Shoal Bay – The Bridge Rock Trail

It was a sunny winter day a few years back.  Kurt and I decided to venture out early that morning for a drive and a hike.  His suggestion: Shoal Bay Bridge Rock Trail.

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I eagerly agreed to this fantastic idea.  I hadn’t been to Shoal Bay in many years, and really didn’t remember much about it.  Located on the Shoal Bay arm of Lake Dardanelle, about twenty two miles west of Russellville in New Blaine, Shoal Bay is a campground maintained by the Corps of Engineers.  It is a popular spot to pitch a tent, with fifty three sites available, most of which have electric hookups.

But our purpose on this trip was not camping;  it was hiking.

The one mile trail starts and follows along the lakeside for several hundred yards.  Right before the trail begins making its way uphill, there is a concrete dock that extends out into the lake.  Unfortunately, when we were there, it was closed.

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These interesting little rock benches lined the trail as we made our ascent.

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Stairs followed, lots of them!  Fortunately, we had the trail to ourselves that morning, so we could stop, rest, and take in the view anytime!

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The stairs lead to the Rock Bridge, an incredible natural formation created from many years of  erosion.  We explored the area under the bridge…

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…then took the stairs to check it out from above!

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The Shoal Bay Rock Bridge Trail is one that I would definitely recommend to first time hikers.  Yes, it does get a bit steep, and there are quite a few steps up the hill, but the steps do have railing which can provide extra support.  Besides, being amongst these magnificent rock formations while taking in the view of the lake is well worth the effort!

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