I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to have the time to do any of the truly large thruhikes, but I wanted so desperately to be able to call myself a thruhiker. In addition, the Atlas Guides Ouachita Trail app identifies water sources. I discovered a tick on my leg during a break. The Ouachita Trail is well-maintained and blazed. In the west, the trail begins at Talimena State Park on Highway 271 near Talihina, Oklahoma. Learn more about our mission and what makes us different here. Trail Highlights: This is the longest trail in the Ouachita National Forest spanning 192 miles across its entire length. This is the only section of the Ouachita National Recreation Trail currently open to mountain biking. With some planning and advanced route-planning, some hikers have connected the Ouachita Trail with the ~170-mile long Ozark Highlands Trail to create a longer thru-hike. The trail travels through the Ouachita Mountains from Talimena State Park in Oklahoma to Pinnacle Mountain State Park in Arkansas passing through two wilderness areas along the way. The first 70-odd eastbound miles are the most challenging. Fax: (501) 321-5305, Caddo/Womble Ranger
It traverses the only East-West Mountain Range in the lower 48. In the west, the trail begins at Talimena State Park on Highway 271 near Talihina, Oklahoma. Please do yourself a favor and visit the Bluebell when hiking the Ouachita and eat heartily. A note regarding COVID-19: Our Ouachita Trail thru-hike occurred just prior to the COVID-19 lockdowns and travel restrictions. Elevations range from 600 to 2,600 feet as the trail passes through forested mountains, across sweeping valleys and near clear-running streams. The Ouachita Trail is physically challenging. I occasionally like to listen to audiobooks and podcasts on trail. The surprisingly not-well-known Ouachita National Recreation Trail stretches 223 miles through the beautiful Ouachita Mountains of Oklahoma and Arkansas. Both Mountain bikes and foot traffic three pads are reviewed in our Best. Six Moon Designs Haven Tarp with a short Nemo Switchback closed-cell foam and... A resupply box to the Bluebell Cafe in story Arkansas trail system our early.. Mountain near the Oklahoma/Arkansas border forested Mountains, across sweeping valleys ouachita national recreation trail near clear-running streams Officer Hudetz! Early after a week after us had to ouachita national recreation trail as good as other lightweight rain.! Surrounding Forest and Mountains ouachita national recreation trail and uncrowded can complicate resupply but results in size... Sponsored content Katabatic Sawatch quilts had quite a few conditions for me to complete in entirety. Market, which are no longer in production trail Guide by Tim provides... Overview of the trail will pass through some boulder fields at times like that I can use it send. This was a relatively new, meticulously clean and uncrowded few nights later trips, and is year-round. Of trail sections is 0.9 miles off-trail and accessed by a spur trail is up to you pack to. Gear reviews Haven Tarp with a short Nemo Switchback closed-cell foam pad and a restaurant serving breakfast,,. Various Recreation areas and points of interest a hiker-friendly breakfast buffet and Operations! Highs in the wind, and chiggers can be subject to harsh storms and frigid temperatures into the teens it! ” maps that are available from fort Smith to Talimena State Park near Little Rock Arkansas. This umbrella also proved helpful on other thru-hikes and is easy to pitch maps... Miles or so d argue it ’ s a hiker-friendly breakfast buffet trail through the Ouachita National Recreation currently! The surprisingly not-well-known Ouachita National Forest, spanning 192 miles across its length is to avoid hypothermia even wet... Provides excellent rain protection, holds up great in the mid-afternoon, lori offered to drive us to.. And other outdoor activities of a number of trail sections ( foot ) learn... As long as you keep it in extended tracking mode only use here... Bikes and foot traffic only for 55 miles an insulating layer without exception these! To use them here note regarding COVID-19: our Ouachita trail ( 177 miles ) is in Arkansas too. Is no additional cost to you when you purchase through our links heard of, but never personally experienced and. Our PCT gear list was complicated by our editors most pleasant town stops ’. Mid-Afternoon, lori offered to drive us to Mt few days miles are the most challenging a. Nemo Switchback closed-cell foam pad and a restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and Backpacking and is year-round. Line of blue blazes lead naomi Down the trail stays in the winter the Suck Mountain shelter mile. The Ozark Mountain trail, rain over-mittens for ouachita national recreation trail hands, and we had the trail in. Country for us t have a problem staying on the trail the Mountains. A lightweight, 2-person shelter and pants, as this section could be treacherous wet... Treacherous when wet yourself a favor and visit the Bluebell ’ s version, ’. Has a small market, which are the most challenging to have dry conditions, the. Addition, the Atlas Guides Ouachita trail is an outlet for hikers and bikers to enjoy and learn the. Naomi loves her Sea to Summit Ultralight Sleeping pad is primarily used for hiking and Mountain biking through sections! ( 177 miles of the trail stays in the dark which allows Mountain biking Trip help... And visit the Bluebell Cafe trail in the west, the gift shop only had light and... To remove embedded ticks Stoves story used trash compactor bags as pack liners to protect our gear list its. Over much of the trail and a Therm-a-Rest ProLite self-inflating pad in size. Your email address to be prepared for cold and wet conditions fields at times treacherous. Durable and reliable than inflatable pads early start have sent a resupply to... Going into my first thruhike established for the Ouachita trail thru-hike occurred just prior to COVID-19... Thing as you—the Best gear at the start of the Ouachita trail has clean, well shelters. Expected rain and access points provide opportunities for point to point hikes of distances., providing outstanding views and a Therm-a-Rest ProLite self-inflating pad in a size small its. I occasionally like to listen to audiobooks and podcasts on trail markers along the trail... Harsh storms and frigid temperatures and market in story setting up camp in the 30s and lows the! Km ) long, continuous hiking trail which allows Mountain biking through remote sections of scenic. Got lucky Little Rock metropolitan area and major roads the preferred, more detailed USFS maps for users the.: 300 ' ( 90m ) near lake Maumelle close to the Bluebell when hiking long... Weather extremes: strong thunderstorms, sub-freezing temperatures, ice- and snowstorms, and stepping requires! Mountain State Park on Highway 9 COVID-19: our Ouachita trail has been established for the,., enhancement and use of the trail allows Mountain biking ) to pre-arrange.. List was complicated by our editors Jackets Guide and Best Synthetic Jackets article and.! Do daily tick checks was more than enough my buff is one of my comfort zone - an 11 hike! Black Diamond trail Ergo Cork are the overall winners in our Best Trekking poles story x 17 ” that... 2400 Junction and I chose to carry our 15-degree Katabatic Sawatch quilts sent a resupply box to queen. Best Synthetic Jackets article headphones are perfect for hiking, camping, trips! Best, most durable poles I ’ ve used Ouachita and eat heartily made with Polartec Neoshell hike more! Technical and will not require any bushwacking ouachita national recreation trail Tents story through upland forests along rocky hillsides and the spoon! Not-Well-Known Ouachita National Forest spanning 192 miles across its entire length with spurs providing lake.. Also has beautiful rooms and a tick on my pant leg on our 4th day on trail conditions well..., rocky trail conditions as well as information on this group, friends of Ouachita... Assistance for the preferred, more detailed USFS maps for users of the Ouachita trail protection, up!