Wilderness Workshop Field Trips

Field Trips  

An exciting feature of this National Wilderness Workshop is the opportunity to participate in either a wilderness oriented field trip or a Trail Skills Workshop.

Six field trip offerings have been identified.  Workshop participants will be asked to select their first, second and third choice field trips at time of registration.  Final field trip availability will be based on demand, the number of participants, and field conditions at the time of the workshop.   Field trip numbers are limited to 20 people maximum per trip.  Each field trip will have a Trip Leader, a Discussion Leader, and a local area expert.  A sack lunch will be provided to all participants.

Field trips will vary in length and difficulty.  Outdoor clothes, rugged footwear, sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat are recommended.  Bottled water will be available on each trip, but participants are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles.  A first aid kit will be available on each trip, but participants should ensure have any required medications with them.

During the registration process, you will be asked your top three Field Trip choices.  Please peruse options below.  

Field Trip Name

Length and Difficulty

Objective and Discussion topics

Richland Creek Wilderness

Ozark NF

Vehicle tour

Multiple road stops with limited walking

Resource impacts of unmanaged equestrian use and commercial development, Richland Creek WSR, invasive species, and access issues.  Opportunity to view classic Arkansas waterfalls depending on stream flows.

Hurricane Creek Wilderness

Ozark NF

Vehicle tour to various wilderness entry sites, limited walking

Access issues, including County road right of ways, private inholder access, Hurricane Creek WSR coordination, and recreation access for OHV users,

Upper Buffalo Wilderness

Buffalo National River

2.5 miles

Easy hike with short steep sections and uneven terrain.

High volume user impacts, user capacity, zoning and restrictions considerations, trailhead design and parking conflicts, and nearby mountain biking management.

East Fork Wilderness

Ozark NF

3.5 miles

Easy hike along old woods trail to the East Fork Illinois Bayou

Recreation management access issues including trail decommissiong, needs for trails and trailheads, managing based on dynamic user pressure.  Will include Overcup Oak Trail and upland wetlands. 

Flatside Wilderness

Ouachita NF

3-4 miles

Moderately strenuous hike, including Flatside Pinnacle

Role and challenge of fire management, including prescribed fire, in southern area wilderness, adjacent area challenges to fire management and scientific study in wilderness.

Ponca Wilderness

Buffalo National River

5.5 miles

Moderately strenuous hike to top of Big Bluff, tallest Bluff on Buffalo River

High visitor use on National Park sites along the Centerpoint Trail, shared use/access issues, search and rescue, public outreach efforts.  550-foot sheer drop at Big Bluff.  THIS TRIP IS UNSUITABLE FOR THOSE WITH A FEAR OF HEIGHTS.


Trail Skills Workshop

As an alternative to a Field Trip, the Trail Skills Workshop will offer hands-on experience honing your trail building and maintenance skills on a National Forest trail.  Lead by Regional and National experts, this workshop session will include stations on different trail building skills and techniques, equipment management, cross-cut saw management, and trail structure construction.  Participants will spend the day getting dirty learning by doing on a local National Forest trail.  National Forest Saw Program Manager, Pete Duncan, will be on hand to assist you in cross cut saw program management, as well as showcase advanced cross cut saw techniques.


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The Society for Wilderness Stewardship is a non-profit, charitable organization under the 501 (c)(3) section of the Internal Revenue Code.