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6/30/2012
  The Blanchard Springs area has been a favorite of ours for many years, but the only hiking done in the past was the trail from Blanchard Springs Campground to Gunner Pool back in 1991 or so. The present hike involved following the creek bed of North Sylamore Creek about 2.5 miles upstream and following the trail back. The starting point was west of Gunner Pool at a gorgeous little pool below a bluff with super clear water and clean white gravel. Many areas found upstream were full of algae but this spot was very clean. There was a decent flow of water even with the drought conditions and above 100 degree heat we've had lately. I assume the majority of water is from spring sources. The creek is beautiful with clear water and a gravel base. There are occasional small to moderate sized rocks but not much in the way of boulders. Very little bedrock was observed. There are many bluffs and the trail goes along the top of some of them providing vantage points up and down the creek. The trail I followed back started out as a horse trail that eventually connected to the main trail. The sign at the trail head stated "no horses"..."yay!". I have always been impressed by the nature of this creek and it has a very unique feel compared to other parts of the state. Total mileage about 4.6 miles with temps near 90. Start around 8:00 a.m. and out by 11:30. This is a highly recommended area to visit even in this weather since the water is still running and is quite cool to swim in. I did visit the creek that flows from Blanchard Springs before sunrise and ate a fantastic breakfast at the restaurant in Fifty Six. It opens at 6:00 a.m......eat there if you get the chance. Amazingly again...no ticks...maybe the heat is doing them in. 

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