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Ward Dam Road

Easy
 5.0 (1)

D.epressing, A.rtistic and a gloriously pertinent M.etaphor on rural small town N.ational Americana.


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Map Key

0.6

Miles

1.0

KM

Point to Point

1,380' 421 m

High

1,283' 391 m

Low

0' 0 m

Up

97' 30 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

10%

Max Grade (6°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Lake · Views · Wildlife

The gate will close unexpectedly and lock you in. Do not drive the road. Bring a trash bag.

Description

This trail is trashy, forsaken and left for forgotten, but there is hope at the end depending on your cup. There used to be a man-made lake and a water treatment building below. Now both are abandoned. Rumor has it the town was afraid of the dam breaking and washing all away in a giant tidal wave, so they moved it.

From the crooked road sign, follow the dirt road downhill. Note the stellar placement of many years junk port side, abandoned because townsfolk did not want to pay fees at the dump. Archaeologists thousands of years hence will write their dissertations about the find.

Ponder the effort to clean up the mess and take a sharp left at the fork heading down the steep gully. Note the angst and art spray painted on the old abandoned treatment plant to your starboard. The use of composition and negative space is appealing, but the form and grammar is a bit crude. Imagine how grand it would be if public school tax dollars were spent on the arts and humanities instead of testing rubrics.

Continue on the road for a mile, discouraged about the state of the forest and the surrounding union. Note the empty lite beer cans and and various trash scattered throughout the thicket, providing a sharp juxtaposition and metaphor for nature and natural lite selection. Stop when you spot a heard of deer twenty yards in the thicket, they remain curiously close to you and do not move as you continue on. On the side of the road again is an empty bag of corn chips and a crushed can of Natty Lite. You suppose they are hanging out because they have such grand selection of beer and snack food refuse to choose from. Good thing it was lite beer, you'd hate to see discarded IPA's and inebriated deer rampaging the forest. DWI's can be dangerous when loosed in national forest lands (Deer While Intoxicated).

In continuation of the theme of the trail, you surmise you are headed nowhere. In fact, you made a wrong turn and you are headed opposite of where you wanted to go. "I'll be dammed." You think, you hope. You turn and hike back from where you came, past the abandoned plant and up the wall of the dam until you summit. This is the moment you've hoped to glean since the brief journey began.

The mountains embrace you similar to the way your great grandmother did and slipped you cash into your hand and saying: "I want you to have this, don't forget that I love you." Turning to leave the dam, you see shotgun shells and soda cans and wonder why others don't see the same things as you.

Flora & Fauna

Deer. Vultures.

Contacts

Shared By:

il coyote

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#2651

Overall
  5.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#31

in Arkansas

#2,651

Overall
11 Views Last Month
589 Since Feb 27, 2017
Easy

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Photos

Polk County Arkansas' 'Banksy' is talented, but more raw.
Feb 27, 2017 near Mena, AR
The forests in this area are rife with hardwoods.
Jan 11, 2017 near Mena, AR
The Southern Trail Bridge is a sturdy piece of construction.
Jan 11, 2017 near Mena, AR

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