Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cossatot River State Park

Cossatot River Visitor Center

Today a group of us from church visited the Cossatot River State Park. We had a great time. The weather was cool for summer, with just a little rain. When we arrived at the vistors center, Park Interpreter Shelley greated us, and spent the next few hours giving our group a special tour.

Park Interpreter Shelley

After watching a movie about the Cossatot River, Shelley showed us pelts and skulls of area animals. She then showed us the salamanders, lizards, and snakes that are kept at the visitor center. Kaitlyn and Trey really liked getting to handle the snakes.

Kaitlyn Handling Snakes

Green Snake

Christina and Kaitlyn

After going through the visitor center, Park Interpreter Shelley took us to the river. The scenery was beautiful and the weather was perfect. The kids enjoyed swimming and throwing rocks into the river.

Cossatot River

Cossatot Kaitlyn

Cossatot River Rocks 2

The Cossatot River is Arkansas's premier whitewater experience and is known as the best whitewater float stream in mid-America. Located in southwest Arkansas south of Mena, the Cossatot forms Cossatot Falls, a rugged and rocky canyon that challenges the most experienced canoeists and kayakers. This National Wild and Scenic River is a watershed basin with flow levels dependent on rainfall. After significant precipitation, the river level rises, allowing experienced paddlers the opportunity to test their skills in challenging Class IV and V whitewater. At the river's Cossatot Falls area, a rocky canyon with distinct ledges, the river drops 33 feet in elevation within 1/3 of a mile. Late winter to early spring is peak whitewater paddling season here. Even if you are not a whitewater enthusiast, the hiking and scenery are spectacular.

Shelley and I

I have known Park Interpreter Shelley since she was a little girl, and it was great to get to spend a few hours with her and spend some time remembering the past. She really made the day special for all of us.


  1. Great photos, and interesting information. I've lived in Arkansas since 1950 and have never (yet) been to the Cossatot area. Looks like an excursion is in order -- when it cools off a bit.

  2. I am sure you had a great time, in such a beautiful environment. And it is great to have such sanctuaries leaving a good piece of nature intact.

  3. Looks like a fun outing. That water looks like it would be fun to swim in!

  4. What a lovely way to spend a family day together with a group of people.. Sounds like you all had a great time.
    Lovely picture and narration.

  5. Lovely photos with a great information!
    Thanks for sharing!

  6. I think I'll stay on dry land - and avoid the snakes;-)

    Thank you for the eacellent tour and the info.

  7. Loved those rocks in the next to last picture. I almost ended up in Mena. Just a lovely areal

  8. As a participant in the outing, I heartily agree with Richie! The day was beautiful, the scenery was beautiful, and Shelley was the icing on the cake! .....and a good time was had by all!!

  9. The photo of the still part of the river, with the big slanted rock in the bottom left corner, was taken from what was our family land for many years. My family spent countless hours on those rocks and in that part of the river. I am glad to know that others found it as special of a place as we did.