Ozark Highlands Trail is a 17.5 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Winslow, Arkansas and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and camping and is accessible year-round.
Directions from Lake Fort Smith State Park: Travel 1/4 mile east off U.S. 71 north of Mountainburg; watch for highway sign on U.S. 71 for turnoff to park entrance. Eastern terminus: Tyler Bend Campground on the Buffalo National River; U.S. 65 at Silver Hill
completed the section from Cherry Bend to Hare Mt. Beautiful area to a great overlook on Hare Mt. with a lot of historical remnants.
it was fun with the family, but was a difficult trail for a first time doing a over night hiking trail. would love to try again when I'm more experienced
Walked from White Rock to Shores Lake, can't wait to get back, but it's a killer trail. Better be in good shape...
Hike it last year in March over a 5 days period of time. Weather was terrible, cold and rained 4 out of the 5 days. The one day that it did not rain was absolutely beautiful.
Make sure you know how to use a compass, trails are not always marked well.
Remote and secluded. Also bring your bug repellent, got bite by a tick and ended up with lyme disease, not fun.
Overall loved the trip ; )
OHT is a badass trail and is very scenic trail and is very rough on the body. It has a lot of overlooks on the trail and is very amazing. Me and my friends only walked from Cherry Bend to Lick Branch in a weekend but now I can't wait to walk tho whole thing.
Very remote, and thus an excellent retreat. Lost about 5 days to rain, and took almost a month to finish. Started at Lake Fort Smith and finished at Hwy 65 on the Buffalo River Trail. Some beautiful scenery and solitude. Plan ahead and drop or mail food, you won't be anywhere near a Walmart.
We briefly hiked from the Fairview Trailhead west to Hurricane Creek and camped overnight. We awoke the next morning and had to hike to the Chancel TH (about a mile to the east, there's a sign) because of a knee injury in our group. This section of the trail is beautiful and the boulder section feels almost "prehistoric". Be prepared when hiking section 6.....it's very difficult and the trail is very unstable with rocks, etc. Don't let this stop you, but just be prepared. Total miles hiked about 8. The Chancel TH is listed in Tim Ernst's book and is a great place to start or end a shorter hike in the Hurricane Creek Area. Thanks to a couple of backpackers that helped me get to my truck! I'm eternally grateful!
Solid trail. Very well marked. Well maintained in most spots. A couple miles of overgrown or down trees.
I only did the first part that starts at lake fort smith, but it was very neat.
We added the Shephard Springs Loop to this run. I highly recommend this to make the run more demanding and technical. I also ran the two mile hill out of the Lake Fort Smith Park (to Hwy 71). We ran in to Frog Bayou, added Shephard Springs Loop, and back out to the Visitor's Center. Plus the two mile hill out to the highway. That'll get ya about 7 miles.
My husband and I were set out to a section of this trail weekend we started out at
White Rock and were end up at lake fort smith , however ,due to a good portion of
the trail being unmaintained.
We both sustained injuries cutting trip to just 9 miles before a pick up .
We both enjoyed the hike minus the injuries and the unmaintained part of trail. It was a good hike.
I would suggest going fall or winter the colder the better.
I thruhiked the OHT this winter, from Lake Ft Smith on the western end to Hiway 65, south of Harrison. The eastern end of the OHT does not have an easy exit, so I extended my hike another 20 miles down the Buffalo River to reach Hiway 65 rather than having to ford the Buffalo to get picked up at Wollum. What a trip! The terrain is severe, and hiking more than 15 miles a day, given the short days of winter, would be a significant challenge. The trail is well maintained, and the scenery is unequaled. We are fortunate to have this trail in Arkansas. My favorite section of trail is the portion within the Hurricane Creek Wilderness. It is very remote, and the Hurricane is a National Geographic experience. This trail took me about 14 days to complete, and the distance including the Buffalo river extesion was 180 miles
I've been hiking this with Boy Scouts. Only 2 sections remaining to complete it. My favorite hiking trail! Beautiful and serene. Lots of variety.
One of the two long haul trails in Arkansas, this trail has a lot of variety. Most sections can be done as day hikes or overnighters.
A schedule of week end hikes to do the whole trail over time can be found at the Ozark Society's website.
Get Tim Ernst's trail guide to help plan your trip.
I am in the process of doing this one a section at a time over the fall and winter 2011-2012. See my trip reports at midsouthhiking.com