101 Town Center, P.O. Box 5655, Bella Vista, AR 72714 (479)876-1255

The Bella Vista guided March hike: Dormant tree ID


Snag another chance to explore on foot the new Little Sugar Trails in Bella Vista at the March 2020 guided hike: Dormant Tree Identification. 

This hike will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 7, starting from the water tower parking area on Chelsea Road at London Drive. Participants will be led down the Tunnel Vision trail (moderately strenuous) to the Tweety Bird trail loop (easy), for a total of about 2.5 miles round trip. 

The hike will be led by Cris and Eleanor Jones, Arkansas Master Naturalists, and will help participants learn to identify dormant winter trees. Cris Jones earned a Bachelor of Science in Forestry at Louisiana State University in 1961, a Master of Science in Forest Business Management at Duke University in 1965 and a Master of Business Administration at Oral Roberts University in 1991. Although his career in forestry was not long, followed by going into his family's business and then becoming a CPA before retiring in 2016, he has maintained his love of forestry and the outdoors as a landowner/tree farmer through the years. In the spring of 2016, he and his wife Eleanor completed the Arkansas Master Naturalist training program and are using their skills and knowledge to help others learn about and appreciate our beautiful Northwest Arkansas natural environment. 

In addition, as Arkansas Master Naturalists, they participate in work projects to help or improve our ecology.  Eleanor, who learned everything she knows about trees from Botany 101, her father's inspiration and Cris' lifelong instruction, will assist in the hike. They lived in Benton County for 21 years in a mountain-top home surrounded by 100 beautiful acres, where they built their own trails and Cris did not rest until he knew every tree in the forest. They moved to Pea Ridge in 2016. 

This hike will be approximately 2.5 miles round trip and is easy-to-moderately strenuous. Appropriate clothing and shoes are required. Participants should also bring insect repellent, sunscreen and water. The Little Sugar Trails are singletrack, which means they are dirt, narrow and sometimes rocky or have exposed tree roots. The trails are not appropriate for strollers. Friendly dogs are welcome on a leash.  

There is no cost for these hikes, presented by the City of Bella Vista. The parking area is located at the water tower off Chelsea Road on London Drive. Parking is limited at the water tower, and a shuttle service will be provided from the Kingsdale parking lot near the Kingsdale pool starting at 8:30 a.m. Participants can also park in the right of way of London Drive, as long as they are not blocking emergency vehicle traffic or residences. Please do not park in the right of way along Chelsea Road. 

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