At one o’clock on a dark, cool and breezy day the Rim Shoals Trail was officially dedicated as a White River Walk-in access. Thirty-one attendees listened as Bill Thorne, TU Chapter 698 President, gave opening remarks to commence the activity. He acknowledged the contributions of the following:
Gary Flippin- originator and driver of the trail’s formation
T.L. Lauerman – assist with AG&FC contact and communication
Jim Dugan- help with legal aspects
Tom Emerick- acquiring tax map info about this land parcel
The McClain and Berg families for their donations of the trail property.
The Graham Family for their generous donation of funds to make the trail’s construction possible.
AG&FC for acquiring the property as a river access
Jeff Gannon of Affordable Trail Solutions for developing the beautiful trail
The City of Bull Shoals for their contribution of three picnic tables
The many volunteers who have worked on the trail
Gary Flippin gave an account of the Trail’s history and his reasons for wanting it improved. The site of the ceremony was the original Rim Shoal’s Dock when the river was used for the transportation of goods. Cabins in the area were used for housing workmen during the construction of the Bull Shoals Dam.
Gary had concerns about the safety of fishermen walking the railroad tracks and about the lack of egress for wading anglers when there was an increase in water releases. The improved trail helps alleviate those safety concerns.
AG&FC Trout Manager Christy Graham thanked Chapter 698 and Chapter 514 for their contributions and assistance in improving the State’s trout resources. She is particularly pleased about the trail’s development as river and fishing access, currently a priority with the Commission. She mentioned Frank Graham’s love of Fly fishing and his fondness for the Rim Shoal’s area.
T.L. Lauerman praised Gary’s dedication to developing the trail , thanked the AG&FC for its’ action of acquiring the trail parcel and praised Jeff Gannon of Affordable Trail Solutions for his work developing and clearing the trail.
Bill Thorne presented a check for $1000.00 to Game Wardens Lyndle Crownover and Doug Small to be used for the purchase of waders for the wardens. This was the Chapter 698 Donation to AG&FC Foundation “Get It for Game Wardens.“ The donation was appreciated by the wardens who had already purchased the much needed waders.
The conclusion of the ceremony was marked by the serving of a beautifully decorated cake for all. The cake which was decorated in a river and trout theme was provided by Mikel Mershan of Gassville and of the Hobo Beef Food Truck. Special thanks to Paula and Gary Flippin for making the dedication possible.
The following people attended the ceremony:
From Chapter 698 – Bill and Sara Thorne, Gary and Paula Flippin, Tommy and Shella Hagan, Abe Blumthal, T.L. Lauerman, Tony Cook, Bob and Tina Hanson, Danny and Debbie Sabo, Mark and Burnis Koehler, Mike , Kim and Kasen Benton, Tom and Miriam Emerick.
President David Boyer of NAFF
From AG&FC – Trout Manager Christy Graham, Trout Habitat Biologist Tim Burnley, Game Wardens Lyndle Crownover and Doug Small and retired Warm Water Fisheries Biologist Ken Shirley
The Graham Trust Foundation- Barbara and Kent Graham
Harry Lewis a local resident and Page Dillard Evans from Mt. Home City Council.
More photos on our facebook page.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Along the river bank beginning at the Rim Shoals walk-in access and going downstream nearly a mile was unoccupied property that anglers had 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 Flippin and TL Lauerman 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 were approved. The cost was $31,000 dollars. Normally this would be an astronomical cost for a chapter project. But we received a $14,000 donation from the Frank Graham Memorial Endowment, used $13,000 of our own funds and commitments from AGFC, and TU Chapter 514 in Fayetteville covered the balance.