One of the best things about Edsrock Lodge, is grabbing a book or bottle of wine and enjoying the view from the top of the bluff looking across the White River and the Ozark National Forest. Edsrock Lodge is on property that extends all the way to the top of the Calico Rock Bluff. The owners' (Ed & Pat Matthews) home is the white two story home (the Original Edsrock) across the narrow street from the Lodge. As guest of Edsrock Lodge you are more than welcome to go there and sit on the swing, bench and chairs along the bluff and just enjoy the peaceful, relaxing views of the Ozarks. Watching the sunset over the river is a great way to end the day. The Edsrock property includes over 500 feet of the bluff line (including the areas in front of some of the other homes on the bluff) so there are plenty of places to sit and enjoy. And if Ed & Pat are not at Edsrock (they live in Little Rock), feel free to use the Edsrock main home porch and deck. They of course ask you to respect the privacy of the neighbors and please remove any items you bring with you.
WHAT TO DO:
The list is literally endless because you basically have every outdoor activity known to mankind available within an hour's drive. Here is a description and helpful links to some of the places and other items that guest have enjoyed. Let us know if you discover something else so it can be include.
Without a doubt, trout fishing on the White and Norfork Rivers is what the vast majority of visitors to the area partake of. World record Brown trout have been caught on the Norfork River and the Brown and Rainbow trout in the White River are plentiful. From the Lodge you are a five minute walk to the docks of the White River, the Norfork River is 20 minutes north on Hwy. 5. There are numerous places to rent boats and hire guides; here are some that are nearby:
To launch or rent a boat, engage a guide at Calico for White River fishing consider Jenkins or Bill Terry Boat Dock under the Hwy 5 bridge in Calico Rock or Lindsey Trout Dock, 3 miles up stream - 870-297-4543 or write HC61, Box 17, Calico Rock, AR 72519
Further down the river near Mountain View is Jacks (also a great place to eat catfish):
Trout fishing not your cup of tea, want to catch that prize bass? Then you are in luck as well, as Bull Shoals and Lake Norfork, two of the best fishing lakes in the Ozarks are less than one hour away.
If you want any interesting twist on fishing and an educational opportunity for the kids, don't miss the US Fish and Wildlife National Fish Hatchery at the base of the Lake Norfork dam. It is truly amazing to see literally 1000s of Rainbow, Brown and Cutthroat trout used to stock area rivers.
Without question Blanchard Springs Caverns are the best underground cave system in the United States. People who have visited Carlsbad in NM or Luray in VA say there is no comparison – Blanchard Springs Caverns are the best – namely because they are living caverns with all the color and water still present. Two trails, Dripstone and Discovery, are fully handicap/wheelchair accessible with Dripstone open year round. The third option is the “Wild Cave Tour” and is a new addition. It takes 3 to 4 hours and you are guided on a walk and crawl through undeveloped portions of the cavern system. It is truly a remarkable experience. For the "Wild Cave Tour" advanced reservations (3 or 4 days before is usually sufficient) are required and no one under 10 is permitted on that particular trip.
The International Mountain Bicycling Association in 2005 rated the Syllamo Bike trail as one of five Epic Rides. One of the trail heads is less than a 15 minute drive from Edsrock Lodge. This challenging trail will bring hours of exercise and visions of great beauty in the forest. A great description of the 50+ miles of trails is provided here by local experts and a review of the trail here. The trail is home to the annual Syllamo's Revenge Race, plus several other events throughout the year. If you are a rider you don't want to miss this.
PIGEON CREEK TAIL SYSTEM
If you need more mountain bike adventures (or a warm-up for Syllamo) head north to Mountain Home to the Pigeon Creek Mountain Bike Trail System. Here you will find a system that is a bit shorter, but suited for all levels of Mountain Bikers.
There are several hiking opportunities through out the region and there are several trail books. The nearest developed trail is at the Visitor Center for Blanchard Springs Caverns, a 20 minute drive from the Lodge. The Rangers at the Center have plenty of maps and will update you on what the best trail is at that time. The closest and one of the best in the Ozarks is the North Sylamore Creek Hiking Trail - This 14-mile trail follows North Sylamore Creek from Allison, Arkansas to Barkshed Recreation Area. It is located 15 miles southeast of Edsrock Lodge at Blanchard Springs Caverns visitor center. You can also hike the Syllamo Bike Trail. The "White River Loop" has several scenic spots along the way.
There is often nothing better than heading down the river on a canoe and enjoying all nature has to offer. This includes getting a canoe or kayak from one of the local outfitters, then floating down the White River by its scenic bluffs. Also Esdrock Lodge is an hour from the famous Buffalo National River. This is one of a few unpolluted and free flowing river in the lower 48 states and provides a paradise for all levels of experience. You can reach several put in points within one to two hour drive from the lodge:
Some of the clearest inland water in the nation is found at both Bull Shoals and Norfork Lakes. Many of the boat docks provide rentals for divers.
VISITING HISTORIC CALICO ROCK
One of the simple pleasures of staying at Edsrock Lodge is a stroll down the hill to historic downtown Calico Rock. Make sure you stop at the visitor’s center to pick up the latest brochures. One of the favorite things for the young grandsons of the owners is an afternoon treat at the old fashion soda fountain at Clinkingbeard Family Store on Main Street. Also you can visit the oldest public structure in Arkansas - the Wolf House just north of Calico Rock near Norfork.
WORLD RENOWNED FOLK MUSIC
If nature is not enough, then let music fill the air. The Ozark Folk Center is world famous for keeping the art of folk music and folk life alive. There are shows several times a week that you will find very enjoyable, plus classes and seminars on many aspects of "Folk Life".
And if you really want to "step back in time" you should head to Mountain View on Friday and Saturday night and make your way to the Court House Square. There you will find several small groups of musicians who meet simply for the pure joy of playing together. Pull up a chair, or better yet bring your own instrument and join in. Make your way around the groups to get a wonderful cross reference of all types of genuine folk music.
For many no vacation is complete without a round (or several) of golf. At Edsrock Lodge you are just 30 minutes from Big Creek Golf in Mountain Home. Rated 5 out of 5 stars by Golf Digest in May 2004 and 2006, this course will present a challenge and a nice day of golf for any handicap and level of experience.
So you need a little break from nature, and want to hit the shops, there are several excellent shops in downtown Calico Rock and on the Square in Mountain View, there you'll find some of the best local crafts at the Arkansas Crafts Guild, as well as at the nearby Arkansas Folk Center. In Mountain Home and nearby Hardy, you can find great crafts and antiques. Mountain Home has several fine Shopping facilities.
If you are in need of more modern finds, visit Branson, MO, some 2 hours from Calico Rock. Besides the great musical shows, there are numerous outlets and other shopping venues.
So, these are just a few of the things to do. You will find many more along the way and also discover your own. Please let us know what we can do to make your stay enjoyable.