Chuck Dovish guides viewers to his 12 favorite places to cool off during a hot summer in “Exploring Arkansas: Natural State Swimmin’ Holes.”
Viewers are invited to explore the following 12 locations in this new special:
- Falling Water Falls – East of Ben Hur in the Ozark National Forest, Falling Water Falls is rated one of the best swimming holes in the entire Ozark region.
- Rosa-Hole – North of Mountain View on North Sylamore Creek, Rosa-Hole is a tucked away gem that’s frequented mostly by locals.
- Jack Creek – South of Booneville in the Ouachita National Forest is the Jack Creek Recreation Area, known for cliff diving into a natural, deep pool.
- Ozark Campground – North of Jasper along the upper portion of the Buffalo National River is the Ozark Campground, complete with a swimming hole by a high, picturesque bluff.
- DeGray Lake – Among the highlights of snorkeling at DeGray Lake near Arkadelphia are the “rock reefs” around the islands.
- Cossatot River – The Cossatot River in Southwest Arkansas is well known with white water kayakers, but in the summer this raging river turns into a calm stream with deep pools ideal for snorkeling.
- West Fork – Along the West Fork of the White River, in the town of West Fork south of Fayetteville, is a “developed” swimming hole at Riverside Park.
- Long Pool – The Long Pool Recreation Area in the Ozark National Forest northwest of Dover along Big Piney Creek features a large, natural pool.
- Gunner Pool/Barkshed – The Gunner Pool and Barkshed Recreation Areas in the Ozark National Forest north of Fifty-Six along scenic North Sylamore Creek offer prime wilderness swimming and camping adventures.
- Shine Eye – Located in the middle portion of the Buffalo National River north of Silver Hill is a swimming hole called Shine Eye.
- Blanchard Springs – The Blanchard Springs Recreation Area north of Mountain View offers not one, but two swimming holes.
- Silver Bridge – The Silver Bridge swimming hole on the Mulberry River, north of the town of Mulberry, has been an iconic gathering place for many generations.
Before coming to Arkansas PBS, Chuck Dovish was mainly known for his "Travelin' Arkansas" segments which aired on KTHV-Channel 11 for more than 25 years. Since October of 2005, Chuck has been producing and hosting "Exploring Arkansas" which showcases all the high adventure the Natural State has to offer. This one-of-a-kind program features the most breathtaking and spectacular sights in Arkansas. There's extreme adventure like hang gliding, kayaking, rappelling, rock climbing, wild caving and not to mention some of Arkansas's best kept secrets such as secluded and scenic waterfalls.
Chuck has been exploring Arkansas for more than 40 years and continues to surprise and entertain viewers with his sights and subjects. His philosophy throughout the years has always been to illuminate the culture and heritage of Arkansas, in addition to conservation and preservation of the pristine outdoors of the Natural State. Exploring Arkansas was the 2009 recipient of the Sierra Club Conservation Award. Chuck says he's always trying to promote our great state in any way, shape or form that he can.
Exploring Arkansas January 2019
Join Chuck Dovish as he begins the new year admiring a 15 year-old who plays and makes fiddles, visiting an African-American schoolhouse from the early 1900's, enjoying a scenic drive through fall foliage, biking some off-road trails, and eating incredible food.
Exploring Arkansas February 2019
The latest addition to Arkansas' system of Natural Areas is Rattlesnake Ridge west of Little Rock. It happens to be the eastern-most point of the Western Diamondback rattlesnake. The only remaining free-standing art deco Greyhound Bus depot, from the days of "&hellipsleave the driving to us" is now a museum in Blytheville. North America's largest waterfowl is the Trumpeter Swan. More than a hundred migrate to Heber Springs every year for their winter vacation home. The art of blacksmithing is alive and well in Mountain View, where Stone County Ironworks creates heirloom pieces inside "America's Blacksmith Shop."
Exploring Arkansas March 2019
Arkansas's version of "Jurassic Park" is at Mid-America Science Museum in Hot Springs. Called "DinoTrek" it's the state's only permanent outdoor dinosaur exhibit. "Tilting Rock" as the locals call it, overlooks Big Creek valley near Cozahome. The 14-ton slab of rock really does tilt back and forth when you walk on it. Blowing Cave near Batesville has a sci-fi history dating back to the 1940's and 50's involving a secret subterranean culture. Banjo builder Randall Wyatt of Searcy has made 'em for some of Nashville's best, and he can play a mean banjo himself as well. They're not always there every year, but when they do arrive to winter on Lake Conway, the white pelicans make for quite a photographic treat.
Exploring Arkansas April 2019
Madison County Wildlife Management Area south of Eureka Springs has several really impressive waterfalls. A couple of them are featured in this segment – Road 299 Falls and Glory B Falls. The 1886 Concord one room schoolhouse east of Eureka Springs is but a handful of such structures still standing in the state. The Newton House Museum in El Dorado happens to be the only antebellum home in that town that's open to the public. Searcy is the recent winner of a national small business revolution competition that involved literally thousands of entries. Segment looks into what exactly makes the town so successful.
Exploring Arkansas May 2019
Originally built during the old WPA days under President Roosevelt, Lake Atalanta in Rogers is undergoing a revitalization with a whole new generation enjoying its waters. Snake World just outside of Berryville is one man's creation with about eighty venomous and non-venomous snakes – that's much more than at the Little Rock Zoo! Dardanelle Rock and Council Oaks are two historic landmarks along the Arkansas River. One is a lookout point and Natural Area, and the other is where a treaty was signed under two towering oak trees, in which the Cherokees gave up their lands south of the Arkansas River. The ATV trails in Fairfield Bay provide high adventure, and lead to some scenic waterfalls.
Exploring Arkansas: West Fork Swimmin’ Hole
There’s a real gem of a swimmin’ hole in West Fork, Arkansas, that’s perfect for swimming and fishing as our hot weather days extend into fall! Get to know Riverside Park’s offerings with host Chuck Dovish in this week’s Exploring Arkansas digital-first segment.
Exploring Arkansas: Holly Classics
If you're a fan of antique and classic cars, then you need to go on a little ride with us to Holly Classics in Hot Springs Village. Cruise on down with host Chuck Dovish in this week’s Exploring Arkansas digital-first segment.
Exploring Arkansas: Arkansaurus
Take a closer look at a unique species of dinosaur found only in The Natural State, the Arkansaurus! We'll go with host Chuck Dovish to look at the life-size model on display at the Arkansas Geological Commission Learning Center in Little Rock, and visit with Joe Friday of Lockesburg, who unearthed the footbones of the prehistoric creature.
Exploring Arkansas: Peebles Farm
As far as pumpkin patches go, Peebles Farm and Corn Maze near Augusta, Arkansas, is one of the primo options in the South, according to Southern Living and its many fans!
Learn how a request from Harding Academy sparked the family farming operation to move from simply wholesaling watermelons and pumpkins to offer a pumpkin patch, corn maze, games, rides and much, much more in this digital-first Exploring Arkansas segment.
Exploring Arkansas: KWEM
From the 1940s onward, the music legends who shaped the Blues, Country and Rock N' Roll played the nightclubs of what was known as the Las Vegas of the South: West Memphis, Arkansas. Find out how West Memphis station KWEM Radio helped jumpstart the careers of iconic artists — like Willie Mitchell, Howling Wolf, Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two, BB King and more — at the Arkansas State University Midsouth's historic replica of the original studio with kwemradio.com.
Exploring Arkansas: Little Italy
Ciao, amici! Chuck heads out to the foothills of the Ouachita mountains — a place that reminded the founders of their homeland so much that they eventually called it Little Italy, Arkansas. We find out how the descendants of Joseph and Maria Belotti are working to keep the community’s vineyards alive and productive and check out the Little Italy Heritage Museum to get a better understanding of how these immigrants made their way in Arkansas, Land of Opportunity.
Exploring Arkansas: Mountain Village 1890
Take a trip back in time — nearly 130 years back, in fact — in today’s digital-first Exploring Arkansas segment when we set off for Mountain Village 1890 in Bull Shoals, Arkansas. We’re taking in the entire town - filled with historic structures that were actually in use in 1890 - and learning a little bit more about what earlier Arkansans’ lives were like. With the village’s Haunted History Tours, you might even be able to learn a little bit about their afterlives!
Exploring Arkansas: Downtown Jasper
The Jasper, Arkansas, town square is always abuzz with activity - whether it be a farmer's market or biker enthusiasts taking a break from a ride. Get to know the 'Elk Capital of Arkansas,' a little bit of its history, community projects and local businesses — including a 'Museum of Junk.'
Exploring Arkansas January 2018
Gaston's White River Resort near Bull Shoals, prides itself on being ranked America's number one trout fishing resort. –Having its own airstrip and award-winning restaurant helps…but the other factor is their signature "shore lunch" they offer with all the fixins, including of course – the trout you catch. There was a time when traveling the two-lane highway is all there was in America. We take a backroads tour from Little Rock to Memphis along Highway 70 and relive the "fun" that travel used to be. Every second weekend in October, the World Championship Quartz Crystal Dig is held in the Ouachita Mountains near the Quartz Crystal Capital of the World – Mount Ida. Coco's happens to be a five-star Mexican restaurant, attached to a gas station, that's in the middle of nowhere near Cabot.
Exploring Arkansas February 2018
The B-17 "Flying Fortress" played a vital role during World War II. A few of the planes are still flying and one flew in at Conway's Cantrell Field to give visitors a once-in-a-lifetime flight. Red Bluff overlook in the middle section of the Buffalo National River near Gilbert, is a popular spot for both photographers and hikers. Historic Calico Rock on the White River has a lot to offer including its own crime lab for students! The White County Pioneer Village in Searcy is a wonderful educational setting that depicts early American life from the 1880's to 1930.
Exploring Arkansas March 2018
The Castle on Stagecoach in Little Rock is actually a fairy tale event center, making children's fairy tale dreams come true, complete with horse and carriage rides. The "crag" in Jamestown near Batesville is a rock climber's paradise with many different routes up the "crag" for different skills. The Arkansas State University Museum in Jonesboro is definitely more than meets the eye, with artifacts from pre-historic Native Americans, exhibits depicting the state's natural history and cultural heritage; plus a replica of a Mastodon skeleton. The oldest continuous existing town in Arkansas happens to be Batesville. The historic downtown district and the historic home district are the two main attractions.
Exploring Arkansas April 2018
Located in a remote area of the Ouachita National Forest southeast of Mena, Bard Springs offers a small scenic stream and day-use picnic/recreation areas. -During winter's frigid temperatures, the two waterfalls along the stream turn into a spectacular ice display. The Four States Auto Museum in Texarkana has all the antique cars and classics - from Model T's to a 1965 Mustang. The Fort Chaffee Barbershop has been restored to the way it looked in 1958 when Elvis Presley enlisted in the Army and got his GI buzz haircut - "The haircut heard 'round the world." Muse's Country Store south of Heber Springs --circa 1937, is a place where memories are shared, and where you still open your soda bottle with the built-in bottle opener on the machine.
Exploring Arkansas May 2018
The Galaxy Connection in Hot Springs is the result of one man's vast collection turned into a Star Wars and Superheroes museum. –At the end of the tour you get to suit up like a Jedi and participate in a light saber duel! Highway 123 Falls is an impressive waterfall just off Highway 123 in the Ozark National Forest north of Hagarville. Welcome, Arkansas is just a stones' throw away from the Louisiana state line southwest of Magnolia. The Mammoth Orange Café in the shape of a huge orange in Redfield, has been an iconic attraction since 1965 and is still going strong.
Exploring Arkansas June 2018
The "Sandstone Castles" are actually caverns cut into the side of a bluff in the Richland Creek Wilderness of the Ozark National Forest near Lurton. Housed in an old country-style railroad depot, the Ruland Junction Toy Train Museum in Heber Springs is a family collection spanning more than 90 years. Arnold Layne is the "Fiddleman" of Bentonville – not only can he play ‘em..he's made nearly 300 of them since 1944. The Big Creek Cave Falls area south of Jasper is a wonderland of waterfalls, caves and mountain streams.
Exploring Arkansas July 2018
The Long Ridge Middle Bloyd Sandstone formation located in the Ozark National Forest, north of Hurricane Creek Wilderness, is a unique and eerie crevasse area that you'd normally find out West somewhere. Rafting on the nationally designated Wild & Scenic Mulberry River adds a little bit more of an adventure twist versus floating it in a canoe or kayak. The Jacksonville Guitar Center is more than meets the eye - back from the main showroom is one of the most extensive vintage cowboy guitar collections in the country. The Ranch North Woods Preserve is the Nature Conservancy's newest preserve, bordering Pinnacle Mountain State Park in west Little Rock. It features 234 acres of fields, forest, wetlands and 1.7 miles of the Little Maumelle River. What a fisherman experienced on Lake Conway back in 1952, which became known as the "Lake Conway Monster" may very well have been the inspiration for the classic 1954 Hollywood film - "Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Exploring Arkansas August 2018
Bluffton was once a thriving community northwest of Clinton. Now it's the Bluffton Preserve under The Nature Conservancy and an ideal place for swimming, fishing, hiking, camping and floating. Pogue Springs near Mountain View, along North Sylamore Creek has been a well-kept secret hideaway for peace and solitude. Historic Cane Hill in northwest Arkansas is just that - boasting 16 structures that are on the National Register of Historic Places. Since 1960 the Susie Q Malt Shop drive-in at Rogers has been packing in the customers - and no wonder, with menu items like the 'Big Daddy' burger and the "Big Pig" pork tenderloin, plus malts and shakes—its 'happy days' all over again!
Exploring Arkansas September 2018
Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park is where Arkansas's tallest Native American mounds are preserved. The Edible Insects program at DeGray Lake Resort State Park is one of the most popular summertime presentations. Storm Creek Lake located in Mississippi River State Park, is a tucked away gem within the St. Francis National Forest. Little Grand Canyon is a unique rock formation area in southern Arkansas, which truly does resemble The Grand Canyon. Camp Mitchell is a popular church summer camp atop Petit Jean Mountain, with a history that goes back to the early 1940's.
Exploring Arkansas October 2018
Housed in a new facility at Hampson Archeological Museum State Park in Wilson, are artifacts from the "Nodena Site" which was inhabited by late Mississippian period Native Americans. Black Bass Lake is a hidden gem down a dirt road within the city limits of Eureka Springs. The Tontitown Grape Festival celebrates the town's Italian heritage and is one of the oldest festivals in the state, beginning in 1898. Electric Island is a special oasis in the middle of Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, which is why it's protected by The Nature Conservancy as a Nature Preserve.
Exploring Arkansas November 2018
Ritter Farms in Marked Tree grows a lot of crops, but sunflowers are the main attraction. Their crop of sunshine is available in various retail outlets. A tree house that cost 1.8 million dollars is got to be something extra special. –And that it is, at the Great Tree House Adventure at Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs. Lee Creek Reservoir Recreation Area near Van Buren offers fishing, boating, hiking and mountain biking. La Petite Roche Plaza in Little Rock features the “little rock” of the capital city's namesake plus the Junction pedestrian-cycling bridge. The Bridge Rock Trail at Shoal Bay Park along Lake Dardanelle, features a wonderful sandstone natural bridge.
Exploring Arkansas December 2018
Multi-state fiddle champion Mary Parker of Mountain View began playing fiddle at the age of 5; she now plays six musical instruments plus sings and dances – and yes, she's making quite a name for herself around the country. Village Creek State Park near Forrest City has not one, but two lakes that are popular with anglers and kayakers. The Wings of Honor museum preserves the history of the Walnut Ridge Army Air Field, which was one of seven Army flying schools in Arkansas during World War II. They are a phenomenon near "Y" City in west Arkansas – huge boulders called "erratics" that really don't belong there because of age difference and composition compared to the local shale and sandstone outcrops.