The Ouachita River at Sicily Island Hills

Posted: June 22, 2009 in Homepage
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The Ouachita River as it flows between the Sicily Island Hills and Chalk Hills is quite different than what you would expect of a Louisiana river. Steep embankments and rock outcrops greet you as if you were on the Upper Ouachita River in Arkansas.

Photo mid 1930's from Geology of Catahoula and Concordia Parishes LGS

Photo mid 1930's from LGS publication, "Geology of Catahoula and Concordia Parishes"

Recreational opportunities near the Sicily Island Hills include boating and fishing on the Ouachita River. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Harrisonburg Landing Recreation Area just south of the Sicily Island Hills is a great place to have a picnic or launch a boat for an adventure on the river. At this time there is no place to rent a boat with motor or jet ski at Harrisonburg, so you will need to bring your own or rent elsewhere.

The Ouachita River at Sicily Island Hills is a place of historical significance. During the early 1800’s first explorers and then later in the 1860’s Civil War gunboats, traveled this area.The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recreation area is at the site of the former, but original, lock and dam in this southern portion of the Ouachita. The Catahoula Shoals north of this recreation area was a major navigational issue particularly at low water. Work by the Corps removed the problem of Catahoula Shoals and made year round water transportation a reality.

A fascinating series of seventeen articles were written about the Dunbar-Hunter expedition on the Ouachita River by Stanley Nelson of the Concordia Sentinel. Here is a link to one of the articles entitled, ” Stuck on the Ouachita River at the Catahoula Shoals“: http://www.concordiasentinel.com/news.php?id=114 My thanks to Stanley Nelson for allowing the link to his article. If you would like to read the entire series of articles by Mr. Nelson go to  http://www.concordiasentinel.com/search.php and type in Ouachita River in the search box. A number of articles will appear. As I prepared this post I did just such a search and found the search results for the entire series of articles on the Dunbar-Hunter expedition appearing  bottom to top on the list.

You can learn more about the Harrisonburg Landing Recreation Area across from Harrisonburg and see a map of the area by clicking on the Ouachita  River Recreation link in my blogroll at the left margin of this page. This link lists many recreation areas on the Ouachita-Black River drainage. Scroll down to the Harrisonburg Landing Recreation Area  for more information and the link to the recreation area map.

Sicily Island Hills from Stafford Point looking east July 1936 from LGS publication "Geology of Catahoula and Concordia Parishes"

Sicily Island Hills from Stafford Point looking east July 1936 from LGS publication "Geology of Catahoula and Concordia Parishes"

I would like to shoot my own photographs from Stafford Point looking at the Sicily Island Hills, and at several other places along the Ouachita River adjacent to these wonderful hills. Its just a  matter of time until I do so.

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Comments
  1. As a native of Sicily Island,, I have always believed that Stafford Point is IN the SI Hills, not across from them. I’ve been to Stafford Point Cemetery numerous times; it is above property owned by my family; both the cemetery and our property are in the hills. In addition, David Stafford, who married one of my Lovelace ancestors, lived on the property we own. He was a Civil War veteran. This info may be of interest to someone.
    Barbara

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