Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Eddy-Ballentine Trail
Date: 1/1/09 - 12/31/09

Here is another trail I did a few times, its one of my favorite in kcmo. Its called Eddy-Ballentine Trail.

The trail is only 2.5 miles long but view and trail it self (for being in KCMO) is quite buetiful. Once you get on the main trial you feel like your in the middle of no woods. You can't even hear the cars or big trucks around Hwy 435. Below is some info on the trail and how to get there.

To get the to trail from Lenexa KS, you would need to take Hwy 435 east to Hwy 71 North, then take exit Blue River Road. Turn Right on Blue River Road and head about .5 miles. On your right (which you can miss if your not looking close) you will see the only spot to park off the road. its small and only about 3-4 cars can park here. Not the best spot to park and get out, with cars flying by, but its the only spot. If you go past the golf course you have gone to far.

The Eddy-Ballentine Trail

I've been on this trail a lot, I try to go at least 1-2 times a season, which would be about 6-8 times a year, taking my kid and dogs with me every time and try to take someone new each time. The last few time I went I have taken my wife, a two friends. Each of them I think loved the feeling of going in the woods and hearing nothing, and when I mean nothing, That mean no trucks sounds or horns blasting, anything that reminds you of the city life.

My wife and I went once and we hiked it in the summer afternoon. It was hot but the trail had lots trees so the shade cool us off and made for a relaxing fun hike. When you start off there are three ways to go. The first trail you have to walk down the road about 30 feet south to the trail head, then start heading south east up a hill, nice relaxing walk. coming to a bend in the trail and making your way down to the creek bed (that so far I haven't seen any water in) then head there some winding rocks down a little further and go under/between some bushes. start walking a little down the creek to the next hill, but instead of climbing it you sort of walk along the rocks.

The second and third way to start the trail head is next to your car/truck. the trail heads into woods for about 50 feet then splits off. One of the trails keeps going straight meeting up with first trail walking along the hill and rocks. The third trail heads up on the top of the hill, where you can stand on top of the rocks and take some really cool photos of open fields. When you get up top you have two choice, where you can go along the rocks and head in to the open feel and meet up with trail head one. Or you can keep walking up the hill and head into the woods toward the golf course. NOT SURE where that trail leads. Going to be heading out there soon and checking out that trail. (I'll post info when I hike it)

I've been on this trail with a friend brad and another Hossman. I'll be adding photos for these hikes in a bit.

Below is some info I found on the website.

Address -
Meyer Blvd. and Swope Pkwy.
Kansas City, MO

From the

Most followers of civic affairs know Bill Eddy as the retired business professor and former school board member who has become a citizen activist, lobbying for better education in the city's dysfunctional schools. But Eddy is also half of the writing duo who has compiled the definitive guide to hiking in Kansas City. So it's only elementary that the best path in town is named after Eddy and his co-author, Richard Ballentine. This 2.5-mile trail, which starts just south of the Swope Park Blue River Golf Course, isn't for the mall-walking set, though. It's a rugged traverse that snakes up steep hillsides and through rock outcroppings and splashes through several streams. But the effort is well worth it. Watch for bluebirds in the grassy meadows, marvel at the limestone bluffs that border the cool ravines, and drink in the deep-forest air that feels a million miles away from the smog-clogged city. Even with his high educational standards, we'd wager Eddy would give this trail an A+.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mount Magazine - Arkansas
Date: 12/15/10 to 12/16/10

#34 of 50 rank in US Highest Pecks

State - Arkansas
Peak - Mount Magazine (Signal Hill)
Elevation (feet) - 2,753
Elevation (meters) - 839
Rank - 34
Hiking trip 21.5 miles


List of hiking Trails taken from

Will be hiking point A. to point B. Add three Trails together making it 21.5 miles


Cove Lake Trail
Length: 9.7 miles
Time: 5 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

Starting in the Cameron Bluff Campground, this trail descends over 1,500 feet to Cove Lake. Most of the trail is in the Ozark National Forest with only half of a mile in the state park boundaries. It can be hiked in a full day but is best enjoyed at a slower pace and is excellent for beginning backpackers. Overnight camping is allowed in the national forest. Explore stands of virgin hardwoods. Watch for white-tailed deer and turkey. Hunting is allowed in the national forest so be aware of the seasons and wear bright colored clothing. Additional trails circle the lake, and the Forest Service Recreation Area at Cove Lake has camping, picnicking, and swimming. (White Diamond Blazes)

Mount Magazine
Length: 10.3 miles
Time: 8 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

At 2,753 feet, Mount Magazine is Arkansas's highest mountain. Signal Hill and the Greenfield and East End picnic areas are near the summit of this plateau-like mountain. From Cameron Bluff, the trail winds down the mountain to a broad bench where virgin oak, gum and ash are found. This trail is listed in both the day and overnight hiking sections due to the versatility offered by the variety of access points, distances, and terrain. This is truly a unique mountain setting, offering some of the most expansive views in Arkansas.

Signal Hill Trail
Length: 1.5 miles
Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

At an elevation of 2,753 feet above Mean Sea Level, Signal Hill is the highest point in Arkansas. No visit to Mount Magazine is complete without having hiked to the highpoint. At the top is a 400 square feet stone map of Arkansas. A wide variety of plants make this a nice nature walk. This well-groomed trail is a gentle forest walk connecting Cameron Bluff Campground with the Mossback Ridge Trail and the Lodge at Mount Magazine.


This is how I write in my notebook during the trip. no of this is remember or added after the trip.

People on the Trip -
Me - Hiking Hippie
Rock Man - Friend that is a Civil engineering that knows a lot about trees and rocks.
(hint the name Rock Man)
G-G - My Mother Parter, she will be dropping us off at point A.



9:00pm - Still haven't packed everything for my hiking trip. I'm always ready by now.


4:45am - Got up showered feel like hell. (maybe should have went to bed a little
earlier) Midnight was a little late

5:45am - Leaving the house - The night before talking to Rock Man about how it
should take about 15 minutes and be out the door at 5am. As you can tell we
didn't make that goal. Starting to rain out side.

8:00am - Still driving, Rock Man is passed out and I'm Tired. (I hate waking up
before 9am and I really don't like to drive before then. To top it off its
foggy and raining out.

9:00am - I'm stopping for gas, making Rock Man wake up and drive. I'm thinking I
will take a catnap.

9:50am - Wake up, Passed out for a straight 50 miuntes. love when you don't
remember falling asleep. SHIT for got my camera. thinking....... I will
call my mother, she is already meeting us to drop us off at point A. I'll
ask her if I can grab her camera for the trip.

10:00am - Got 20 minutes before we are going to meet up. Call back up ride to
point A. Leaving my car on top of Mount Magazine. Stopped raining out.

10:30am - Met my mothers parter at hwy 40 exit 37 at a gas station. headed up
the mountion to drop off the car at point B.

11:30am - Getting dropped off at point A.

12:00pm - SHIT.... Forgot to ask for the camera. G-G and Rock Guy LOL at me for
bring a winter jacket with a in liner, when its going to be only 40 day and
50 night. Whatever, got this feeling I'll need it.

12:15pm - Start hiking, looking at the trail we are looking for silver diamond
shape metal plates. Found them and we are off.

12:45pm - Got to first stop, .8 miles, standing on the SW part of the lake,
taking photo's with my phone camera (MAN what great photo's lol). They

1:00pm - Looking for next trail head starting point and can't find it. Getting a
little pissed. Cove Lake Trail is not marked very well. We start walking
towards where the trail should be leading and we came across apart of the
lake that started pushing out, adding more area of water. I saw a big tree
down crossing the 20 yards or so of water that looked about 6 to 8 feet
deep. The body of water we had to go around was about a 10 min walk to meet
up on the other side to just get where we are standing. So Rock Man and I
look at each other, there we are two guys crossing big open water with all
of our gear, knowing that if one or both of us fall in we where going to
hate the rest of the trip. So we crossed and nothing bad happend we climbed
up the a hill about 10 feet and saw the silver diamond shape metel plates.
Glad we saw them, worried we would have to back track and start from the
beginning again.

2:00pm - We have walked 4.2 miles looking good, feeling good, loving the views
and taking GREAT (lol) photos of the woods, lake and man made bridges.

2:15pm - Got lost looking for Lookout Window, its a 1.5 mile loop that
reconnects with our trail. Not sure what the view looks like, we never made
it. Had to turn back towards our trial and hike up two hills to get back to
where we started. We thought it would be faster and it was, just not easier.
Starting to rain a little.

2:30pm - Starting to rain a lot more, dropped our bags and pulled out or rain
bags and rain bag covers. But to my surprise I didn't have my rain coat.
Guess thats what I get for not packing the day before and rushing
everything. So I put my rain bag over my hiking bag. and started making my
way down the trail. Rock Man didn't have a rain bag so he used his rain coat
to cover his bag.

3:00pm - Still down pouring, still sucks. but having fun, just got to the start
point of Mount Magazine. Have 10.5 miles to go to the top. At this point we
have to walk nothing but up hill it's 3pm we are souked and tired. Got down
the hill from the starting point, got around the lake, crossed a 50 yard
concrete briged with no walkway, (that was fun in the down poor with cars
coming in both directions). We are looking at getting another 2 miles in and
calling it a day.

4:00pm - You guessed it, Still Fucking down pooring and your right STILL
SUCKS!!!! But on the good note and great news, my boots have no water in
them and my socks are dry. :-) Walked by a group of people, most of them
teens with (I think) 4 adults, all sooked to the bone, they did not look
happy and they have a long walk down hill, which brings me to thinking that
going up right now is better then going down.

5:00pm - Hit 2 miles, looking for a camp sited. which you might think is pretty
easy, but its not. Rock Man and I are on a Mountain and there are not many
flat spots open to lay down two tents. plus we don't want to be on a big
slop, just in case it does rain all night. having rain come down in your
tent is not fun.

5:20pm - Hit 2.5 mile marking and found a nice wet, flat spot. Got to get my
tent out fast and set up and you guessed it - Still raining. The rain has
lighted up some and we are also under pine trees, so that helps. Got tent
up fast and threw everything inside. My bag is a little wet on the outside
and but everything in it is DRY, I was glad to see and feel that. Rock Man
is pissed right now, We got these REALLY big thorns cutting holes in his
tent, he's throwing things around and asked if he can borrow my hunting
knife. LOL now hes cutting down every thorn bush he sees around his tent.

Everything is wet, now when I say everything is wet I mean everything
that is not in my bag. Im soooooked to the bone and my cloth are just down
right wet. Remember when G-G and Rock Man where laughing at me about bring
the two layer jacket, well the out side of it is wet, But the inner layer is
dry. So I took my shirt off and put on the inner layer of the jacket and
there we are, dry as can be and they where lol at me. now who's laughing.
LOL LOL LOL!!!!!!!!

5:30pm - Rock Man some how got a fire going, any weather - snow, rain, dry
spell, he can start and hold a fire. I love it. So as he keeps the fire
going I start make dinner. First course of the meal will be baked Beens (Veg
kind, no pork added). I cooked them up with some hot coco. after we ate
that, I cooked up the second course, yams and they where the BOMB. We made
our selfs a home in the woods. With rain, mud, and a lot of thorns. Plus
Rock Man was in a good mood now (maybe do to a kick ass fire he did up).

5:45pm - Stopped raining, yep your right IT STOPPED RAINING. so we made the fire
a little bigger and started drying our clothing over it. Made pretty good
time do to the fact I got my shirt and pants done and then it started
sprinkling again.

6:00pm - Lay down with one of my hiking magazines and going to do some writing
and reading then passed out. Got to get up at 5am. still have 8 miles
straight up hill. Have a good night.


7:00am - As you can tell we didn't get up at 5am. Rained all night tell 3am.
keep waking up with big rain drops hitting my tent. Now up and laying here
cold, not to cold just not moving fast. Crawled out of my sleeping bags,
thats right two of them and made some morning oatmeal, Now that was good. We
ate then started to pack. When I was putting on my socks I felt they where
wet. I forgot to put them in my sleeping bag with me last night. before you
go to bed, you take the socks you had on and cover your boots so water/mist
or morning due doesn't get in them and take your good stocks for the next
day and put them in your sleeping bag, they wont stay all that warm but they
will stay dry. So I had to turn up the fire a little and dry them both out.
After that, I got my bag packed up and started hiking at 8am. We are looking
at being at the top my noon today.

8:45am - kind of feel like we are in a wear wolf move with fog every where. very
down and deep fog. Still walking up hill and the great news so far is that
there is no rain. Getting very muddy though.

10:00am - Stop to talk to two hikers still in there tent trying to get around.
had a nice 10 minute chat/break and moved on. They where headed down the
hill the night before and now back up. This is one trail that I would not
hike down then back up.

10:10/15am - Start hiking again.

11:00am - Rock Man is walking fast a head of me, don't know why but he is
haling ass. Now I'm thinking we will be at the top by 2pm. still fog out
and looking like its going to rain. This mountain is not to steep but muddy
and a lot of turn backs/cut backs. The trail is very will marked and BANG I
just looked up and a jogger ran by me. yep a guy was sprinting down the
hill just almost hit me. he was moving...

11:50am - Came to the little pond in front of me and bent around the left to
another smaller pond, the trail has me walking between them, like beavers
made the trail. Very beautiful. Now the ponds looked black and dead, not
sure if anything is in them and for sure I don't want to know, but again
they do look beautiful.

12:00pm - Wish we where at the top. dying now, came to a picnicked table and saw
Rock Mans bag on it. He yells from the woods, don't worry just taking a
shit. Now I know why he was moving so fast. After a short 10 minute break
we start hiking up the hill, We have about 2.5 miles left. As we start
hiking up a turn back (or also called a cut back), (a turn back/cut back is
when you go left and right up the mountain, do to the mountain being to
steep at that point). There are about four turn backs, I start to see red
spray paint all around the trees, which means when there is a tree marked
red a bear is roaming around. When all the trees are marked red, THAT means
a bear lives in the area and you need to start talking very load and make a
lot of noise. Its better to have a bear hear you then walk up on one.
Thats when the bear gets scared and eats you. Now we are being load and
talking about bison and cows, Indians and Kansas.

1:00pm - We are almost at the top of Mount Magazine. Rock Man wants to stop and
get some food in him, so we pull out the dishes and he eats. I'm not hungry
do to all 5 peanut butter and jelly sandwich I have had all morning.

1:15pm - We are back on the trail Starting to see stairs, which means we are
almost at the point where cars can park and walk to the top. We Start and
step aside for 8 mountain bikers coming down the hill. They stop and chat
with us, that was nice do to the fact I needed a break.

1:30pm - Came to a road and on the right you can see the view of the cliffs and
all the land around. We made our way over there to check it out. Very pretty
and breath taking. (not like Mount Massive, CO - which is another blog soon).
But in a Arkansas view its something everyone should see.

1:40pm - After taking a lot of phone pictures (what great shots) right lol, we
are off to the top. have about 1 mile left.

2:00pm - Made it to the top of Mount Magazine, theres no view - the trees are
blocking, but its the top of Arkansas and on the ground some one/group made
the state of Arkansas out of rocks. very nicely done. Took more photos and
headed to the car, about .5 miles. All down hill, which at this point Im very

2:15pm - Made it to the car, got clean clothing on and now driving back home.

2:30pm - Order pizza and pick it up, for the drive home.

4:00pm - I get pulled over for speeding. Got a ticket 84 in a 70. theres $150 bucks I
got to pay.

9:00pm - Got home, nothing else happens - hope you like my backpack Adventurer.


Below you will find some info on Mount Magazine from Mount Magazine State Park webpage.

Mt. Magazine is in Logan County, Arkansas, which is 55 miles southeast of Fort Smith. At 2,753 feet above sea level, it's the highest mountain in the state. According to one of the many legends that have been recorded, "Magazine" was named by an officer leading a platoon of French soldiers in the early days of exploration for trade routes. It was given the name "Magazine" because its fortress-like rock foundation. Others say that the mountain was actually named for its use as a storage facility or "magazine" by the Confederate Army during the Civil War period. Regardless of which version is true, it is generally agreed upon that the early history of Mt. Magazine is vague.

Mt. Magazine has been used by local residents for recreational purposes for well over a hundred years. In July, 1840, the town of Magazine was platted and recorded. About 1900, the plateau-like mountain top was painstakingly cleared so that what remained was a breathtaking, unobstructed view of the beautiful countryside for nearly 100 miles in every direction.

Rugged mountain scenery, cool climate, spectacular high rock cliffs and bluffs are just some of the features Arkansas' highest point has to offer. Camping and picnicking areas await the visitor along with hiking trails and vistas. A favorite activity is driving the scenic auto-tour with its many overlooks.

The Mt. Magazine Trail System connects Cove Lake with the top of Mt. Magazine where the trail goes through Cameron Bluff Campground, and then eastward across Mossback Ridge to the Greenfield or East End Picnic Areas. The trail across Mossback Ridge skirts several wildlife openings and offers vistas of the Petit Jean Valley to the south.

An interesting hike from Mt. Magazine to Cove Lake starts at the trail near the water pump in Cameron Bluff Campground. Along the 11-mile hike to Cove Lake, you will skirt wildlife openings, walk through stands of hardwoods and pine trees, follow a bluff line and stroll along picturesque streams. Another portion of the trail follows the shoreline around Cove Lake, with a spur trail leading to a vista overlooking the lake.

The trail has a long, steep section where it leaves the bluff line on Mt. Magazine.

The remainder of the trail is generally 8 percent slope or less with some short stretches of steeper grades.

To preserve the scenic beauty of the area please stay on the trail and practice the Pack It In - Pack It Out .

Please remember, all terrain vehicles (ATVs) and horses are not allowed on the hiking trail.

Hikers need to bring their own drinking water.