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Old 08-19-2013, 09:12 AM
3,279 posts, read 4,363,799 times
Reputation: 6149


This is my 2nd year going to Jasper ARK & the surrounding areas. I especially like Ponca, Blue Hole, Pruitt, Carver, Bradley Park etc. I also purchased Glenn Wheeler's "Swimming Holes of the Ozarks" books (glennwheeler.com) which provides GPS coordinates of various swimming holes. Also I purchased the Tim Ernst book of waterfalls (Arkansas Waterfalls Guidebook)

One issue I am having--how to map out "on the fly" somewhat the different potential spots to visit but not just plug them into a Garmin Nuvi GPS, but rather something which will give you a "bird's eye" view so that you somewhat have an "overview" of everything & also can know exactly where you are at in a "contextual" sort of way as you're going along. Such would help with possibly checking out a spot on the way to wherever & getting an idea how much "out of the way" it would be to check out the spot you're curious about while on the way to wherever your main destination is. With a Garmin Nuvi, you just don't know, not even if you have it show everything "bird's eye," because the screen is just too small & you have to zoom in forever to make out any details.

Also such would easily allow you to avoid such situations such as yesterday when we were going to "Falling Water Waterfalls" (35.72194, -92.94944) which is outside Ben Hurt ARK--the GPS had us go down a gravel road when we were on 123 (if I recall) to connect to 16, just because it was a bit shorter, when it was in pretty awful shape (not quite but almost 4wd caliber) and 123 connected to 16 anyway. Again, without a "bird's eye" view, you have no way of knowing. There is always a Rand McNally Atlas, but such doesn't provide a "you are here" view (and I am awful at figuring such out).

I have an Android phone, but it doesn't get service in those areas.

My question--is there some sort of tablet or phone-based mapping tool which can provide a "bird's eye" view AND let you see multi-destinations (entered as coordinates vs an address by the way, an Android app called "Best Routes Free" does multi-destination but not offline & it doesn't do coordinates) and give you some idea how much "out of the way" you're going to add on a 2nd destination vs the "main" one you were doing, that sort of thing? Also it needs to have "preloaded" maps all the way, I don't care if it's a 12G download so be it, but it MUST work without the need for cellular phone or WiFi access (or you need to be able to download for offline).

Also, many of the roads called "County Road" or "Forest Service" road etc turn out to be gravel-y roads, and ones you can be on sometimes for several miles. (Such is the case with Richlands Campground, 35.7975, -92.9322.) I realize that when exploring nature as I'm doing you aren't going to have the "Disneyland" experience with all the roads in perfect paved-shape, I'm not averse to short distances (as in 1-2 miles) on a smooth gravel-y road, but driving 20mph for 7-9 miles on a gravel road just doesn't work for me, I get edgy going that slow for that long. Is there a way in GPS'ing or Mapquest'ing etc to know what sort of road you're going to be traveling on?

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Old 03-27-2015, 02:00 PM
3 posts, read 3,040 times
Reputation: 10
Backcountry Navigator Pro might be worth looking at. I use it for similar things. If your in the Jasper area be sure to eat at the Ozark Cafe, and the art studio across the street is pretty amazing: Spring Street Arts - Small town art, southern hospitality
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Old 03-29-2015, 11:38 AM
124 posts, read 155,927 times
Reputation: 135
You might want to consider a Delorme or USFS paper map - generally gravel roads are identifiable. Gravel roads, especially forest service or county, are very common in Arkansas, delta or hill country.
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