Family Fun Day opens trail, park

Volunteers and outdoor enthusiasts joined Ironton Mayor Bob Lourwood for a ribbon-cutting designating the opening of the Shepherd Mountain Trail from the Trailhead in Pilot Knob to Shepherd Mountain Lake. From left are Bill Bennett, Jon Jones, Ella Jones, Mary Lou Fabry, Jim Hemphill, Isaac Jones, Alex Trowbridge, Jim Erpenbach, Mayor Lourwood, Toni Erpenbach, Andrew Jones, Alexander Jones, Heather Jones and Rev. Keith Huffman.

“We started working on this trail about two years ago,” said Mayor Robert Lourwood after cutting a ribbon designating the official Shepherd Mountain Trail opening Saturday morning (June 16). “What we wanted was a trail that came from the Shepherd Mountain Trailhead out here to the lake. People can hike over, have lunch, and hike back.  We are trying to build a trail system in Arcadia Valley. Since the city owns Shepherd Mountain Lake and the property, it is a great place to start the process.”

He added that plans include the expansion of the trail to Thee Abbey in Arcadia and to Fort Davidson in Pilot Knob. Perhaps even sometime in the future to Elephant Rocks State Park.

“We think we have a beautiful area here and our goal is to utilize the asset that we have without destroying it,”

The Ironton Board of Aldermen had gotten behind the plan and moved to clear out the underbrush around the lake to allow installation of some new picnic tables and barbeque grills.

The work was on display during Saturday’s “Family Fun Day” at the lake.

Following the ribbon-cutting for the Shepherd Mountain Lake Trail, the first Arcadia Valley Family Fun Day got underway.  Members of the Arcadia Valley Trail Association (AVTA) led families on the new Shepherd Mountain Lake Trail.  A couple of families completed a one-mile hike.  One intrepid group hiked to the Shepherd Mountain summit and back, which is about a five-mile round-trip.    

While the hiking was going on, families gathered at the recently opened Shepherd Mountain Lake Park.  The Ozark Regional Library had a rock painting craft, which was a very fun activity.  Several children painted rocks, then were able to take their artwork home.

Ironton employees cooked and served hamburgers, hotdogs, and veggie burgers.  The city provided chips and fresh veggie and fruit snacks.  The Arcadia Valley Cemetery Board sold soda, water, and desserts as a fund-raiser.   

After lunch,  Ironton aldermen held a fishing derby for the youngsters.  Children caught several fish, with excellent help from the adults.  The largest fish caught was a 9 ¼ inch crappie.

The event ended with the Mayor presenting awards for the fishing derby, trail 

hike and scavenger hunt.  All of the children received an attendance prize.


Fishing Derby Results

1st Place Age 0-9               Hattie Vinyard

2nd Place Age 0-9              Brandt Blaty

1st Place Age 10-15           Hunter Hogan (Largest catch of the day)

2nd Place Age 10-15          Hallie Vinyard

3rd Place Age 10-15          Hayden Rushing


5-Mile Trail Hike

Alex Trowbridge

Isaac Jones


Scavenger Hunt

Isaac Jones

Ansley Blaty

Nora Blaty

Brandt Blaty