Miles of trails found at Lake Ouachita Vista Trail

View on Lake Ouachita Vista Trail
View on Lake Ouachita Vista Trail

If you are on the lookout for a trail with a lot of hiking and biking options, the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail near Mount Ida fits the bill. Overall, it has around 45 miles of trails along the shores of Lake Ouachita. The route was created with a specific goal in mind: as a means for people to enjoy the beauty of Lake Ouachita without being in or on the water. The route was designed for all levels and attracts a wide range of users. Parts of the trail are handicapped accessible and groups ranging from ultra runners to mountain bikers make use of the varied terrain.

The trail consists of a number of trail segments, along with some short out-and-back or loop spurs leading off a trail segment. Many trailhead signs can be seen along Hwy 270 for the different routes. You can learn about the different trail segments on the trail website. 

No matter what mode is used to explore the terrain, the main goal is to introduce all users to the beauty of the area. One standout experience of the trail is taking in the epic view of Lake Ouachita that can be seen from the Hickory Nut Mountain Vista. 

One popular route to take on is a linear segment that begins at the Denby Bay Trailhead. You can hike around 3 miles to the Homestead trailhead or an additional 2 miles to the Tompkins Bend trailhead near Shangri-La Resort. This particular section of the trail goes through several miles of beautiful old-growth forest and there is a hollow that is filled with ferns. A small spur can also be found here that leads to a lookout called Sunset Vista. The entrance to the Watchable Wildlife trail will be on your left as you approach this trailhead.