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Ouachita Trail - Backpacking Trails

Ouachita Trail ( E-1, E-2, E-3, E-4 and E-5)

Park/Rec Area: Ouachita Trail
Region: Ouachitas
Length: 223 miles
Difficulty: Easy - Moderate - Strenuous
Brochure: From the east, the first 31 miles of the Ouachita Trail (OT) are managed by Pinnacle Mountain State Park. Hikers are encouraged to leave emergency information with park staff. Trail guides and a map of this section are available at the visitor center, or you can write to: Pinnacle Mountain State Park, 11901 Pinnacle Valley Rd., Roland, AR 72135. PHONE: (501) 868-5806. Call for price of map. The next 192 miles of the trail are managed by the U.S. Forest Service, Ouachita National Forest. A map of this section is available from the Forest Service by writing to the Forest Supervisor at the Hot Springs address, call for price of map. This map indicates trailhead access points, topographic contours, streams, campgrounds, etc. The last 31 miles of the trail extend into Oklahoma. Detailed guides can be purchased at area bookstores and sporting goods stores.

Additional Trail Information: Corridor Access: There are currently a multitude of additional walk-in points along the trail.

Location: Western terminus: Talimena State Park, Oklahoma. Eastern terminus: Pinnacle Mountain State Park Visitor Center, 15 miles west of Little Rock off Hwy. 10, north on Hwy. 300 and east on Pinnacle Valley Road.

Description: The OT is an east-west corridor which extends from Pinnacle Mountain State Park near Little Rock to Talimena State Park near Talihina, Oklahoma. This mountain trail offers the hiker a wide range of opportunities from scenic vistas, upland hardwood and pine forests to clear streams, high ridges and wide valleys. Developed facilities are provided by two state parks—Pinnacle Mountain and Queen Wilhelmina—and three National Forest Recreation Areas—Big Brushy, Iron Springs and Lake Sylvia. Camping is allowed in developed campgrounds or anywhere outside of the recreation areas; although trail etiquette encourages camping at least 200 feet away from the trail and water sources, and preferably out of sight of the trail. If a previous campsite is available, please make camp there in order to lessen expanding impact. The abundance of access points makes the trail excellent for day hikes, weekend excursions and extended backpacking trips. Secured parking is available at Pinnacle Mountain and Queen Wilhelmina State Parks and non-secured parking is available at most access points where the trail crosses major roadways. The main trail is blazed with blue vertical rectangles while most spur trails are blazed in white. The OT is an extremely diverse trail that traverses the pine- and oak-clad Ouachita Mountains with elevations ranging from 600 to 2,600 feet. Numerous side trails to major recreation areas, scenic overlooks and other attractions offer opportunities that vary from interpretation to tests of physical stamina. A bountiful variety of vegetation types are found in this region. The mild climate, abundant moisture and suitable soil provide the basic support for over 2,500 native species. Because these unique mountains run east-west, hardwoods occupy the moist northern slopes, and pine types are primarily found on the southern slopes. The OT passes through some of Arkansas’s most beautiful country and truly gives hikers a chance to experience the rugged Ouachita Mountain terrain.

For Information: Forest Supervisor, P.O. Box 1270, Hot Springs, AR, 71902, (501) 321-5202 www.fs.fed.us/oonf/ouachita.htm