West Fork of Big Piney Creek
West Fork of Big Piney Creek hike in the early Fall
  Big Piney Creek...sure, you've probably heard of it. It empties into the Arkansas River just upstream of Russellville at Lake Dardanelle. This creek begins in Newton County and soon becomes a river as it winds its way for about 70 miles to the south. The West Fork arises just near Fallsville and joins the main fork quickly, but not before draining a nice little watershed to the north. This small group of creeks I call the Piney Forks, since they have no names on the map. At  5:00 a.m. Saturday morning, I headed in. The shrubbery was dense, as is typical. The temp was around 62° on the ridge top but slowly dropped with elevation decline. Please remember that breakfast was had at South Park Restaurant in Clarksville. The biscuit and gravy was better this time after requesting that my food be warm when served.
  It was a long way to the bluff's edge and it was arrived at before sunrise. Unfortunately, the quality of bluff action was poor in this area. Tracing the line around to the north yielded nothing of use to me...that being a rocky surface with a view of the valley. I finally settled on a spot with a small hole aimed at the sunrise. After some time here I leaped down into the valley and followed the mostly dry creek bed upstream. This was one of the nameless tributaries of the West Fork. This fine stream transforms into a beautiful thing when fully laden with flowing water. A pass through here with such a flow was partaken of in 2014. Many waterfalls occur along the way. Bluffs line the edges. Creatures attack you from all sides. It's fantastic!
  I continued on until the creek played out just near my parking area. At 12:55 with 74° and full sun, my exit was made. Seven miles, many near deadly, were traveled on this hike. I live, just barely, to tell this story, my friend.

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