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I’m an experienced paddler new to Little Rock who enjoys pushing a sit on top to its limits, and likes to do a little fishing when the opportunity presents itself. I’ve looked at the Lake Winona spillway and it looks like an adventurous run that probably gets little attention. I’ve also looked at the downstream access points and the shuttle looks doable. I don’t mind a little dragging and portaging, but don’t care to fight downed trees all day. Can anyone tell me about this stretch of the alum fork? Thanks much.
Thanks for the response. I read about the fatality; sounded like high water (which I avoid). I like to explore the less-traveled waters, usually with a couple of other like-minded paddlers. I sometimes scramble down class V streams when the water is down to class II-III. Dragging through the big rocks is just part of the adventure. I enjoy the remoteness and the fishing is usually better, too. This looked like some interesting water closer to Little Rock, and I’m sure I’ll check it out at some point.
You're right about it being high water. I actually walked down to the site of the accident and was told the water would have been 4 or 5 feet over my head where I was standing in the trees. If i remember right, the area where it happened looked like water would be running through the trees at pretty much any level that would be considered runnable. I wouldn't be surprised if there were more spots like it in that section so be careful if you go.
I walked down alongside the spillway for a ways. There were several feet of drop in the first couple of hundred yards with just enough water to scrape through on a sit on top, but nothing I would consider dangerous. There looked to be floatable water at the downstream access points as well, but there may be a lot of low water in between. I’ve done some serious dragging before so that doesn’t bother me, but I have no desire to get caught in a SOT where only playboats should be, especially around strainers. There’s a USGS gauge for the upper spillway, so I’ll make another scouting trip or two before warm weather and compare to gauge data. Again, thanks for the feedback.
Sorry, I don't know about the parking. When we went to walk in someone had gotten permission for us to use a private access point at 34.773083, -92.876697 It looked like some sort of historic site that might get rented out for events but I'm not able to find any info about the place online now.
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