The Arkansas School of Whitewater had its challenges when it took place on May 4-5. It rained and rained, bringing up the Mulberry River to such a point that the organizers had to prohibit everyone from going out on the River. So, we had to find an alternative.
On the second day of the school, many of us went to Hurricane Creek. Southwest Paddlers says the following:
Hurricane Creek is a little known and less often paddled tributary of the Arkansas River. The creek is a beautiful Ozark Mountains stream with cold, clean, clear water flowing through the Ozark National Forest near Frog Bayou and Fort Smith (the day we ran it, though, the water was pretty murky). Swift water, the narrow channel, tight bends and dead-fall dodging necessitate the use of shorter boats, though major rapids are not a concern. This is not a trip for everyone, and those long tripping boats or sea kayaks will not find it suitable, but it is a great run in shorter canoes and kayaks when it flows.
The hazards to be encountered on Hurricane Creek are from swift currents, a narrow channel, dead-fall strainers and log jams, tight bends and cold-water temperature. Rapids are in the Class II to II+ range, though they can become more technical as flows increase, and may often be located at the same places where other obstacles combine to make picking a good line difficult, but very necessary. Often, there will be little time to assess the situation before confronting it. Solid intermediate level whitewater skills in canoes or kayaks are necessary for runs here, and swiftwater rescue training (especially mechanical haul systems setup and use) would be an added benefit.
Here’s what I say – it was a great day on Hurricane Creek!
This is a link to my YouTube video: https://youtu.be/aQSJQwlEBxM