Thursday, April 14, 2016

Brogden Hollow, upper Middle Fork Illinois Bayou, Arkansas Ozarks

4/13/2016 - Brogden Hollow

GPS Coordinates:  (Latitude,  Longitude,  Elevation)
  Parking Location:  35.68771   -92.87088,  1846 ft.

Pet-Friendly:  Dogs off leash should be okay.  If your dog needs to be on a leash, a bushwhack like this one is not advisable.

Motorcycle Friendly:  Maybe.  Parking is just off White Oak Mountain Road.  It is over seven miles on a gravel road, but it is a well-maintained road and could be okay for heavier bikes.

Hiking Statistics:  From top to bottom, Brogden Hollow is over 1000 feet of elevation change.  Today's hike in Brogden Hollow was 1.75 miles with a "highest to lowest" elevation change of about 500 feet.  While there was some undergrowth to deal with, the terrain was primarily easily managed slopes without a lot of need to navigate blufflines.  It is entirely a bushwhack, but I would rate this as an easy to moderate bushwhack.  We were hiking for only a little over one hour on the track at the bottom of this post.

GPS files (.gpx format) - Maps of the GPS track are at the bottom of this post.
  Brogden Hollow Track

Brogden Hollow is one of many hollows that flow into the upper part of Middle Fork Illinois Bayou.  My hiking companions today were old friends Dan Frew and Jim Fitsimones.  I met Dan in Dover, loaded up in his Jeep, then we met Jim in Hector and headed north.  Like most of the hollows in the Ozarks, we thought Brogden Hollow might have some waterfalls in it.  You would think, anyway.  It turns out we thought wrong, so this will be a very brief blog post.

Driving directions are straightforward;  from Hector, drive north on Highway 27 for 21.5 miles and turn left (west) on Neely Hollow Road.  Go 1.1 miles on Neely Hollow Road and turn left onto a Jeep road.  Drive another 0.1 miles and park.  This was opposite a major prong on the south side of the hollow that looked like one of the most promising areas in this hollow.  Hiking down into the hollow, we went upstream and into this prong.  We found nothing here, nor did it look promising upstream in this prong, so we backtracked and went further up the main creek.

We found nothing but small waterfalls and cascades further upstream as well.  This hollow has a relatively low slope on the sides and few blufflines that hold for any duration.  It is a pleasant little creek and nice scenery, but we were waterfall chasing today and this did not seem to be the place to find any.  After continuing upstream another quarter mile and seeing nothing to indicate the terrain we were looking for upstream, we decided to abandon Brogden Hollow and head over to some much more rugged terrain with huge blufflines in nearby Pack Hollow.  If you want just a nice and easy bushwhack along a beautiful Ozark Creek, this is a good hike.  If you want a little more dazzling scenery, there are plenty of other places in the Ozarks that fit the bill.
GPS Track - Brogden Hollow

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