Information on Big Piney Cr.
Location: Johnson and Pope Co.;
S1: Take Hwy 7 north from I-40 at Russelville, and then take
Hwy 123 west to Fort Douglas. Put in at Hwy 123
bridge. Take out at Helton's Farm reached by taking
Hwy 164 west from Hwy 7 then NFR 1801 to NFR 1805
and heading west toward the river.
S2: Take out at Long Pool Rec. Area west of NFR 1801 on
S3: Take out at Hwy 164 bridge. Kerry Moore at Moore
Outdoors located just south of the bridge provides
canoes and/or shuttles for the run.
Topo Quad(s): Fort Douglas, Treat
Gradient: 10 - 20 fpm
Length: S1: 8 mi.
S2: 10 mi.
S3: 5 mi.
Season: SPRING and FALL
Gauge: Readings can be obtained by calling the Corps at
501-324-5150 or by calling Moore Outdoors. The level should
be between 2.8 and 5.0 ft. for good canoeing. Advanced boaters
can enjoy pushy big water up to 7.0 ft.
LINK TO USGS GAUGE
Hazards: pourover hydraulics at high levels, the Little Mother rock
Description: S1 is a good class I-II run for canoeists. Beware of
downed trees in this section. S2 is a great play run for
intermediate boaters and a challenging run for beginners.
Some of the best action on S2 comes 3/4 of the way down at
Surfing Rapid and The Mother. The left side of The Mother
is a tricky class II+ to III rapid at any level, and the
Little Mother, a midstream boulder, seems to attract canoes
like a magnet. Surfing rapid usually has a good wave and a
very forgiving wash out. Many Ozark boaters have cut their
teeth on this stretch. S3 is more tamed down, but at high
water it kicks up big waves at The Haystacks. Just below
Long Pool you can go left or right of an island. The right
is a rather tricky chute I call Plinko. Most beginners will
want to stay away from this rapid, especially at high water.
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