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 This is a hiking trail which allows mountain biking through remote sections of the Ouachita Mountains. I carried the Garmin Instinct. Buggy. Naomi carried the Hyperlite 2400 Junction and I carried the Katabatic Onni V40 65 (which is no longer in production). Forest Service Home | USDA.gov | recreation.gov | Recreation Customer Service Standards | USA.gov | Whitehouse.gov, Plug-Ins | FOIA | Accessibility Statement | Privacy Policy | Important Notices | Information Quality, https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/ouachita/recreation/recarea/?recid=10804&actid=50, Wolf Pen Gap Trails CLOSED for the season, Tent camping,Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water,Parking. My buff is one of my favorite pieces of gear. Thank you for supporting us! The rooms were beautiful and the restaurant was good-there’s a hiker-friendly breakfast buffet. Civilization rarely encroached on the trail. The Ouachita National Scenic Trail is a 223 mile (359 km) pathway that winds its way through the Ouachita (pronounced wa-she-ta) mountains of Oklahoma and Arkansas. Below are some of the biggest challenges we faced: Like the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, the Ouachita Trail can feel like an endless series of 500’-1,000’ ascents and descents. However, temperatures rose by around 30 degrees within a few days. Friends of the Ouachita Trail (FoOT) is a non-profit organization (IRS 501c3) created by trail users to maintain the Ouachita National Recreation Trail as a healthy and enjoyable outdoor recreational asset. Naomi used this jacket for the extreme conditions of the Great Divide Trail and carries it on all trips where heavy rain/snow and cold temperatures are a possibility. The trail had to satisfy a few conditions for me to choose it: 1. All but the eastern 30 miles travel through the Ouachita National Forest, the oldest and largest National Forest in the Southern United States. Phone:  (501) 321-5202 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. 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