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The TrailBlazers Hiking Club is a group based in Fort Smith, Arkansas, dedicated to enjoying the outdoors in the Ozarks and Ouachita Mountains of western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. THCFS schedules several hikes a month, some long and some short, some difficult and some more laid-back. Some of us have hiked for years and some just started, but we all enjoy the outdoors. If this describes you and you're in the area, you're welcome in our group!

Upcoming Hikes

Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015 - Big Bluff on the Buffalo River
Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015 - Full Moon Hike
Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015 - Mt. Magazine Trails
Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015 - Sam's Throne
Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 - Ouachita Trail

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Hike Report

2015-01-24 Big Bluff
Photo Link: click here

Twenty TrailBlazers enjoyed a beautiful, clear, sunny day to drive up to the Ponca area to hike Big Bluff. Several vehicles were already at the trailhead. As usual, it felt a little cool and windy at the trailhead, but all that changed when we got out of the wind on the trail. In no time at least some of us were shedding layers, gloves, and hats.

For those who don’t know, we trek down from the parking lot to the majestic bluff that is about 500 ft. above the Buffalo River. The trail starts out fairly level, but then there is a long descent that is rocky and muddy in places. After hiking through the woods we finally turned a corner and all of a sudden found ourselves hiking along a bluff line on the left with brush and trees on the right. Finally we reached the area where we are on an open ledge with a panoramic view of the Buffalo River and the towering bluff. The ledge itself is not very wide and in places is very narrow and could be quite dangerous for small children and pets. We spent quality time eating lunch with a view, taking pics, and exploring the enormous bluff that pics do not quite capture. JR lost her apple as it rolled over the ledge, probably to illustrate Newton’s Second Law, but she did have the common sense not to chase it!

Of course, what goes down must go back up, so there is a long trek back up the trail that is pretty much a constant climb. Yours Truly believes the trail is longer going back or maybe that was just because of all the huffing and puffing that made the return trip take longer! Great day!
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