A Drive Along The Mulberry River
Not many people think of the Mulberry River, in the dog days of summer. The flat ridges and deep hollow of the Mulberry River watershed were once roamed by the Osage, Cherokee and Choctaw Indians. Spanish and French contingents explored the area in the 1700's and settlement began about 1830, with small farms along the river bottoms. Canoeist first ventured onto the Mulberry in the late 1950's. For a vivid and exciting recount of those early trips, get ahold of a copy of Margaret and Harold Hedges "The Mighty Mulberry." Normally the Mulberry can be floated from late October through Mid-June, depending on rainfall.
One day, some years ago, I had enjoyed wandering around in the Ozark National Forest for several hours.
I was anxious to find a swimming hole and to have a bite to eat. I decided to drive east on Highway 215 and see if I could find a place to get lunch. After driving for some miles I came across The Oark General Store and Cafe. This store was established in 1879 and is the oldest store in all of Arkansas. Their motto is "We may not have what you want....but, we have something that will do." I stopped there for a few things for my pack and they had everything I needed, including a great lunch. I also picked up some information on a good spot to go swimming. I finished lunch and headed towards the Wolf Pen Recreational Area to go swimming. This is a pretty cool spot with a nice picnic area that can handle quite a few people. This picturesqe location was right along the Mulberry River and I went into the water here for my swim. Even though it was mid-summer, the water was just what i needed to cool down. I saw several kids spashing around down river from me. Once I was ready I returned home.