Searcy County Camping

Searcy County has several great campgrounds where you can enjoy the outdoors.

They range from very primitive sites to sites with great facilities.

Here is a list of sites, so come check out the great camping opportunities that Searcy County has to offer.

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  • The middle area of the Buffalo National River includes one developed campground at Tyler Bend. 10 walk in and 28 drive in sites are available on a first come first served basis. The campground provides flush toilet restrooms, one with hot showers. Water spigots are located throughout the campground. A dump station and tank filler is located near the park entrance at Highway 65 but there are no RV hookups in the campground. Campground open year round. Fees at Tyler Bend are $16 per night per site with six people permitted per site. Group sites may be reserved in advance for groups of 10 (minimum) to 25 (maximum) at $3 per person per night. Reservations may be made online at www.recreation.gov or by phone at 1-877-444-6777.
  • Woolum camping area is open year round. Woolum is located seven miles southwest of St. Joe on paved and gravel roads. Vault toilet will be open with limited or no servicing. No fees charged. Horse camping is permitted. This is a pack in/pack out facility with no trash service provided.
  • Grinders Ferry, Shine Eye, and Gilbert gravel bars are open for camping and vault toilets will be open year round with limited or no servicing. No trash services will be provided. No fees charged.

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  • South Maumee is open for camping all year. South Maumee is located seven miles off Hwy 27 north of the community of Morning Star on paved and gravel roads. Campground has five campsites, each with a picnic table, fire ring and lantern hook. Vault toilet will be open with limited or no servicing. No trash services will be provided. No fees charged.

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  • Spring Creek Campground has 12 designated sites with tables, fire rings, and lantern hooks at each site. The campground has a vault toilet with limited servicing. No water available. No fees charged and camping is open all year. No RV’s allowed. Spring Creek has 13 designated campsites.
  • Gilbert RV Campground RV section has 18 grass and gravel lots. 20, 30, and 50 amp electric hookups. The tent section of the campground offers eight tent sites.
  • Richland Creek Campground has a small picturesque mountain stream with waterfalls, rocks, and bluffs. There is access to the Richland Creek Wilderness Area. 11 family camping units. Because of very rough roads, visitors are not encouraged to take camping trailers to Richland Creek.

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RV camping also available at Pine Grove Trails near Leslie, Boston Mountain RV Park in Marshall, and Shelton’s Big Flat Getaway at Big Flat.

2017 Community and Relocation Guide Complete

The 2017 Community and Relocation guide is now complete!!

 

You can view the PDF copy of the guide by clicking on the cover photo below.

The guide has been sent to the printers and will be available and be distributed near March 20th.

This year’s guide is the largest produced by the chamber and has 76 Full Color Pages!!

8000 Copies will be printed.

Chosen Cover 2017

 

The older guides are still available online.   Just click on the photos below.

Cover Photo

The 2015 online version of the guide is also still available from the website in PDF Format.

Just click the cover picture below.

2015 Guide Cover

 

The 2014 online version of the guide is also still available from the website in PDF Format.  Just click the cover picture below.

2014 guide full cover page

 

 

15 Searcy County Attractions!!

15 Searcy County Attractions!!

#1 The Buffalo National River! Searcy County is home to approximately 48 miles of America’s 1st National River. Clear, cool water flowing under towering ridges and bluff lines surrounded by hardwood forests and ancient cedars. Miles of gravel and sand beaches await campers and sunbathers. The Buffalo National River, and tributary Richland Creek, are both National Wild and Scenic Rivers! Canoeing, kayaking, hiking, campgrounds, the Tyler Bend Visitor Center, elk viewing, swimming holes, and fishing for smallmouth bass await you in the Heart of the Buffalo National River!

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#2 The Kenda Drive-In Movie Theater in Marshall! Arkansas’ only drive-in movie theater that is open year round, and one of only three drive-in’s left in the entire state! Special events also held in the warmer months.

Kenda Drive In

#3 World-Class Hiking! The Ozark Highlands Trail has been noted as one of the top ten long distance hiking trails in the US by the Guardian! Also noted by Outside magazine as one of the World’s Seven Great Winter Backpacking Trips! Rocky Mountain Elk and Bald Eagles may be seen along the journey! The Ozark Highlands Trail connects with the Buffalo River Trail System at Wollum continuing down river to more miles of great hiking!

View from Point Peter (1 of 1)

#4 Motorcycle Riding! Approximately 140 miles of roads! Thousands of riders every year make the trek into the fabulous north central Arkansas Ozarks.  Beautiful scenery in four seasons, lots of winding roads, and some fairly lightly travelled locations! Pastoral scenes, quaint towns, and excellent restaurants await the bikers. We have two scenic routes you should try, the Bear Creek Growl and the Leslie Lasso!

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#5 Rocky Mountain Elk! Wild elk roam parts of the county and may be photographed anytime, or hunted with permit during hunting season. Searcy County is the Elk Hunting Capital of Arkansas!

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#6 Bicycling! The Ozark Grinder Trail is a gravel grinder bicycle trail covering approximately 130 miles of some of the most wild, scenic, and remote parts of the north central Arkansas Ozarks! From Tyler Bend at Buffalo National River to Shirley, Arkansas it climbs and descends steep grades and makes many creek crossings.

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#7 Old Town Leslie! This quaint Ozark Mountain town is home to one of the South’s finest bakeries, Serenity Farm Bread, and its wood-fired brick oven that produces Old World Sourdough Bread! Leslie also has excellent restaurants, fabulous antique stores, and a new 9-hole, par-3 disc golf course! The Ozark Heritage Arts Center in Leslie seats approximately 350 people in its Killebrew Theatre and in addition to hosting bands, is occasionally used for musicals and plays.

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#8 Old Town Gilbert! The “Coolest Town in Arkansas”, the “Smallest Sister City in the World”, and the smallest incorporated town in the state!  Super lodging and campground accommodations a short walk from the Buffalo National River. In season, a must visit is the Gilbert General Store, Est. 1901. Come for the cabins, or to fish, rent a canoe, kayak, raft, hang out on the beach, go hiking, or horseback riding! And the short drive to Gilbert off of Highway 65 is very nice!

Gilbert

#9 Downtown Marshall! The center of downtown is the historic Searcy County Courthouse, constructed in the late 1880s, site of the Searcy County Veterans Memorial and the Veterans Wall of Honor! Cresting Backbone Mountain just south of Marshall at the roadside park, and again leaving Marshall heading north on US Highway 65, the motorist will see one of Arkansas’ most panoramic views looking west towards Point Peter Mountain that stands prominent at 2,040 feet above sea level. The airport in Marshall is a great fly-in destination! Coming soon: New City Park and public fishing lake!

Marshall

#10 Agritourism! Searcy County is on the leading edge of agritourism with the annual Searcy County Fair in Marshall and rodeos in both Leslie and Marshall and diverse farm tours!  Farm tours provide wholesome experiences for families. Each tour is $20/ per family and offers a unique experience. Pick the tour/tours you’d like to take. Call the farm directly and schedule the tour. For more information, phone 870-448-4870.

Tom Faber Bees

#11 Horseback Riding! We have two horse stable/lodging destinations and more than 100 miles of horseback riding trails. Some of the most enjoyable and scenic horseback riding in the state of Arkansas! Riding in the Ozark National Forest of both western and northeastern Searcy County as well as in the confines of the Buffalo National River! The big trail ride of the year is the annual Falling Water Trail Ride during the first weekend of October. Riders begin the trail from either the Wollum Campground or Snowball Gym.

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#12 Hurricane River Caverns. Located near Pindall, the caverns offer both regular and extreme cave tours!

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#13 Rock climbing! The Stack Rock Special Interest Area in the Ozark National Forest near Witts Springs is accessed by a 3 mile round-trip hike off of the Richland Road all the way around Stack Rock. The towering overhead bluffs are a rock climbing destination!

Stack Rock Bluff

#14 Outdoor Photography & Bird Watching! With our Ozark Mountains, rural farm landscapes, historic old buildings, waterfalls, dark night skies, elk herds, bald eagles and other wildlife, the Buffalo River, and four seasons, we are a photographer’s dream destination! Searcy County also has two designated “Important Bird Areas,” the Ozark National Forest and the Buffalo National River!

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#15 Museums and Art! We are the home of Essie Treat Ward, the Grandma Moses of the Ozarks! Some of her paintings are on display at the Jim G. Ferguson Searcy County Library in Marshall. Art is also on display upstairs in the Searcy County Courthouse in Marshall and at the Ozark Heritage Arts Center in Leslie, where there is also a museum. The Searcy County Veterans Memorial Museum in Marshall honors local veterans. In St. Joe, don’t miss the St. Joe Depot Museum! Future attraction, the Buffalo River Historic Jail, which will show off the fabulous old Searcy County Jail in Marshall!

Essie Ward

It’s Elk Viewing Season!!

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Fall is here and the Elk are on the move in Searcy County.  You may have not heard, Searcy County has Elk!!  And we have a lot of them.  Arkansas Game and Fish’s official numbers total about 600 elk in the state,  Most are in Newton and Searcy County.  And even though Newton County has an annual Elk Festival, Searcy County can boast that we’re the “Elk Hunting Capital of Arkansas”, because for the past 2 years, more have been killed in Searcy County than any other county in the state.   Arkansas Game and Fish very carefully manages the herd, and a very limited number of tags (Normally about 20% of herd total) are drawn for hunters every year.

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Searcy County’s elk are mostly in two main areas of the county.  The Richland Valley in the western section of the county, and along the Bear Creek valley just west of Marshall.  Many visitors and travelers see the Bear Creek herd regularly in that 4 mile stretch right along Highway 65.    These are the two main areas, but elk might be seen just about anywhere along the Buffalo River, and some have recently been reported between Gilbert and Maumee South, along the river.

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So get out and enjoy our beautiful Searcy County fall scenery, and keep your eyes open for those beautiful elk!!

Leslie Has Disc Golf!

The Leslie City Park now has the first public 9-hole disc golf course in Searcy County!

The course overview slide approximates course layout, not exact. Come check it out!

Disc Golf Course Review has an overview of Leslie’s course on their website.
http://www.dgcoursereview.com/course.php?id=8492

If you need discs to play disc golf, check in at Elk and Eagle Trading Post in Leslie.
They have discs for sale.

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Leslie City Park Nine-Hole Par 3 Disc Golf Course Sponsors & Distance

1. Leslie Area Merchants Association & Rural Community Alliance 299′
2. Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce 243′
3. First Service Bank of Marshall 248′
4. Simmons Bank of Marshall 271′
5. The Chadwick Family 161′
6. First National Bank of North Arkansas 248′
7. American Legion Post 131 & VFW Post 12127 278′
8. Wiley’s Cove Lodge #524 F.&A.M. 253′
9. Jackie and Gordon Ard 462′

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The Ozark Folklife Festival!!

FolkLife Festival Poster

The Ozark Folklife Festival is Saturday, October 1st from 10 AM till 8 PM at the Tyler Bend Campground, Buffalo National River, near St. Joe.  It’s a heritage event reflecting life 100 or more years ago in the Ozark Mountains of Searcy County in celebration of the National Park Service’s 100th birthday!  Food, crafts, and music!  Demonstrators include: Storytelling, History of Searcy County, Spinner, Felter, Hymn Sings/Shaped Note Class, Trapper, Flint Knapper, Native American Flute Player, Corn Husk Dolls, Old Time Children’s Games, Lye Soap, Quilt Tying, Burial Customs, Dutch Oven Cooking, Firearm display, Folk Dancers/Storytelling, Blacksmith, Tomahawk Throwing, Pre-Civil War Encampment (1840s or prior time period) Early Arkansas Reenactors Association, Quilt Display, Dairy Goat Milking and possibly more.

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Still on the Hill

We have a great lineup of music!  The Michael and Jennifer McLain Band from Tennessee, Still on the Hill from Fayetteville, The Rackensack Folklore Society of Pulaski County, Mark Jones of Mountain View, Buddy Case of Enola, Possum Juice of Leslie & Mountain View, Jeff Stansbery & Breez of Leslie, The Burlesons of Lead Hill, Nathan Eaton of Marshall, and Skymeadow Fine Arts of Yellville.

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Possum Juice

Rackensack

The Rakensack Folklore Society

Buddy Case

Buddy Case

 

We also have a great lineup of food!

Pinto beans, ham, cornbread:

BBQ, cole slaw, Biscuit : Ruby’s Diner James Elliott ( Food Truck)

Fried Catfish, hush puppies: Larry Davenport

Strawberry Shortcake, Chocolate Rolls, Skylark-Joy

Hand Dipped Ice Cream- LobLolly Creamery (truck)

 

Special donations of money to help pay food vouchers for the musicians by: Sweepin’ Home Cleaning Service and Palms & Oil Massage Therapy of Tilly, the Marshall Mountain Wave, Witt Springs Community Voices, Gayla Feist, Director of North Central Adult Education of Leslie & Clinton, Starlight Cabin, LLC of Cozahome, Friends of the Searcy County Library, Ozark Byways, The Committee of Marshall, Ozark Opportunities, and Simmons Bank of Marshall.

 

Brand New 2016 Community Guide is Complete

The brand new 2016 Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce Community and Relocation Guide is now complete and available on the Chamber website.

This year’s guide is even  bigger and better than last year’s, with 4 additional new pages (68 Total)  of things to do and see, and places to go while you’re visiting Searcy County.

If you are planning on moving to Searcy County, or just visiting,  this is the guide you need to have.

There are some great additions and changes in this years guide, some of them are:

  • All member listings are by category, and we have a new category index where you can quickly find what you’re looking for.
  • Members selling chocolate rolls are noted in the member listings
  • The Calendar of Events has been expanded, all big Searcy County Events are listed.
  • We have new pages about the 100th Anniversary of the National Park System, an update to the Hunting page and how Searcy County is the Big Game Hunting Capital of Arkansas, an update on Searcy County Agri-tourism,  11 Reasons to live in Searcy County, an update on the improvements at the Searcy County Civic Center, a feature on the Annual Pedestal Rock Bicycle Ride, a story about World Class Hiking in Searcy County, Kenda Drive-in’s 50th Anniversary,  and much, much more.
  • 2015 Chamber Award Winners are listed.
  • An brand new spread on 15 Searcy County Attractions!!

The printed version of the guide will be available soon, and approximately 8000 copies will be distributed to all 13 visitor centers across the state of Arkansas by the Arkansas Parks and Tourism office, the Little Rock Air Force Base and many other places around the state.

The guide is available online in PDF format, so if you have the PDF reader on your computer you should be able to view.  just click the front page of the guide below.

Cover Photo

 

2016 Chocolate Roll Festival – Bigger and Better!!

 

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The 5th Annual Chocolate Roll Festival and World’s Best Chocolate Roll Contest is coming soon…..get those recipes ready!!

Come out on Saturday March 19th, 2016 at 10 am at Marshall High School for all the fun.

Be sure to purchase your ballot where you can sample all the chocolate rolls and cast your vote for the World Champion Chocolate Roll.

The 4th Annual Marshall High School Art Club Chocolate Was a Huge Success and the 5th annual 2016 Edition should be even better!!

This year’s event will be held on Saturday March 19th.   Be sure and check here and the Chambers Facebook page for upcoming information and to enter your chocolate rolls in the World Championship Chocolate Roll Contest.

To Enter the Contest check out the Event Facebook page.

There are some new events this year as well…..Highlights include:

Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 19, 2016!  It’s a new year and the MHS Art Club is already planning the 2016 Chocolate Roll Contest and Festival. We will again be having  a 5K walk/run and a classic car show with a Parade of Cars at 10am.

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5k walk/run @ 8am. Classic car show begins at 9am with parade of cars at 10am. Chocolate Roll contest begins at 10:00 am. You pick the winner of the best chocolate roll. Art show, vendors, Make and Take chocolate roll workshop, and entertainment. Something for everyone!

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2014 Chocolate Roll Festival a great Success!!

For just the 3rd year of the festival, the event was a huge success, and a great fundraiser for the Marshall High School Art Club who sponsored the event.

The declaration of Searcy County as theChocolate Roll Capital of the World by the Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce in late 2012, and promotion of the event by the chamber of commerce brought in visitors from all over the state.  There were people from Hazen, Huntsville, Springdale, Russellville, and more.   The weather was beautiful, and the car show, with 27 entries was well attended also.

There were  14 entries  competing in the contest this year!!   Nearly 250 people voted for their “favorite chocolate roll”, by purchasing a punch card, and then visiting all the chocolate roll stations, where they got a sample of each contestant’s creation.  Chocolate rolls were also available for sale at the festival, but went very fast.

The voting was very competitive, and the chocolate rolls were delicious.  It was truly a festival atmosphere, with Music, arts and crafts, and two chocolate roll classes that were also well attended.

 

Event coordinator Brenda Smyth commented, “The MHS Art Club would like to thank the volunteers who helped with the cutting the samples, conducting baking classes, organizing the arts and crafts, getting the fantastic car show organized, and the musicians who did a great job entertaining.  They really helped make it a huge success.”  Smith said a great big thank you to the sponsors for their participation.  You helped make it great!   Thanks also goes out to the Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce for donating money for the prize money this year and for all their promotion of the festival.   Smith also thanked all who donated, including Kenda Drive In, Sonic, McDonalds, Daisy Queen, Boston Mtn. Market Pizza, First National Bank of North Arkansas, First Service Bank, Ozark Hardwood Flooring, Elk and Eagle Trading Post LLC, Girl Scouts, Simmons Bank and Homebank for door prizes at the car show.

Several people at the festival and several who took baking classes commented that they plan to enter the contest next year, so we expect the 3rd Annual Chocolate Roll Festival to be bigger and better than ever.  Everyone better hone up their recipes as the competition will be fierce.

Click on the pictures below for a slide show of festival photos.

 

 

 

 

Red Curtain Theater Comes to Leslie with 3 New Shows

The Red Curtain Theater of Conway is bringing three great shows this year to Leslie and the Ozark Heritage Arts Center! First off, the Leslie Area Merchants Association and the Red Curtain Theater present the children’s musical “Alice & Wonderland Jr.” on Saturday night, 27 February at 7 pm! Tickets will be $10 for Adults and $5 Children (12 & under). If you enjoyed their production of “Seussical Jr.” and “The Little Mermaid, Jr.”, you’ll love this! Don’t miss it! The Music Man musical is coming Saturday night, 23 July and as part of the 2016 8th Annual Sugarplum Festival in Leslie, the children’s musical “Elf Jr.” will be held on Saturday night, 3 December! For more information, please call 870-448-2557.

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2nd Annual Great American Smoke Out BBQ Cook-Off — October 24th

The 2nd Annual Great American Smoke Out BBQ Cook-off will be held October 24th, 2015 on the Marshall Court House Square in Marshall, Arkansas

See the event flyer for more details.   Rules link and Entry form is also provided below.

For more information, contact “The Committee” at their Facebook Page.

BBQ cook Off Flyer Photo

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BBB Cook Off Entry Form

BBQ Contest Rules are here:  Link to Rules