Information on Meadow Creek

Meadow Creek

        Rating: III+
        TDCR: 5567
        Location: From Leslie, AR on Hwy 65 go 7 miles east on Hwy 66 to
                Oxley. Turn right on paved county road and travel 2 miles
                to end of pavement. Turn left and follow winding county
                road 3 miles to a T-intersection. Turn left and go 0.5 mile
                to the Flag intersection. Turn left and go 1.5 miles to a
                low-water bridge where the road makes a 90 degree right
                turn. This is the put-in. Return to the Flag intersection
                and continue straight (this would be a right turn in the
                put-in directions). About 3 miles past Flag at the bottom
                of the mountain you will come to a flooded Suck Hollow
                Creek crossing. The take-out is at the mouth of this creek  
                as it flows into Meadow Creek 100 yards below the road. If
                you miss the mouth of Suck Hollow Branch while paddling you
                can take-out at a low-water bridge 0.5 mile further down
                the creek and walk the county road 0.5 mile back to the
                vehicle. If you decide to cross this creek you can drive
                0.5 mile further to the low-water bridge and take-out
                there. The bridge will probably have 3-4 ft of water over
                it so keep in mind if the creeks are still rising you may
                become stranded between two flooded creeks. In addition, as
                you have probably figured out by now, your are a long way
                from nowhere.
        Topo Quad(s): Fox, Oxley
        Gradient: 55 fpm
        Length: 5.5 mi.
        Season: Rain
        Gauge: The Middle Fork of the Little Red should be at least 12 ft
                or more in Shirley. This gauge however has its limits
                because the Little Red is a large river and several miles
                below its headwaters when it gets to Shirley. Meadow Creek
                does not have a significant impact on the Little Red so the
                gauge is approximate. There should be at least 1 ft. of
                water over the put-in bridge for a good run. The Tick Creek
                tributary to Meadow Creek is tiny at the put-in, but it
                meets two other tributaries and nearly triples in size
                within 200 yards of the put-in.
        Hazards: waterfalls, undercuts, strainers, trees
        Description: The first two miles on Tick Creek are chocked full of
                willow lined chutes and fast II+ water. At about two miles
                the paddler reaches Squeeze-the-Tick (III) where the creek
                turns sharply left and drops about 15 ft. over 20 yards
                through a very narrow willow lined chute. The approach to
                Squeeze is sudden and the decision to run the left chute
                must be made quickly. Don't run the right chute because of
                a poorly placed tree growing in the middle of your path. 
                About 1/4 mile farther Tick Creek meets Jimmy's Creek
                entering from river left and the two become Meadow Creek.
                The next mile contains fast II+ water with some nice
                boulder dodging. A small bluff on river right signals the
                arrival of Walk-on-the-Wild-Slide (II-III+). The Slide is
                river wide and drops 15 ft. or more over about 15 yards.
                At a level of 1 ft. over the put-in bridge the Slide
                should be run river left. A Walk in the name implies the
                slide should be ported at lower levels for the sake of
                boat preservation. At higher levels the Slide a wild
                cascade with two river wide holes on the way down and a
                slap-you-in-the-face stopper at the bottom. The bottom
                hole provides nice surfing at lower levels. About 1/4 mile
                below the Slide hides a 15 yard long undercut ledge on
                river right. This could be dangerous at lower levels so
                pay close attention. Another 1/2 mile later the roaring of
                Meadow Creek Falls (III+) announces the arrival of a nice
                scouting trail on river right. The Falls section drops
                approximately 25-30 ft. over 150 yards and cannot be
                scouted adequately from your boat. The only line available
                to run the sheer 8 foot drop is about 15 feet from river
                right. The paddler needs plenty of speed and a good boof
                to avoid the nasty hydraulic below. A bad boof will result
                in a Class IV+ nightmare. I have seen these falls without
                water and they are no place to be inverted or swimming.
                Paddle aggressively and catch an eddy before washing
                through the rest of the falls. From the pool below the
                falls you paddle through a wide slot on river right and
                blast through Greener Pastures Ahead (III). Greener
                Pastures is the last drop in the Falls section. It's a
                narrow, but straight forward chute on river left that
                drops about 12 ft. over 10-15 yards. Watch for brush
                hanging out over the chute from the bluff on river left.
                In higher water Greener Pastures Ahead may be run on river
                right which ends with a 5 ft. sheer drop. Looking back up
                through the Falls section provides a very nice picture of
                just how scenic whitewater paddling can be. The remaining
                2 miles provide little time to relax as the fast II+ water
                continues to wind through narrow slots lined with willows
                and dotted with trees. If you plan to take-out at the
                mouth of Suck Hollow Branch it is a large tributary on
                river right as Meadow Creek makes a hard left turn about 1
                1/2 miles below the falls. Meadow Creek was first run on
                January 6, 1998 by Randall Gammill and Nick Hansen of
                Springfield, Missouri. It compares well with many other
                intermediate runs in the Ozarks. It has good length,
                gradient, scenery and doesn't require a flood for a good

Return to Index