Looking for a great trail in Ouachita National Forest, Oklahoma? AllTrails has 8 great hiking trails, forest trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 4 moderate trails in Ouachita National Forest ranging from 2.8 to 17.1 miles and from 656 to 2,568 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

hiking

forest

views

nature trips

camping

wildlife

hiking
21 days ago

One of my favorites, as we camp occasionally at this NFS campground and I usually try to get a few hikes in while there. I read Pat Clancy's review from a couple months ago, and I'm happy to report that the trail has been nicely cleared of all deadfall / blow down obstacles. The trail is clean and in great shape, especially from Camp Charlton to the Hickorynut Mtn road at the pipe spring. This trail joins the LOVIT trail (Lake Ouachita Vista Trail) at this point and continues to the Crystal Springs Campground. That section does have a few blow downs, but not too many to cause concern. Also, a nice new bike repair station has been installed on the Crystal Springs end beside the old amphiteater / chapel.

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!

hiking
1 month ago

park closed 10/27/19

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.

hiking
over grown
rocky
2 months ago

This trail should be rated as difficult due to the rocks and overgrown vines that grab your feet and poles mercilessly! I really wish we had chosen a different trail for our first backpacking trip.

hiking
blowdown
over grown
3 months ago

Nice hike from the campground for some morning exercise. It does rise thru a set of switchbacks as per the topo but that’s to be expected given the topography of the area. A couple notes- the trail elevation graph starts away from the campground so be aware of that when thinking about the trail. Also we found the trail a bit overgrown ( reasonable given the time of the year) and with a fair bit of blow down that looked older. It was easy to navigate for an agile hiker but could present a problem for someone needing walking poles. One last note. The trail is down a short road from the campground. There’s a “no dogs” sign there but no sign if you approach from the other direction of the road which starts near to the Rec Area entrance.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice trail

Very nice trail. A lot of up and down through thick forest and some brush. The Springs with all its history was really nice. We hiked 8 mikes from the campground to the springs and back.

backpacking
over grown
rocky
4 months ago

The trail has a lot of potential, but I had to turn back halfway to Horse Thief Springs on the east side of the loop after walking through a substantial stretch of overgrowth with no end in sight. It’s a difficult enough trail, with a steady climb in elevation, but it’s narrow and you’re walking through brush for long stretches of it — which compounds the stress. Wear long pants and consider bringing something to hack away the bushes if you’re not hiking in winter. Also be careful when starting from the lake parking lot, as it’s extremely difficult to find the trail at first. I walked around in the brush for almost a mile before finding it.

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked the trail on May 25, 2019. A nice trail with lake views all along the trail. There were a few areas where downed trees required a little detour and on this date there were a few very muddy areas on the trail. Our family camped at Cedar Lake and hiked it together with ages from almost 3 years to almost 60 years throughly enjoying the hike.

backpacking
bugs
muddy
rocky
6 months ago

Hiked the OT-BST-OMR Loop Trail counterclockwise starting from Talimena State Park over memorial weekend (May 2019). Started at 1pm on Saturday and hiked the Ouachita Trail portion first. Planned to camp around mile 7-8 but we got there fairly early and decided to keep pushing. Made it to the Boardstand Trail and set up camp just north of the BD-06 junction (Pond Camp). There has been a lot of rain in the area recently so we did not cache water. The springs were flowing and there were plenty of places to filter water on the entire loop. The Old Military Road Trail section of this loop was definitely different from the Ouachita Trail. Less rocky, the ups and downs had sections between them with no elevation change (which was very nice). Easy hike. Lots of poison ivy! Ticks were out like crazy too.

hiking
6 months ago

In early fall the campground was eerie and still with a beautiful view of the lake surrounded by oak and cedar covered mountains. Poison ivy everywhere on the trail. Still a nice way to spend the day here.

hiking
muddy
over grown
rocky
washed out
7 months ago

nature trips
7 months ago

Beautiful in the fall

Was a great trail with some rocks but overall we enjoyed it. It was well marked and several signs show that it's 2 miles from Talimena Park to hwy 88 / 1.

7 months ago

After a solid 24hr rain, the trail was in great condition. Camping at cedar lake so access was at my front door. Scared a four foot snake into the water at one spot on the east side.

Day 1 on Section One Ouachita trail starting at winding Stairs/ Horsethief springs

hiking
8 months ago

This was a moderate difficulty for an experienced person, difficult for endurance purposes. Beautiful forest scenery, crossed one small creek. Rather boring as far as trails go.

MM 16.8 to MM 23.8

hiking
rocky
9 months ago

Follwed trail east from cedar lake. Moderate trail. One water crossing that will get your boots wet. Last mile to Horse Thief Spring is challenging. Limited camping at the spring.

MM 8 to MM 16.8. This is probably the hardest section of the whole trail. The 2 times I have hiked this section, I met someone who had just taken a fall, so take your time. Trekking poles recommended.

Nice an isolated, but the trail rarely breaks through the trees to afford good views. The West side is tough to follow briefly. I went off the trail and just directed myself in the right general directiong using a GPS and the AllTrails app. It is easy bush-wacking and I eventually crossed over the real trail. I did not see anyone on the Horsethief trail, but there were several parties on the OT.

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