Hike Around the Cecil Cove Loop, Buffalo River Near erbie
  The need for a hike on a loop trail led me to the Erbie area of the Buffalo National River on this particular outing. Breakfast was at Denny's in Russellville. Near 4:30 a.m. I rolled through the tourist town of Jasper. This usually bustling metropolis was still at the moment, save for the cat I ran over. No....wait...missed him. The road to Erbie was soon taken to the west and just before 5:00 the low water bridge at the Buffalo was before me. Some recent rain had fallen in the area and the river had a fair flow of water. I have never been thrilled about crossing slab bridges and river bed fords. This one had enough water to make me shine my flashlight out the window to check the depth as it was crossed, and it turned out to be no problem. From there a cobblestone like surface paves the road until Cove Creek is also crossed. This creek had a good flow of murky water typical of a lot of rain and made me nervous as well. XOTU made it across easily and in 3/4 mile the parking area was arrived at in Erbie. This appears to have been a small farming community prior to the protection of the Buffalo with a church and some other structures still standing in the area. The locals were driven down the river in barges and relocated in Kansas.
  The trail follows Cecil Creek for about 2.5 miles and crosses it 5 or 6 times. The creek bed is wide in many stretches and luckily the water level was low enough for easy crossings. Soon the trail makes its way upwards and eventually levels out on a shelf with views in winter, but not now. At this time of year the forest here is rather blah. The trail is 25% mud hole...thanks again to lazy horse people churning the trail into a mosquito infested swamp. As usual...I was very disappointed by this for time and time again this scenario is encountered around Arkansas. Horses are allowed and the hiker suffers for it. Oh well, a return here is not in my future. My mileage topped out at 6.8 units of measure. The temp going in was 67° and on exit at 8:40 it was 76°. I guess the lack of funds has closed the Erbie Campground and cut off maintenance to the restrooms at the trail head and the canoe launch...sad...yes.  

No photos for you
due to boring terrain

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