The Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF) has opened Trigger Gap, a new recreational airstrip in the Ozark Mountains of northwest Arkansas.
The new airstrip lies on lands owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) above the Kings River.
The RAF developed this new turf airstrip through grants, donations and volunteer efforts. Its future is ensured by a long-term lease with TNC and local RAF volunteers have committed to its ongoing maintenance, RAF officials noted.
“Our success is the result of having developed a great partnership with this international conservation organization,” said RAF Arkansas Liaison Dave Powell. “This new destination will help us broaden the community of recreational flyers.”
He added the new 3,000-foot airstrip has “good approaches.”
“Trigger Gap is ready for the public to enjoy now,” said RAF Director Tim Clifford.
Runways are 10/28 and lined with cones on 200-foot spacing. Windsocks are located on the southwest and northeast corners. An Application has been submitted for FAA charting and a three-letter identifier, RAF officials added.
There are two fire rings and wood on site. A vault toilet is planned for next spring, and currently you need to provide your own water.
Campers will enjoy a great view over the Kings River, famous for small mouth bass fishing. As a special treat, nearby Kings River Outfitters offers pickup and return service to the airstrip.
Clifford visualized the opportunities surrounding this location on Pension Mountain, and said the RAF is looking at similar projects throughout the Ozarks.
“This recreational destination is close to the large metropolitan area around Bentonville,” Powell said, “and it offers a beautiful recreational flying destination for both experienced pilots and those new to this kind of flying.”
Why “Trigger Gap”? The nearby bend in the river resembles a trigger, according to locals.
Why “Pension Mountain”? According to local historian M.D. Anglin, the name comes from the fact Civil War veterans settled there.
“Yankees drew a federal pension, a pretty good wad for those times,” Anglin wrote. Some of their descendants still live there.
Trigger Gap is just 3.2 nm south of Carroll County Airport (4M1) where there are courtesy cars and services. Within an hour’s drive is Ridgefield, Missouri, and Big Cedar Lodge Resort, built by John Morris, founder and CEO of the famous Bass Pro Shops. It features a world-class golf course, wine and dining options, horseback riding, and folks can even rent a golf cart to enjoy miles of paths through Dogwood Canyon Nature Park and Lost Canyon Caves.
“The Native American Heritage Museum is there, which rivals the famous Buffalo Bill Center in Cody, Wyoming,” Clifford said.
The Trigger Gap safety briefing is now online.