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2/14/15
  Leatherwood Wilderness Area spans an interesting patch of forest that borders the lower end of the Buffalo River. Many lovely creeks with high bluffs abound within. Saturday morning at 5:45 the start of my hike was on Rand Rd off of Push Mountain Rd (Hwy 341) in Searcy County. A slightly cold 36° was the lowest temp encountered. Near sunrise my way was made around a bluff line above the valley of the South Prong of Middle Creek. This is a horse infested wilderness area...probably the worst in Arkansas. Every bluff line and creek bed is paralleled by a horse trail. Luckily no horses were seen on this visit but evidence of recent horse passage was everywhere. I try to overlook this aspect of Leatherwood, but with difficulty. Most may be glad for all the trails as they provide easy access to the interior.
  By 9:00 the bluffs were abandoned for the valley and an old road bed made for an uninhibited path downward. After crossing the creek the next bluff area was accessed with some difficulty. This line was traced to the east where lunch was had at 11:30. The sun was plentiful and before long the temp was near 70° with wind around 10+ mph. The valley below was a beautiful expanse of hardwoods, pines and cedars. My respite atop the bluff was peaceful and no signs of other humans were seen or heard. After lunch it was back down the slope and up to the next line of bluffs blocking the way to the top. Many large chunks had fallen away from the main slab of rock and provided a maze that proved again to bar my way upward and onward. By 1:30 my car was sighted and 8.5 miles were behind me. 

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