A Day In The Life


Cossatot
April 17, 2007, 8:24 pm
Filed under: Nature, Travel

The Cossatot River is located in a sparsely populated area of west-central Arkansas. The river has its beginning in the Ouachita National Forest and eventually flows into the man-made Gillham Lake.   The river is home to the Ouachita Mountain shiner and the leopard darter; two fish that are found nowhere on earth except in the streams of the Ouachita Mountains.  The Cossatot is renowned for its whitewater, even though the river is not consistently at floatable levels.  The river has an upland watershed which means that it goes up and down really fast.  It is generally floatable for at most a few days after significant rainfall.  And only experienced floaters need apply.  The Cossatot boasts rapids rated up to Class V in difficulty.  The river’s rock formations are intriguing images as well as hazards for kayakers and canoeists.  These are some of the reasons the Cossatot has been designated a Wild and Scenic river by the state and federal governments.

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A couple of years ago a 26,000 square foot visitors center became a part of the Cossatot River State Park Natural Area. It is a beautiful building with classrooms, a gift shop, exhibit galleries, a wildlife observation room with treetop views, a topographic model of the park and touch-screen computer kiosks. The park administrative offices are also housed in the center. I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of the visitors center for you. I’ve been there many times, most recently to attend a lecture on birds of prey.

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For those of us who aren’t brave enough or experienced enough to kayak the river, there are other opportunities for outdoor fun.  The state park has over 20 miles of hiking trails and more than 30 camp sites.  Parts of the river are deep enough for swimming.  The fishing is great and the scenery is magnificent.  Bird watching opportunities abound.  The park covers 5,484 acres.   The Cossatot River State Park Natural Area is just one more reason why I love where I live.

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8 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I love where you live too! Color me jealous… your photos are quite the escape! Thank you!

Comment by Grim Reality Girl

Is there Trout there? Oh I want to go! I’m too chicken to do white water rafting, but I love to fish and swim. I’m a darn good camper.

Great pictures. This might be a mini summer vacation.

Comment by Vicki

Beautiful…absolutely beautiful. I went white water rafting once…with no experience and not-very good guides. Our group was lucky…one guy got away with a nice slice on his knee. However, another group there had one of their people helivac’d away with a broken leg. I’d still like to do it again, but this time with more training and better guides!

Comment by claudia

You forgot “stupid enough” as another reason for not kayaking!

Thanks for helping out my business!

Comment by Tiggerlane

Very nice looking place.

Hey – you changed your “look” again – nice.

Comment by Karmyn R

Nice photos. I would like to see this place.

Comment by Betty

I shared this post with Willi since I have seen many beautiful parts of Arkansas with him, and through his eyes. His daddy told him tales about the Ouchita River and the lake that were very funny. I will ask Willi to share them on his blog. Seeing some of these places through your eyes also is a joy.

Comment by gawilli

I’d love the lecture on birds of prey

Is this anywhere near the sighting of the woodpecker that was considered extinct?

Comment by Pamela




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