Next Back 40 guided hike set for Nov. 4

Learn to be a woodland detective!

Join us for some tree-species detective work in the forest, during the next guided hike on the Back 40 Trails.

The hike, set for 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, is the next in the Back 40 Story — a series of informational guided hikes highlighting features of our trail system, from bugs to bluffs.

Fred Paillet emeritus scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey and adjunct professor of geoscience at the University of Arkansas, will lead the hike titled “Forest Forensics – Learning to Become a Woodland Detective,” starting from the trailhead in the parking lot of Bella Vista Community Church, 75 E. Lancashire Blvd. Hikers will explore the section of the Back 40 Loop trail just north of Lancashire Blvd. for approximately 2.5 miles one-way. Return shuttle service will be provided by Ozarks Spokes and Floats, or if preferred, hikers can return the way they came for a 5 mile out-and-back hike.

The focus of Dr. Paillet’s talk will be on detailed detective work in the forest, referenced to the disappearance and remains of the Ozark chinquapin and local chestnut species that were lost to chestnut blight in the 1950s, a great disaster for eastern America and in northwest Arkansas. 

Paillet has published numerous studies in environmental hydrology and geophysics based on research around the world, including locations ranging from the inner cities of Chicago and Boston to the Hawaiian volcanoes and Sinai Desert wilderness. 

There is no cost for these hikes, presented by the City of Bella Vista. The terrain will be along narrow and sometimes rocky dirt single track trail, and the hike will be moderately strenuous. Participants should wear appropriate footwear and bring water and insect repellent. The hike is family friendly, and friendly dogs are allowed on a leash. The trail is not suitable for strollers.

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