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228
7/15/16
  The word "Butterfield" is not an inspiring name for a trail, in my opinion. This path lies within Devil's Den State Park in northwestern Arkansas. I have never been terribly drawn to this hike due to its popularity. My curiosity piqued Friday morning and the decision was made to head there on that very afternoon. My original plan was to hike the entire 15 miles on Saturday. The new strategy seemed more reasonable. There head been a fair amount of rain and storms in western Arkansas in the last day or but I felt this would be ending soon. If it rained during the hike I was prepared for that as well.
  At 2:45 p.m. with a reasonable temp of 82° I climbed the hill just driven down and cut off about 2.5 miles of trail on the northern end. On satellite photo it looked like there was a crossing of Lee Creek without a bridge on this section. The chance that the water would be a bit high motivated this decision. The rain seemed long gone and the sky had full sun exposure. Even with the moderate temperature the near 90% humidity made it...well, you know. The trail was essentially a creek as the rain runoff headed for the valley. This route was pretty well marked but alternate trails crossing and splitting off made it easy to get side tracked while looking down most of the time. The forest here is quite mature...thick and lush. My "wet woods theory" proved true again as no ticks were encountered during the duration of the walk. No other pests bothered me either....except....spiders...from hell. No humans had passed through here recently. This left all spider webs intact and full bodied. The endless onslaught of face level web action was quite annoying, but was to be expected. 
  Blackburn Creek was rolling well and was just barley high enough to allow a kayak passage. Many shitty campsites were found with rock living rooms and towering fire rings filled with trash. It must be noted that much of this trail is utilized by 4-wheelers and such....enough said in that regard. The trail is never too close to the creek and by the time it hits Lee Creek it is moving away from the water. This is unfortunate. Plans to camp by Lee Creek were tossed aside since a spur trail was all that accessed the river's edge. Eventually a spring was happened upon with a decent place to camp...but...my desire to move on overcame my desire to stay the night. By 9:40 p.m. my car was in view. At 10:45 some breakfast was obtained at Waffle House in Clarksville. It really hit the spot. By 1:30 a.m. I crawled into bed...my wife undisturbed. My mileage tallied in at 12.5 imperial units. Of note...this trail is called the "Butterfield HIKING Trail", but is shared with off-road vehicular and horse traffic along some sections and should therefore be changed to the "Butterfield Anything Goes Trail". 

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