Zoie Clift, travel writer
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

Looking for some action? If so, Lake Ouachita State Park in Mountain Pine will be hosting the first annual Caddo Bend Paddle Duathlon in September. The event takes place on the 23rd of the month and starts at 9 a.m. that day. Participants will take on a 5 mile trail run on the scenic Caddo Bend Trail before hopping in a kayak for a 3 mile paddle on Lake Ouachita.

“Two of the park’s most prized features, the Caddo Bend Trail and Lake Ouachita, provide the perfect frame for a duathlon,” said Kayla Gomance, park interpreter at Lake Ouachita State Park. “Ducking in and out of the forest, the clearly-marked trail offers sweeping views of Lake Ouachita and the surrounding Ouachita Mountains. The pristine beauty of Lake Ouachita is no secret, and there’s no better way to experience that than being on the water. Participants will enjoy the physical challenge of paddling the largest lake within Arkansas’ borders while experiencing the wild beauty that it has to offer. We think competitors will savor this duathlon’s rugged feeling with the convenience and safety of the park setting.”

According to Gomance, Tony Jenkins of Arkansas Getting Everyone Outside (ArkGeo) came to the park with this idea. “Tony had put on races in the area and soon set his sights on Lake Ouachita State Park,” she said. “Having visited the park and hiked the trail, it was obvious to him this would be a great venue for a duathlon. We agreed and thought it would be a valuable way for people to visit and really take advantage of what the park has to offer.”

Those interested can participate as individuals or in 2-person teams. Entry fee is $50 per person or team. To register, contact Tony Jenkins at alj_ins@yahoo.com or call 501- 815-2383.


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