Along the river bank beginning at the Rim Shoals walk-in access and going downstream nearly a mile is unoccupied property that anglers have been casually using to access the river for years.
Gary Flippin, owner of Rim Shoals Resort and a former railroad engineer hated seeing people walk the railroad tracks as they tried to work their way downriver. He has also had to rescue wade fishermen who got too far from a safe river exit when the water rose quickly.
With permission from property owners, Mr. & Mrs. Berg, Gary Flippin took it upon himself to clear a path starting at the creek and stretching downriver parallel to the first island in the river. He posted signs on trees so waders could see the shallow/easy bank accesses. He always referred to it as Menoka’s Trail. The name of one of the Berg’s daughters.
When Gary learned that Hugh McClain owned the river bank down to the power lines, he approached McClain about donating the land to Arkansas Game and Fish, which McClain did in the winter of 2019.
Gary announced this at a TU meeting in the late fall of 2018 – and got everybody excited about the potential for the trail. Gary Flippin and TL Lauerman have spearheaded efforts to get a trail plan developed, and get the Berg’s to donate their section of the riverbank to AGFC.
Plans submitted by Affordable Trail Solutions to make this a low maintenance, very accessible trail have been approved. The expected cost is $31,000 dollars. Normally this would be an astronomical cost for a chapter project. But we have received a $14,000 donation from the Frank Graham Memorial Endowment, are using $13,000 of our own funds and have commitments from AGFC, and TU Chapter 514 in Fayetteville.
Soon, we will have a great public walking trail along this section of the river with benches and picnic tables, as well as safer river access for anglers.