Inaugural LOViT MTB Marathon
This year marks the inaugural year for the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail Mountain Bike Marathon, aka LOViT MTB Marathon. The event takes place on February 18 and includes a 50 mile race option or a 25 mile tour option. Fred Phillips with DLT Events is behind the race and the starting line will be at the boat ramp behind the lodge of Mountain Harbor Resort in Mount Ida. According to registration details, the marathon is a two lap course that uses the Hickory Nut Mountain and Denby Point sections of the trail. The Tour option is a single course of the same loop. There will also be a post ride area with beer, food and music at Mountain Harbor Resort on the day of the event for racers to enjoy. The race will also serve as the first event of the season for this year’s Arkansas Mountain Bike Marathon Series, which has races across the state.
As to details of the trail, the popular route has been named an Epic Ride by the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA). Overall it includes around 45 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails along the southern shore of Lake Ouachita. The trail was built in sections over a 12 year timespan and was a joint effort of many groups and agencies in the area to link the resorts and campgrounds around Lake Ouachita together via a trail system. The trail meanders through the Ouachita National Forest with spurs providing lake vistas. A group of local volunteers known as the Traildogs were among those that provided support in the design, planning, and construction of the route and they now help look after the route. You can get a detailed look at the entire route via their website here. Below is a peek at riding this picturesque trail.