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Chuck’s Blog – “Exploring Arkansas From Above: Summer”

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Our aerial cinematic look at all four seasons in The Natural State, “Exploring Arkansas From Above” – scheduled to premiere Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. – will begin with summer.

With more than 40 lakes around the state, summertime in Arkansas means lake fun! The largest lake in Arkansas is Lake Ouachita west of Hot Springs. To really appreciate this lake and all of its islands, a drive up to Hickory Nut Mountain Vista is well worth it. The view from the vista is unlike any other overlook of Lake Ouachita.

Seven kayakers paddle at sunset on Lake DeGray while a pontoon boat motors along in the background

DeGray Lake Resort State Park is another fun trip.  Sunset kayaking excursions are offered here, along with special outings out to a nearby island to view meteor showers throughout the summer.

There’s Sugarloaf Mountain at Greers Ferry Lake, and the Sugarloaf Mountain National Recreation Trail – the one-mile hike up to the top is moderate to strenuous and should only be attempted by those who are in good physical condition. The trail is accessible only by boat, and shuttle services are available at Fairfield Bay Marina. Cliff jumping is a popular summertime activity on Greers Ferry Lake, but use caution: make sure the water is deep enough without any rocks underneath, and jump feet first only.

Wide view of verdant Seven Devils Swamp

Seven Devils Swamp in Southeast Arkansas near Dermott is the wildlife paradise with the ominous name. For birdwatchers and photographers, this is an ideal setting. But, it’s also notorious for people getting lost in it as well. The seven lakes within the swamp have been called the “7 devils” by those who did wind up getting lost. So, needless to say, a GPS unit or a compass would be essential to take with you.

Aerial view of the Mississippi River and Helena River Park with the river bridge in the background

The Helena River Park overlooking the mighty Mississippi River is quite the pleasant outing on a summer evening.

Chuck Dovish, wearing a white fisherman's shirt and khaki cargo shorts, looks out at the Mississippi River from the Helena River Park boardwalk with the park's lush trees forming the shot's background.

An impressive boardwalk leads you out to the river’s edge with information placards along the way describing the area and its history. If you’re lucky, you can take in a riverboat or two going down the river.

Aerial View of Boxley Valley

Historic Boxley Valley near Ponca, in the upper portion of the Buffalo National River, is quite the early Americana setting.

Side-by-side images of an aerial view of the Boxley Valley Church and its grounds and a close-up view of the church itself

There are a number of historic structures here dating back to between 1879 and 1930 – including the 1899 Boxley Church and Community Building, which was featured in National Geographic Magazine in an article about Arkansas during the early 1970s.

Aerial view of three helmeted cyclists - dressed in neon orange, yellow and pink - traveling along Boxley Valley's highway, part of the Arkansas High Country Bike Route

The highway going through Boxley Valley is actually along a portion of the 1,200-mile loop Arkansas High Country Bike Route.

Aerial view of Kings River, its shores and the surrounding summer forest

The Kings River in Northwest Arkansas is a popular float stream but, if you don’t hike up to the Kings River Overlook, then you’re missing out on one of the more scenic overlooks in the state.

Aerial view of Chuck Dovish, wearing a white polo, grey hiking pants and hiking books and carrying a dark-colored backpack, standing atop the bluffs of the Kings River Overlook

The Kings River Overlook Nature Trail is located inside the Madison County Wildlife Management Area south of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It’s an easy, one-mile out-and-back hike, and the area around the overlook is a primo spot for viewing bald eagles.

Aerial view of the viridescent rows of an Altus vineyard

Late summer means it’s harvest time throughout the wine producing region of Arkansas at Altus. German and Swiss immigrants settled here during the 1870s and began growing grapes.  The area and climate reminded them very much of their homeland. Today, the Arkansas river valley region in the foothills of the Ozarks continues to be the major grape and wine producing area of the South.

Join us for the premiere of “Exploring Arkansas From Above” Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. on Arkansas PBS!



Monday, Nov. 29, 2021

“Exploring Arkansas From Above,” 7 p.m.



“Exploring Arkansas From Above”

“Exploring Arkansas”