Students travel to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch

November 9, 2023

By Jacie Sellars, Staff Writer

November 9, 2023

Ouachita students traveled with Reclife to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch for a fun weekend of camping Oct. 20-22. Located in the Ozark Mountains of north-central Arkansas, Horseshoe Canyon Ranch provided students with beautiful fall views and plenty of opportunities for hiking and rock climbing. 

Reclife director Shane Seaton led the two-night camping trip. Students set up camp on Friday night and enjoyed a day of rock climbing on Saturday. 

“Some people hiked, some people climbed, and some people set up hammocks,” Seaton said. “It was a great day to relax and explore nature.”

 Horseshoe Canyon Ranch is known as one of the best rock climbing locations in Arkansas, and students of all skill levels got to experience the scenic climbing routes. “I love this location because new climbers and seasoned veterans can all climb together,” Seaton said. 

On Sunday, the group drove out to Lost Valley trail for an incredible hike. 

“We saw a couple [of] waterfalls and climbed through a natural bridge that had formed in the rock,” Seaton said. The group also got to explore deep caves and caverns along the trail. “At the end of the hike, we crawled back into a deep cave at the end of the trail that opened into a cavern with a waterfall.” 

Overall, this final hike rounded off an exciting adventure in nature. 

Students who went on the adventure trip loved the adventurous and relaxing weekend. Junior Brendan Watson enjoyed the beautiful nature and fall foliage in the Ozark Mountains. 

“Being surrounded by God’s creation was incredible,” Watson said. “I was completely immersed in the view of the scenery and the sunsets.” 

The goal of the adventure trip was to provide a much-needed break for students, especially after a busy season of academics. 

“The trip was right after a lot of midterms, so being able to relax, sit in a hammock and go rock climbing and cave exploring was so amazing,” Watson said. This weekend gave students a unique opportunity to unplug and relax.

Seaton also believes that it is important for students to take a break from their studies and explore nature. 

“My favorite thing was having time to breathe and relax as a group,” Seaton said. “This trip provided an opportunity to slow down, reconnect with one another and reconnect with God.” 

For adventurous and nature-loving students, Reclife will offer more outdoor activities this semester, including a backpacking trip and a sunset hike. Students can view more information and register for these activities on the Reclife website.

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