Pipe Spring

Pipe Spring

Pipe Spring, Dec. 2012

Pipe Spring, Dec. 2012. There really is a “pipe spring” at this trailhead!

Description:

The LOViT overlaps with the Charlton Trail at Pipe Spring for a 1.9 miles trek to the Crystal Springs Trailhead. At Pipe Spring, there is, indeed, a pipe spring with an uninterrupted flow of cold water. This trail segment is over 40 years old and travels north along the western flank of an unnamed mountain, over the mountain, and then down into the Crystal Springs Campground area.

There are lovely views of the Walnut Creek Valley at the eastern end of Hickory Nut Mountain. You will hike through an area previously clear-cut of trees but that is now dense. Cross the road (FS47) from the pipe spring to enter the trail.

The trail traveling south from behind the pipe spring is a continuation of the Charlton Trail to the Charlton Recreation Area on Highway 270 and is a tough uphill climb with serious switchbacks.

Surrounding Area:

The Crystal Springs campgrounds and the Crystal Springs Resort are at the end of the Pipe Spring trail segment.

Length:

1.9 miles from Pipe Spring trailhead (P7) to the Crystal Springs Trailhead.

2.2 miles on the trail, or 1.9 miles on the road, to the FS47A/47 Trailhead.

Difficulty:

Easy to moderate trail with no water crossings

Amenities:

There is water at the pipe spring located at the trailhead.

Directions to Trailhead:

Signs at the junction of Crystal Springs Road and FS47. (34°32'30" N 93°21'4" W)

Signs at the junction of Crystal Springs Road and FS47.
(34°32’30” N 93°21’4″ W)

From Mount Ida go east about 13 miles to Hickory Nut Mountain Road. Turn north (your only option) onto Hickory Nut Mountain Road and follow it for 9/10s of a mile to Forest Service Road FS47. Turn right (east – your only option) onto FS47 (note that Google Maps may incorrectly refer to FS47 as “Hickorynut Mountain Road”) toward Crystal Springs. Pass the FS47A/47 trailhead turnoff on your left at about 2.2 miles and continue on for about 1.4 miles to cross Walnut Creek. The Pipe Spring trailhead is about 1/2 mile past the creek. Look for the pipe spring splashing water on your right. The Pipe Spring trail segment is across FS47 from the spring. The trail behind the pipe spring is a continuation of the Charlton Trail. There is a very small parking area.

From Hot Springs, go west on Highway 270 to the Crystal Springs turnoff on the right. Follow that road toward Crystal Springs Resort until you see FS47 on your left. Take FS47 west until you see the Pipe Spring trailhead. Or you could just go on in to the Crystal Springs trailhead and hike to Pipe Spring.

Accommodations:

Near the Crystal Springs trailhead are the Crystal Springs campgrounds, which provides camping and bathrooms, and Crystal Springs Resort, which has lodging, a full service marina, and seasonal restaurant.

Slightly further west on Highway 270 from Hickory Nut Mountain Road are Mountain Harbor Resort , The Joplin Inn at Mountain Harbor , and the nearby Joplin Recreational Area and Campgrounds .


Recent articles about the LOViT Pipe Spring trail segment:

New Directional Signs and Gap Creek Cleanup – Feb. 12, 2017

New directional signs installed along the LOViT between Hickory Nut Mountain and Crystal Springs.

New directional signs installed along the LOViT between Hickory Nut Mountain and Crystal Springs.

Traildogs Ron Mayfield and Robert Cavanaugh put up 13 trail signs where the trail comes down Hickory Nut Mountain and along the intersections of the LOVIT and FS 47.

Six of the signs were placed on Hickory Nut Mountain.  Four of these were on  two posts where the trail comes down to Hickory Nut Mountain Road (FS Road 50) from the trailhead, and two were placed on a post near the kiosk/trailhead.  Another was placed at the intersection of FS 47A and FS 47.  Four went on bare posts previously placed along FS 47, and one replaced an arrow that was missing.   We put one more near the old pavilion near Crystal Springs.

This should help hikers and bikers stay on the trail.

Robert and Ron also cut 10 or 11 trees off of the short section between the Gap Creek Bridge and Hwy 270. This area had not been cleared in some time.

“It was another nice morning in the woods.”

Thanks Ron and Robert!

 

A New Bench On LOViT’s Section 5 – Jan. 23, 2017

Today, a number of Traildogs installed a new bench along the Trail’s 5th section between USFS Road 47A and Pipe Spring.  

A good sentiment for this new bench on the LOViT!

A good sentiment for this new bench on the LOViT!
(Click on this image to view more photos from today’s bench installation.)

The bench, sponsored by Mike Hardage to honor Wanda Hardage, sits about 30 yards off the trail and overlooks a beautiful beach along Walnut Creek a bit south of where it dumps into the cove occupied by the Crystal Springs Marina.

Traildogs enjoying a job well done!

Traildogs enjoying a job well done!
(Click on this image to view more photos from Jan. 23, 2017.)

Controlled Burn Notice – March 6, 2016

Apologies for the late notice, but we’ve just been informed by Forestry that there will be a controlled burn from the area along Walnut Creek near the Charleton Campground back toward the Crystal Springs area.

The burn is expected to be set at around 3 pm today, March 6, 2016.

If you were planning to be on the LOViT in the area from Forest Service Road 47A to Crystal Springs Road today or in the next couple of days, you will want to be aware of this activity.

The Forest Service will be placing signs in the area today to make folks aware of this upcoming controlled burn.

New Directional Signs Along Section 5 – January 4, 2016

It is winter and time to hit the Trail for a number of maintenance projects that are never fun during the heat of summer, so today, five Traildogs met at the trailhead at USFS Road 47A to place a number of new directional signs along LOViT’s Section 5 from FS47A east to Pipe Spring.

This section of the LOViT both crisscrosses USFS 47, which runs between Hickory Nut Mountain Road to the west and Crystal Springs Road to the east, and also follows along USFS 47 at times before sinking back into the Ouachita National Forest.  It’s easy to miss a turn.

Mike makes sure the new sign is level as Robert prepares to secure it to the post. Al and Ron provide moral support. (34°32'28" N 93°22'42" W)<br />(Click on this image to view more photos from Jan. 4, 2016)

Mike makes sure the new sign is level as Robert prepares to secure it to the post. Al and Ron provide moral support. (34°32’28” N 93°22’42” W)
(Click on this image to view more photos from Jan. 4, 2016)

Overall, the day was beautiful, and, for the most part, the digging was not too difficult, although we did have to relocate a couple of times due to hitting a shelf of shale.  Once a hole was dug, a post was set in concrete, leveled, and then the signs were attached. The new signs were donated by the US Forest Service (thank you, Mitzi Cole).

Cleaning up Trail Entrances – FS47A to Pipe Spring – May 16, 2014

Four years of storms and neglect were remedied last Friday when six Traildogs spent the day improving Section 5 of the Trail where it parallels and crisscrosses US Forest Service Road 47 between Crystal Springs Road and Hickory Nut Mountain Road. We worked the part of this section from the FS47A trailhead at the eastern base of Hickory Nut Mountain to Pipe Spring, where the LOViT joins the Charlton Trail leading to the Crystal Springs Campground Pavilion.

We sought to improve access and signage at each entrance and exit point along the road. We started at the intersection of FS47 and FS47A, where we installed an assurance directional sign post. The post directs users to follow FS47A 1/4 of mile north to where the Trail turns left and proceeds west to the summit of Hickory Nut Mountain. We also installed a new sign at the FS47A trailhead. We cleared all the undergrowth and removed rye grass planted after the timber harvest of two years ago that had made a weed patch of the trail.

We then began the laborious process of opening each of the entrances to the trail segments along FS47. We also installed a new direction sign post at each entrance. We then hiked and cleared these sections of trail, and they are now ready for use again.

For those of us who built these sections crisscrossing FS47, we remember it as our hardest year of construction. It was a bitter cold winter, and when it wasn’t just cold, it was cold and wet. So, we would like to see more regular use of these three nice sections and keep our riders and hikers off the road as much as possible.

The photos show the new trail directional signs we are installing along the entire length of the trail to improve assurances to all users that they are on the right track.

Installing a new sign at the corner of FS47 and FS47A.

Installing a new sign at the corner of FS47 and FS47A. (34°32’41” N 93°23’20” W)

Our next spring maintenance day will be on Tuesday May 27th. We will be working the downed trees and trimming the trail from Crystal Springs up and over both the 2.0 mile Charlton/LOVIT section and also Section 6 across Little Bear Mountain from Crystal Springs Road to the western side of Bear Mountain. We will meet at the parking area next to the old pavilion next to the Crystal Springs Campground. Some of the work will require chainsaws, but most of the work will be with loppers.

Pack a trail lunch and join us.

Jerry

[Note:  some of the online maps from such services as Google and Apple show FS47 to be labeled “Hickory Nut Mountain Road” and FS47A to be labeled “Pollard Creek Trail”.  The road from US 270 up to the Vista on top of Hickory Nut Mountain is also called “Hickory Nut Mountain Road”, and it is also known as “FS50”.  This can be confusing at best!]