The Trip Reports of Zachary Nixon

Climbing and Hiking Excursions

Cadron Settlement Trail - Conway - 5.3 Mile Loop

October 26, 2019 - First Trek

While visiting my grandmother in Central Arkansas recently, my mind took me back to a place that I had visited when I was a child called Cadron Settlement.  I hadn't ever been back to visit as an adult, but I did have a vague recollection of the area from childhood and thought it would be fun to go back and explore!  Weather was not on my side this day, but fortunately I had a torrent shell and positive attitude.  After a short drive to the middle of nowhere, the trailhead was spotted and the trek began!

This trail is a great hike near the Arkansas River with some beautiful views from the river bluffs. Tight turns and the occasional bridge make this a pleasant, easy going hike with beautiful wildlife and flowers.  There are also a few small, cave-like formations that were fun to explore!

After the first mile of trekking along the edge of a bluff, another bluff came into view that appeared to be painted with every color imaginable. I quickly dubbed the bluff "Hippy Rock" in my mind and continued onward. Once I arrived at the rocks, I was actually quite impressed with the paintings and spent a while checking them all out!  The rocks were solid slab and were a bit slick from the paint and the rain, but they were fun to climb!  After climbing up and down them a few times, I continued on..!

Cliffbrake Trail to Rattlesnake Ridge Traverse - Maumelle - 5 Miles Total

December 24, 2019 - First Trek

Christmas Eve, 2019!  I had spent the previous few days in Conway visiting my grandmother for the holiday, and boredom had started to creep up on me.  With the weather being quite warm for Christmas Eve, I decided it would be a good time to explore!  After researching the area a bit on REI's Hiking Project, I found an interesting area near the town of Maumelle that was named Rattlesnake Ridge Conservation.  Apparantly this is an actual rattlesnake conservation area, which would add a little extra excitement to any hikes that were doable!  After looking at the area on Google Earth, I decided to make the drive and explore!

Upon arriving at the Trailhead, I noticed several trails were mapped out leading up to ridge.  However, there was no marked trail for traversing the ridge proper.  I decided I would take the Cliffbrake Trail to the east end of the ridge, which was a 1.6 mile run.  Upon reaching the end of the Cliffbrake Trail, I found that my next move was to hike the Upper Cliffbreak Trail to access a good view of the ridge proper.  This was a short, 0.2 mile section that was a fun scramble, and suddenly the ridge was in sight!  

After searching around for a bit, I noticed a small wall that could provide access to the top of the ridge!  A couple of moves later, I found myself faced with a nice platform to start a decent upclimb to the ridge proper.  I found a nice line to the top, and went for it!  A few minutes later, I was standing on top of the ridge sizing up the traverse!