Middle Fork of the Little Red River Elba to Shirley

Dennard, Arkansas

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The Middle Fork of the Little Red River rises near AR 254 several miles to the west of Denard, Arkansas, and flows southeast to Greer’s Ferry Lake. The river cuts a path through some of the wildest and most rugged land in the state. The shuttles required to reach the river are also among the most interesting in the state. The shuttle road that follows the river is on the old L&N Railroad grade, which is not maintained by the state. Each trip presents a new challenge, and major rains make the dirt road virtually impassable. Several gates with “No Trespassing” signs further complicate matters. Get permission from landowners or talk to the sheriff at Shirley, Arkansas, before venturing into this area. The river is a pool-drop river, with class II rapids and standing waves as its most common obstacles. Willow jungles seem to be more intense than on most Ozark streams and can cause serious problems for paddlers who lack proficient boat control. Clear water and dense hardwood forests enhance the experience.

Middle Fork of the Little Red River: Elba to Shirley Professional Review and Guide

"The Middle Fork of the Little Red River rises near AR 254 several miles to the west of Denard, Arkansas, and flows southeast to Greer’s Ferry Lake. The river cuts a path through some of the wildest and most rugged land in the state. The shuttles required to reach the river are also among the most interesting in the state. The shuttle road that follows the river is on the old L&N Railroad grade, which is not maintained by the state.

Each trip presents a new challenge, and major rains make the dirt road virtually impassable. Several gates with “No Trespassing” signs further complicate matters. Get permission from landowners or talk to the sheriff at Shirley, Arkansas, before venturing into this area. The river is a pool-drop river, with class II rapids and standing waves as its most common obstacles. Willow jungles seem to be more intense than on most Ozark streams and can cause serious problems for paddlers who lack proficient boat control. Clear water and dense hardwood forests enhance the experience."

Activity Type: Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Dennard
Distance: 24.3
Duration: 2 sections range from 5 to 7 hours
Class: Class I-II
Local Maps: USGS Canaan, Leslie, Oxley, Old Lexington, Shirley, Fox, Parma
Driving Directions: Directions to Middle Fork of the Little Red River: Elba to Shirley

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May 2018