Road Scholar : Home
An Ozark Experience

Program Number: 4555RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/17/2015 - 5/22/2015; 5/8/2016 - 5/13/2016; 5/15/2016 - 5/20/2016; 6/12/2016 - 6/17/2016; 6/19/2016 - 6/24/2016; 8/14/2016 - 8/19/2016; 9/11/2016 - 9/16/2016; 9/25/2016 - 9/30/2016; 10/9/2016 - 10/14/2016;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Mountain View, Arkansas
Price starting at: $578.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt; Gluten Free    

Immerse yourself in traditions as you take an unhurried view of the beautiful Ozark Mountain region. Float along the lazy flowing White River in a raft and enjoy a relaxing walk in the Ozark National Forest studying plants and wildlife. Become part of this way of life as you listen to songs and stories descended from the British Isles and visit with the Ozark Folk Center's artisans to discover their creative talents. You'll not forget this area after you've picnicked by a clear flowing stream or discovered the unrivaled beauty of Blanchard Cave — memories await you!


• Feel the struggles and joy of life in the Ozarks in living history presentations and through the creative talents of local artisans.
• Go on an expert-led exploration of Blanchard Springs Caverns, one of the nation’s premiere cave systems.
• Delight in two evening musicals performed by Folk Center musicians.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile. Climbing in/out of rubber raft.

Date Specific Information


Please be aware that this part of the country is very humid. Several of the activities are outdoors, though not for extended periods of time.

Coordinated by Ozark Folk Center.

Mountain View

Just a short distance from Mountain View, the hills and valleys of the Ozarks harbor geological wonders such as the Blanchard Springs Caverns, a maze of water-carved rock deep in the Ozark National Forest. The lively, old-time town itself is committed to preserving Ozark culture, including banjo picking and storytelling in the town square.

Lovely motel with forest view, outdoor pool.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Pat Thompson

Pat Thompson is a blacksmith who has worked many other jobs to supplement his love of forging. Newly retired, Pat Thompson enjoys being with the Road Scholar groups and looks forward to being able to teach more of the programs than he has helped with in the past. In his free time, Pat enjoys canoeing and fishing in nearby White River.
Joe Jewell

Joe Jewell came to the Ozarks already familiar with old time music and acoustic instruments. Formerly playing in the Renaissance circuit, Joe knows many tunes on the hammered dulcimer and the guitar. Over the years, he has become skilled in playing the banjo, bass, mandolin, and lap dulcimer, which he demonstrates as he shares the history of these instruments.
Robin Woodsong

Hailing from rural Colorado, Robin Woodsong is a former computer programmer and is apprenticing with the resident blacksmith, Pat Thompson, at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Robin and his family are building their own home in the Arkansas Ozarks.
Arjuna Larson

Arjuna Larson moved to Stone County after working in several Arkansas towns, helping to open, staff and operate pet stores. Willing to lend a hand wherever possible, he is training to become a blacksmith and a carpenter. Arjuna likes a good story and has been known to sing along on a good song.
Meals and Lodgings
   Cabins at the Dry Creek @ Ozark Folk Center
  Ozark Folk Center State Park 5 nights
 Cabins at the Dry Creek @ Ozark Folk Center
Type: Other
  Description: Newly renovated rooms with two queen sized beds; private bath; television with cable; telephone; set in a wooded area; all rooms non-smoking; patios with furniture; glider rockers in rooms.
  Contact info: 1032 Park Ave
Mountain View, AR 72560 USA
phone: 800-264-3655
  Room amenities: Coffee maker with regular and decaf. coffee; small refrigerator; TV with cable.
  Facility amenities: Unheated, outdoor pool within walking distance of rooms; large lodge rec room for cards or visiting; a walking path from the Lodge area to meals and classes, although there is a Park bus that will take you to all meals and classes to and from the Lodge room area.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: $65.-$70. for one/two people Please call 800-264-3655 to check on availability.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $65.-$70. for one/two people Please call 800-264-3655 to check on availability.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check-in from 2-4pm Central Standard Time @ Cabins at Dry Creek; light snacks, folders & name badges at Skillet Restaurant You will be staying at Cabins at the Dry Creek @ Ozark Folk Center that night.
  End of Program:
Short closing session @ approximately 11:30am and noon with light lunch immediately following You will be staying at Cabins at the Dry Creek @ Ozark Folk Center the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. Road Scholar Health & Safety form and Ozark Folk Center liability release form
  Parking availability:
No fee for parking; just in front of room or just across the road from room; outside of rooms with special needs, participants are housed within the same cluster of rooms; may request a room next to friends/family if sharing a ride or needing assistance
To Start of Program
  Location:  Ozark Folk Center State Park
  Nearest city or town:  Mountain View
  Nearest highway: 5, 9, 14
  Nearest airport:  Little Rock, AR
  From End of Program
  Location: Ozark Folk Center State Park
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

Little Rock Airport


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Dona Sawyer
phone: 870-213-8144
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


2 1/2 




230 miles round trip


Dona Sawyer can also be reached at Other driver is Sharon Wesson at 870-585-2160.

Driving Directions
  Little Rock Go North on Hwy 67. Exit is Heber Springs, a right hand exit. Continue on this road, which is Hwy 5, North. Just outside of Heber Springs you will take Hwy 25, North, which is the bypass. Go through several small communities, i.e. El Paso and Rose Bud, Tumbling Shoals and Ida. At Wolf Bayou, Hwy 5, you will turn left and keep on this road until you come to a "T" road on the outskirts of Mountain View. This is Hwy 14. Turn left and continue until you come to a stoplight. At the light, turn right and continue for approx. 1 1/2 miles until you see a sign on your right for the Ozark Folk Center State Park. (you will go through one more light at the Wal Mart entrance) Turn left onto the Jimmy Driftwood Parkway/Spur Rd 382. This is the road to the Park (Dulcimer Shoppe is on your left) Follow Park signs to the Cabins at Dry Creek.
  Little Rock Airport Hwy. 440 East; continue to the Jacksonville Exit, Hwy. 67; going North take the right hand Exit for Heber Springs, this is Hwy. 5; stay on this road until you reach Hwy.5/25 North, which is the bypass. This road will pass through several small communities, i.e. El Paso, Rose Bud, Tumbling Shoals & Ida. At the Wolf Bayou community, Hwy 5 turns left and will take you to the outskirts of Mountain View. At the T Road (Hwy 14) you will turn left and come to a stop light; turn right and go a mile and a half and watch for the Park signs; turn left onto Jimmy Driftwood Parkway and this road will take you into the Folk Center; follow the signs to the Cabins at Dry Creek and HERE YOU ARE!!
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: After dinner there will be an overview of schedule and get acquainted. Park bus will take participants to an informal, local music program.
(Sunday, May 17)

Note: Should be able to get on & off bus; please let us know beforehand if bus with lift is needed.

 Arrive To: Check-in @ Cabins at Dry Creek from 2-4pm.
 Afternoon: Light snacks & get aquainted during check-in time; can pick up name badges & folders
 Dinner: Dinner @ Skillet Restaurant
 Evening: Transportation to one of the local, informal music programs known as Jimmy Driftwoods
Accommodations: Cabins at the Dry Creek @ Ozark Folk Center
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: After an early breakfast and a short return to your rooms, we'll board the bus for the Chessman landing on the White River. After settling into our rafts we'll float to the take out point at the town of Calico Rock where we will have a picnic lunch
(Monday, May 18)

Note: Should be able to get in and out of a rubber raft and sit on a rubber bench with no back. Entire trip takes approximately 2 1/2 hours, depending on the height of the river

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Skillet Restaurant at the Ozark Folk Center
 Morning: Enjoy a relaxing float on the gently flowing White River, from the Chessman Landing to the takeout point near the town of Calico Rock.
 Lunch: A picnic lunch at the City Park in Calico Rock.
 Afternoon: We'll meet a character by the name of Greasy Slim and walk with him through what is known as "old Calico. Slim will give us an insight into the history of this once booming, rural, Arkansas river town. Following this leisurely walk, you may visit the Calico Rock museum and then stroll the streets, poking into the shops.
 Dinner: Dinner @ the Skillet Restaurant @ the Folk Center
 Evening: A program of Ozark Lifestyle; food, clothing, shelter and culture.
Accommodations: Cabins at the Dry Creek @ Ozark Folk Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: This will be a first visit to the Ozark Folk Center State Parks' Craft Village. You'll meet the artisans and talk with them about how their handmade items, how they learned and why they enjoy this way of life. Storytelling program at noon.
(Tuesday, May 19)
 Breakfast: Early morning breakfast @ the Skillet Restaurant
 Morning: We'll board the bus for a short trip through the Ozark National Forest on our way to the morning program of a "Walk to the Past." Before this leisurely walk, there will be a talk on the history of the family who first settled this part of Stone County and ran the first mill.
 Lunch: Lunch @ the Folk Center upon return; generally between noon and 12:30pm
 Afternoon: Class varies; could be playparty games or old time square dance; however, if the river is low and the float has taken some time, then we may offer a free afternoon
 Dinner: Dinner @ the Skillet Restaurant @ the Ozark Folk Center
 Evening: Evening program on some aspect of the Ozarks; may be living history or may be about music & musical instruments
Accommodations: Cabins at the Dry Creek @ Ozark Folk Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: A "Walk to the Past" in the Ozark National Forest with a short talk beforehand, on the early settlement of this area and the family who ran the mill; the walk includes a view of what remains of this building and the dam and lake that provided the power.
(Wednesday, May 20)

Note: Should be able to walk a mile on hard surfaces.

 Breakfast: Breakfast @ the Folk Centers' full service restaurant.
 Morning: Tony Guinn, Visitors Information Specialist, will give a short talk on how this area was first developed and one of the homesteaders who also ran the mill. You'll then take a leisurely walk "back in time" , seeing and hearing about this beautiful part of what is now the Ozark National Forest. You'll view the remnants of the original mill and see the dam and the lake that powered it.
 Lunch: Lunch at the picnic pavilion in the National Forest.
 Afternoon: Blanchard Cave is just a short drive from the picnic pavilion and the entrance to the Visitors Center. Here you may tour the Exhibit Hall and attend the movie that gives an overview of how Blanchard Cave was formed and what to expect on your guided tour of this world renown caverns system.
 Dinner: Once again, we'll be @ the Skillet Restaurant
 Evening: First of the Folk Centers' evening musicals in the large auditorium @ the Park
Accommodations: Cabins at the Dry Creek @ Ozark Folk Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Morning program; noon storytelling in the Crafts Village; self guided tour of historic buildings in downtown Mountain View; final visit to Crafts Village; special, evening musical performance; Folk Center Musical in large auditorium.
(Thursday, May 21)

Note: Folk Center bus will take you to the downtown area and pick you up; two different times to choose from, depending on your interest in the town.

 Breakfast: Skillet restaurant @ the Ozark Folk Center
 Morning: The group will be divided into two smaller groups; one group will experience the fun of an old time square dance and the other group will take a guided walk in the Heritage Herb Gardens at the Folk Center. After a break for a hot or cold drink, the two groups will switch. The remainder of the morning can be spent in the Crafts Village, as this will be the final scheduled time for this visit. There will also be another presentation on the deck next to the Schoolhouse.
 Lunch: A buffet lunch will be served at the Skillet Restaurant, immediately following the noon presentation.
 Afternoon: A self-guided tour (with a map and appropriate information provided) of the historic buildings of the County seat, in downtown Mountain View. Many of these wood and stone buildings house lovely shops and some have a place to get a snack or a drink. Informal music gatherings may also be part of your time in town.
 Dinner: Grilled or fried, Arkansas raised catfish dinner complete with all the trimmings
 Evening: A private, special concert for the Road Scholar participants and then the Folk Center music concert in the large auditorium. This nights performances will be different from the previous evenings line-up
Accommodations: Cabins at the Dry Creek @ Ozark Folk Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: A moving, living history presentation followed by check-out from the Cabins at Dry Creek. (11am) Review and comments regarding the week, with lunch immediately following. The week will "officially" end after lunch.
(Friday, May 22)
 Breakfast: Breakfast provided by the Skillet Restaurant at the Ozark Folk Center State Park
 Morning: Living History presentation
 Morning: After room check-out (10am) a wrap-up of the weeks events (11:15am)
 Lunch: A light lunch @ the Skillet Restaurant (directly following the wrap-up)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
  Ozark Folk Center State Park Ozark Getaways
Phone: 888-679-2859 OR you may go to; this is the Mountain View area Chamber of Commerce website or call them at 870-269-8068 For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

These Were the Last

Author: Helen Godsey

Description: Ms. Godsey, who grew up in the Ozarks, writes of life as she viewed it. She was a keen observer writing for the Ozarks Mountaineer about the Ozarks she loved so well.

Ozark Country

Author: Dr. William K. McNeil

Description: A well known folklorist of Ozark culture, humor and history, Dr. McNeil penned this book while working at the Ozark Folk Center State Park

Home for the 100th, Pictorial History of Mtn. View, AR 1890-1990

Author: Stone County Historical Society

Description: Wonderful pictures and stories about Mountain View (the town where this program is held & one of our away trips), it's people, buildings and life.

Life in the Leatherwoods

Author: John Q. Wolf, Jr

Description: Follow several families that settled early Arkansas, learning about food, clothing and life in this part of the Arkansas Ozarks.

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