked from the Western Trailhead to the Sinking Creek Tower last weekend, May 16-17, despite the rainy weekend. As I have read before, the Western Trailhead is down a rough forest road and has few signs, only the small OT markers. Compared to northern sections, this trail is pretty rugged. In all, there are numerous step overs and I would estimate around 10 walkarounds on this section. Really, they are not a big issue except for one. There is a very large and recent blowdown/walkaround on the first switchback after we passed mile 17. The blowdown is right on the switchback and it took us several minutes to figure out where the trail went. It looked as though the trail just ended at the tree and was almost comical. One other issue we came across was when the trail exits the road just past mile 18 heading east. There is not an OT marker telling hikers to make a right and leave the road. There is only a diamond shaped white marker on a tree. We ended up walking the road for about 5 minutes before we turned back.

I was really not a fan of the road walk this time of year on the mile just before and after Bockman Spring. The grass was really high and my buddy picked up several ticks in the area. I treated my clothes with permethrin and used deet on my arms and legs and fared much better. He did not use the permethrin, so I would definitely say it is a must if you planned on hiking this section.

The trail is easy to follow for the most part. Lower, valley areas were somewhat overgrown but the ridges were really nice. Mile 16 to near mile 13 (before Boom Hole) was very overgrown. In many areas, we could not see the trail but feel for it with our shoes as we hiked. I would highly recommend hiking in pants through this area and around Bockman Spring.

Once we got to the Eleven Point, the trail was much more clear than the 3 or so miles leading up to the river. We stopped at marker J on the map, as it is a really awesome view and took several pictures of the river and the adjacent ridges. We continued on to Greer Camprgound and stayed there for the night. We were disappointed to find that there isn't a good area to swim or a gravel bar in the area. The campground was quiet and we were glad to not have to filter water, as there is a spigot near the entrance. This is also the only spot on the trail where we came across other people. We did not see any other hikers all weekend.

We took the High Route to begin day two and we both really enjoyed it. We have hiked Taum Sauk twice in the past month and were ready for the hills. I wouldn't consider them very steep, more gradual due to the many switchbacks. This area of the trail was in really good condition and I only recall one or two walkarounds. The trail was also in good shape as we neared the 3152 trailhead. The 3152 trailhead is nice and has two places to tie horses. We also saw lots of sign of horseback riding once we passed Hurricane Creek until the Sinking Creek Tower.

Overall, we both enjoyed this area of the OT. It is rugged; don't expect a well kept trail. We both enjoyed the many switchbacks of the trail and the feeling of seclusion that we sometimes do not experience while hiking northern sections.

I also tried to post some pictures but it said the file size is too large. If anyone knows how to fix this, message me and let me know.
Last edited by jgoelleraka930 on Wed May 20, 2015 5:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Eleven Point to Sinking Creek Tower

Postby mike » Wed May 20, 2015 8:46 am

Thanks for the report. Big difference in the more heavily used sections of the trail and the less used. Permethrin almost makes warm weather hiking bearable as it does work well at killing the tics.

Mike
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Location: Paragould, AR


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