High Water Hiking on the Lake Alma Trail

McWater Falls

McWater Falls

We had more than six inches of rain within a 24-hour period last week. I did several out-and-back early morning hikes to have a look at water levels. With a few hours available this morning, Hiker-dog and I finally did the entire loop to see how high water levels had impacted the trail.

I was pleased that the trail from the picnic area all the way to Little Frog Bayou on the east side was in pretty good shape. McWater Falls was beautiful as always! An out-and-back on this section would be fine. See my trail description for this hike in E Fort Smith Magazine. The little bridge downstream from McWater Falls was washed out of position, but crossing on rocks is easy here.

Little bridge downstream from McWater Falls

Little bridge downstream from McWater Falls

Little Frog Bayou Bridge

Little Frog Bayou Bridge

Arriving at Little From Bayou, I was amazed that the bridge was still in place with only a few boards missing (nice work Joe S. and friends). Do not cross the bridge until repairs can be made.

Little Frog Bayou Bridge high water damage.

Little Frog Bayou Bridge high water damage.

Hiker and I did not follow my advice but carefully crossed the bridge. We immediately began to wade through water along side of Little Frog Bayou. As soon as the trail turned south after the crossing and began to follow the creek I found myself approaching waist-high water. We left the trail and went to higher ground past the old well then back to the trail about sixty yards downstream where it was above water.

Historic well west of Little Frog Bayou

Historic well west of Little Frog Bayou

The next adventure was crossing the west creek (what we call Little Clear Creek). The bridge was still standing and held my weight. Water levels are usually around five feet below the bridge. Crossing the bridge involved some wading on the west side. We then sought higher ground since the trail was under water.

Little Clear Creek Bridge

Little Clear Creek Bridge

I came across some nice little bluffs high up over the creek and then headed back down to the main trail. The remainder of the hike was dry crossing the dam and back to the picnic area. We both had a good workout and were pretty well soaked. Nice morning on the Lake Alma Trail!

Rock formations west of Little Clear Creek

Rock formations west of Little Clear Creek

Hiker airing out on the dam.

Hiker airing out on the dam.

Dry walking next to the fishing dock below the picnic area

Dry walking next to the fishing dock below the picnic area

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