Skipping Stones on the Kings River in Eureka Springs Arkansas

Sea Dog Eco Tours Instructor Guide and owner, Sheree Lincoln, dipping her toes in the Kings River, Eureka Springs Arkansas

Dipping Your Toes in the Waters of the Kings River

The first step into the river sends a little shiver of adventure through your body.  Your senses have already been awakened by the sounds of the birds and cicadas during your walk down the hill, farther into the river valley.  The river access lies adjacent to the beautiful Kings River Outfitters’ Campground where 18 dispersed camp sites can be found nestled under the large trees that guard the grounds and lend shade. They also serve to let us see the breeze coming from the West before  you can feel it on your cheek with the sound of the tent canopy rustling as if tickled by the wind.  You can hear the cardinals at play among the trees and the crows having a confab along the river.

The Kings River is crystal clear, unless heavy rains created run off from the banks along the way.  Thousands and thousands of stones and rock line the bed of the river and gather heat on the expansive gravel bars that hug the river on either side.  The water is so clean and clear that you can look down through it and seek out that special rock for your collection with ease.  These are not your typically rounded river rock skipping stones. The rocks of the Kings are rectangular, quite angular and some appear as if chipped off a larger rock and sent to settle to the river bed, before being smoothed by the fast traveling water.  They are every shade of brown and gray, with accents of red and even pink in the mix.  

The Launch at Eagles Roost Campground

The lane splits at the river bed allowing for 2 launch and swimming areas along the southern shore.  The gravel road shifts to sand at the edge, as it angles down into the river. It is an easy walk to dip that first toe into the water.  If you have arrived for a swim, then you can gently walk out into the cool water of the river and stand against the flow, feeling the current as against your legs, as you take in the view up and down the river.  Down stream you can see the curve of the river, just after it has passed under the bridge at Highway 221 and Trigger Gap. The water here has picked up speed as it passed around the curve, and through the rippling white water created by a narrower path, for the water, just below the bridge.

Wading and Paddle Boarding on the Kings River

Heading west up river you walk across to where the gentle river grass paints a path along the river. Following the shore along the gravel bed leads to a fabulous swimming hole just around the bend.  The shore line on the north side expands as it  gently curves to the Northwest.  Here you can wade into the water where it drops off and you swim in the quiet moving water.  The cold water makes you feel tenuous about your decision to take a dip and then your body adjusts to the temperature and encourages you to walk farther in to the river.  The decision to dive in head first and enjoy the shock of it or to gently lay back and sink slowly,  up to your neck, before dipping your head back and gliding down into the refreshing water, is yours.

Gravel Bars Not Gravelers?

Our next episode about the Kings River, or the joy of river paddling is about siding up to the bar, the gravel bar that is. Coming soon!

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