Joplin

Joplin

Joplin Cascades - LOViT

When the water is running, the view of the “Joplin Cascades” is both beautiful and soothing.

Description:

This south to north trail segment is a marked departure from Denby Bay and Tompkins Bend. As you enter the trail you immediately begin a .75 mile downward grade that terminates at a secluded creek crossing covered by towering old growth hardwoods. After traveling about 1 mile on an old forest service fire road, there is a second wet crossing over Irons Creek. From here the trail parallels a beautiful creek lined with ferns and massive old rock outcroppings coated in emerald moss. There are several small waterfalls but the highpoint of this stretch is the five step Irons Creek cascade located on the left about ½ mile from the crossing. Take a short 100 foot spur trail (see the sign and rock arrow) for a must photo opportunity or a place to catch your breath.

One mile from the cascade spur you will come to a rock cairn and sign identifying your arrival at Hot Dog Falls and the foot of Hickory Nut Mountain. Here is where it gets hard. The next 1.5 miles is all uphill, steeper and steeper until you reach two severe switchback just before the summit of the mountain.

Surrounding Area:

Mountain Harbor Resort includes fishing and boating potential. Turtle Cove Spa is also among the Resort’s facilities.

Length:

4 miles one way to Hickory Nut Mountain trailhead . But you can also backtrack from the Joplin trailhead 5 miles to P3 Tompkins Bend Trailhead.

Difficulty:

Strenuous. Five bridgeless creek crossings and a mile of steep climbing with two sets of switchbacks over the last mile to P5 Hickory Nut Mountain. Moderate with one short, steep grade back toward P3 Tompkins Bend.

Amenities:

Bathrooms, food, and water are available at the Joplin Store, located at the Highway 270 and Mountain Harbor Rd. intersection. There is a lodge restaurant at Mountain Harbor Resort , and there is a Subway restaurant at the Mountain Harbor Marina on Lake Ouachita; both are open seasonally, so check ahead.

Directions to Trailhead:

Go east from Mount Ida about 10 miles or west from Hot Springs about 24 miles on U.S. Highway 270 to Mountain Harbor Rd. at the Joplin Store/Mountain Harbor Resort sign. Turn north on Mountain Harbor Rd. and travel about 1 city block past the Joplin store and several trailers on the right. Turn right on the next road (see brown hiking sign.) Follow the road 4/10th mile to the parking area on the right.

To go west to P3 Tompkins Bend Trailhead, exit the parking area and backtrack on the road to where the trail crosses Mountain Harbor Rd. It is 5 miles to Tompkins Bend. To go east to P5 Hickory Nut Mountain, exit the parking area and go right about 1/10th mile to the fork in the road. Bear left at the fork another 1/10th mile to the trail sign and take a left onto the trail. It is 4 miles to the Hickory Nut Mountain Trailhead where there is parking for a dozen vehicles.

Accommodations:

The Joplin Campground and Mountain Harbor Resort and Restaurant are each about 2.5 miles north on Mountain Harbor Rd. Follow the signs. Both Lake Ouachita Vacation Realty and Lake Ouachita Rentals have accommodations in the Harbor East area adjacent to Mountain Harbor Resort. The Joplin Inn at Mountain Harbor (formerly the Colonial Motel) is at the corner of Highway 270 and Mountain Harbor Road across the highway from the Joplin Store.


Recent articles about the Joplin trail segment:

Hunting Season 2013 – Be Careful On The Trail!

It’s hunting season in Arkansas, and because the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail is primarily located in the Ouachita National Forest, you must be aware of the potential for hunters to be on or near the Trail. Here are the “Hunter Orange Requirements” as published by the International Hunter Education Association: Arkansas (A) It is unlawful to hunt wildlife, or to accompany or assist anyone in hunting wildlife, in zones open to firearm deer, bear, or elk seasons, without wearing an outer garment, above the waistline, of daylight fluorescent blaze orange (Hunter Orange) within the color range of 595-605 nanometers or flouorescent chartreuse color range of 555nm – 565nm (Hunter Safety Green) totaling at least 400 square inches, and a hunter orange or hunter safety green head hat must be visibly worn on the head. (B) Florescent blaze orange (Hunter Orange)or florescent chartreuse (Hunter Safety Green) totaling at least 144 square … Click to read the full article

Photo Hike With Master Gardeners – Apr. 14, 2013

On Sunday, April 14, we had our first Photo Hike on the LOVIt trail in an effort to develop a bank of trail pictures for the Master Gardener 2013 Calendar. We rallied at the parking lot of the Joplin Methodist Church at 1:30 pm. We had an even dozen hardy hikers join us for the 2.8 mile, 2 1/2 hour hike through the hollows and hills of the trail that stretches from Mountain Harbor Road to Shangri-La Road.  The spring bloom is reaching its peak with the smiling faces of the Dogwoods greeting us at every turn.  The wildflowers were blooming where they receive more sunlight, but in the hollows, they were just before bloom.  This portion of the LOViT Trail has many interesting features which we took time investigate and photograph. We broke into two groups – the “Hares” and the “Tortoises” – to accommodate all skill levels of … Click to read the full article

Iron Creek Cascade Vista – Feb. 19, 2013

The Traildog rock layers were at work again today.  We had five volunteers assisting installation of the bench and creating the vista overlooking the Iron Creek Cascade at about the halfway point of the third section of the trail. At this spot where Irons Creek flows down from the deep valley between Broken Rock Mountain and Hickory Nut Mountain, the creek drops over five consecutive rock shelves creating a natural stopping place on the trail.   This natural cascade offers hikers and bikers a spot to take a break and enjoy the soothing sounds of the creek as it tumbles over the rocks of the Cascades rushing west to empty into Lake Ouachita. Attached are photos of the entrance onto the very short spur over to the bench site,  the Bench Site, and the view from the bench.   Next week we will be installing two benches on the seventh section … Click to read the full article

LOViT Marathon – Dec. 8, 2012

A bunch of Traildogs worked the LOViT Marathon this morning. The race is put on yearly by Phil and Bonnie Carr of Shangri-La Resort.  About 70 runners participated this year and enjoyed moderate and overcast weather, perfect for the run. The course begins at the corner of Shangri-La Road and the corner of old Highway 270, proceeds to the Denby Bay Trailhead on the LOViT, and then follows the Trail up to the top of Hickory Nut Mountain, for an out distance of 14+ miles.  The return trip takes the cutoff from the Joplin to Tompkins Bend segment across to the Homestead Trailhead, and then back in, accounting for the remaining 12 miles of the marathon. The ‘Dogs working the various aid stations want to thank Bonnie and Varine Carr for supplying the chili and banana pie.  Very much appreciated! This was a great event, and everyone, runners and Traildogs, … Click to read the full article

Clearing Trees on the Joplin Trail Segment

Traildogs Jerry and Robert went to the Homestead and Joplin Trail Segments today in order to clear a number of trees that had fallen across the trail as part of the cleanup preceding the currently-scheduled December 8, 2012, LOViT Trail Marathon.  Trees were cleared from above the Cascades on up Hickory Nut Mountain. As always, there are more that need to be cleared, but this was a good start. … Click to read the full article