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This was the Ouachita Switchback trail race. Very beautiful trail. Lots of elevation.

wandern
13 days ago

Really nice trails, we did it the weekend after Christmas so it was nice and quite. Storms had filled the creeks and having our choice of camping spots made for a great trip. The western section (the side with the scenic over look) is tough going but good trail. Storm damage has make keeping up with the trail difficult at best in some areas (downloading the map and using gps helped us see when we got off trail). I see the areas people were complaining about the brambles in areas- wasn’t bad end of December. Really nice over looks on the western section as well. Great trail!

wandern
steinig
13 days ago

This is a very rewarding hike! The scenic views were worth the treacherous hike over the boulders. I would definitely recommend downloading the pro app since we had no service as it was very easy to lose the trail. The trail wasn’t marked well but made it more fun. If you are lost, use the mountains beside you for guidance. Take tweezers in case you fall in a cactus and toilet paper.

wandern
scrambling
steinig
22 days ago

Quite difficult at times but it is redeeming. The trail is a bit hard to follow and there are many animal trails so it can get confusing. The area is quite open so there isn’t much worry about getting lost. Be careful going down if you are not following the trail. You can get in a sticky situation clambering down. Don’t go down if you can’t get back up cause there are many times you can go down and find it impossible to safely continue. Best to plot a path down before you go up. Don’t be TOO quiet. Lots of animal dens along the way. Wouldn’t want a surprise encounter. Good luck!

Beautiful hike with moderate difficulty, but the challenging portion at times is the staying on the trail itself. In dim light it is very hard to see the marked trees, and even harder to find the trail. I recommend only hiking during ample daylight unless you’re with someone very familiar with the trail.

wandern
brücke geschlossen
26 days ago

Just called (12/31/2019) and the bridge is still out (waiting on repairs) so you can't go north and get to Mary's Cove, etc. My 5 star rating is based on the bridge operational, with it being out I would say this is a 2 star trail.

expected some scenic overlooks, weren't any. still a nice walk through the woods. Best hiked counter clockwise.

Nice trail through the woods, not much to see.

wandern
abseits des Weges
steinig
sturmholz
überwachsen
1 month ago

Do not follow the beginning point. Closed down. Path not clear, use gps!!

wandern
abseits des Weges
steinig
1 month ago

awesome trail! beautiful photo ops

Started the trail from Winding Stair Campground. Hiked to Rough Mountain (2nd peak height on the trail) then returned to the campground. Nice views between the Winding Stair Shelter and the downhill switchbacks. Overall nice trail.

Really nice little trail with some good views and easy terrain with only some minor challenge. Very relaxed, and we didn't run in to many people. Keep your eye on the map when the trail hits the road-- the re-entrance to the trail is NOT marked.

"Hard"--they aren't kidding. Ankle support strongly recommended. It's very difficult to stay on the trail in places--particularly at the boulder field. Cell service was terrible, so GPS wasn't tracking super well. We tried to find the road that leads to the Southern end of the trail but ended up at someone's house. If you get there from the north, you want to turn at the Elk Mountain trail sign. Walk past the Elk trail entrance all the way past the restrooms to start at the North trail head. Definitely take the side trip to see Post Oak Falls. Worth it.

Camping
überwachsen
2 months ago

I did an overnight here last Sept and had a decent experience in spite of the trail being a bit overgrown and the HUGE disappointment of the swing bridge being closed down. Because of that, the trail shrinks to 2 miles just when it started to get good. Primitive camp sites were adequate. I’ll go back only when the engineers repair the bridge.

wandern
2 months ago

A hike down on switch backs then most of it is a fire road hike. Great workout but the best view is before you even start the hike! Also more of an out and back than a true loop.

Nice trail. Saw four deer and an armadillo and a few humans. No problem following the trail but watch when you leave the trail for a brief walk on the road as the re entry to the trail is not marked. You re enter on the same side you exit and you are only on the road for maybe a tenth of a mile.

Good hike. after you hit the waterfall double back and hit the wilderness trial. You'll see the sign. There is a cool little oasis. After that it turns into Bush whacking. Not enough through traffic. Great hike with amazing views.

Challenging trail with a full pack on! But beautiful vistas, well marked, and wonderful shelters. If you are backpacking I would recommend ditching the tent and using the shelters to take advantage of the workmanship and comfort of the shelters. If you are thru-hiking this section, consider stashing water near Holson valley shelter, as it gets dry. The water at horsethief spring is not good (even filtered) so consider that in your thru-hike planning. Gorgeous views!

I hiked section 1 (talimena state park to winding stair) in three days, utilizing the shelters, doing 9ish miles per day. Days 1 & 2 were rough with a full pack on - rocky, lots of elevation gain and loss. This is big country, folks! Lots of beautiful vistas, interesting wildlife. While the fall colors didn’t really pop this fall, beware of the nuts and other trail accessories that come with fall weather - it easy to roll an ankle out there right now. Take your time and enjoy this section - it’s really beautiful! The Holson valley shelter area is especially lovely. The trail is in good shape with only a couple of spots overgrown in between Rock Garden and Holson Valley shelters. Be sure to stop and fill up all water collectors before Holson - horsethief spring is a 3-mile hike away and you will need the water if overnighting at Holson. You can also cache water from the highway right above the shelter. Enjoy!

rucksacktour
steinig
2 months ago

Did the full loop on 11/8 - 11/9. Deer season was underway so to be cautious, we (including our dog) dawned blaze orange vests. Started at 11 a.m. from the park and went CCW. Hiked approx. 10 miles first day and intended to set up camp at the established site near waypoint BD-06 but couldn't find it so continued a bit further and found a tent site close to Redbank creek. Finished the remaining 11-12 miles the next day around 3 p.m. With recent rains, the creeks were full so staging water was not necessary. As mentioned by others, the OT portion is very rocky and technical in spots. Be aware, the motorcycles were everywhere on the OMT portion and they traveled in large groups at a high rate of speed. Personally, we found the markings very adequate and never lost the trail. Comparing it to ERL, this was a much easier hike, less crowded but also less scenic.

wandern
2 months ago

Great trail. Could be marked better

a really rocky trail! we didn’t follow the trail, because it was a lil tricky to follow at first somehow. then we just had some fun crawling and climbing over boulders. we only did part of the first leg- didn’t go to crab eyes or to the other trailhead. could spend a lot of time climbing around and exploring! easy as far as elevation gain is concerned on the actual trail

Did the first 19 miles between Talimena state park and Horsethief spring. The first 8 miles are well marked and easy to follow. the trail from deadman's gap to Horsethief is more overgrown with a lot of downed trees to navigate over. In some places the trail is indiscernible due to downed trees. Very challenging but fun section.

wandern
steinig
3 months ago

Trail was quite well marked. Definitely need good boots with a stiff shank. The trail is rocky and at times tough on the feet. Otherwise, the views are outstanding.

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