Ouachita National Recreation Trail

MODERATE 25 reviews

Ouachita National Recreation Trail is a 217.1 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Roland, Arkansas that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

217.1 miles 32168 feet Point to Point

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

rocky

Ouachita Trail is a point-to-point trail located near Roland, Arkansas. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking.

backpacking
9 days ago

Great

Great trail! We hiked from Horsetheif Picnic Area to Lake Wilhelmina Vista, stayed in a couple of shelters, and set up camp in the woods 1 night. The trail is generally well maintained and easy to follow, though a little overgrown in some areas. Water availability was not an issue on this portion of the trail but I'm sure it could be in the summer.

in the area that the trail hits the Kimichi River there are 7 different crossings for which water shoes are recommended. I'm sure water levels vary seasonally but in March it was just high enough to require taking your shoes off to cross, kinda a pain to do 7 different times. Would've been great if I had my water sandals to wear through that whole portion of the trail. It's a beautiful part of the trail.

The shelters on this path are pretty awesome. I recommend staying at one if it fits your schedule. On the Ok side of the portion of the trail there were primitive campsites set up on level ground with sitting rocks and rock fire rings every couple of miles.

All and all, this is a great long dostance trail and I will definetly be back!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful view at the Vista today.

2 months ago

4 months ago

I have done smaller sections around lake Maumelle and also the section between highway 7 and highway 298. I generally have the trail to myself which is a bonus for me (I ran into a pair of mountain bikers one time through the roughly 40 miles I have hiked). The majority of people, both in and out of Arkansas, are going to flock to the Ozarks in northern Arkansas which is a reason why you have the area to yourself quite often. It is also a clean trail as I have very rarely seen trash in it.

I enjoy the lake Maumelle section (east terminus is at the Pinnacle Mountain state park visitor center and runs around 22 miles along the north shore of the lake until it hits highway 10 before heading west to highway 9). The lake is the Little Rock water supply, so it has quite a few rules about what goes on around the lake. The water company owns it plus 9,000 more acres surrounding it (totaling 17,900 acres). Due to the rules, the land surrounding can be secluded and is a great place to see waterfowl including Eagles. There is no camping on the land surrounding the lake. There is a spur off the land to where a family has set up a campsite (Penny lane campsite). The spillway section is also neat when the lake is overflowing. There is also a neat beaver pond on the west side off highway 113.

Lake Ouachita is also a beautiful place. The section just north of the lake has several lookout points where you get good views of the lake. You can sometimes see the lake covered in fog with the tips of some islands poking through.

When you start at the highway trailheads, it is amazing how quickly the trees muffle out the roar of the cars. There are neat sections of forest all throughout the trail; too many to list! Where the trail intersects highway 300 the second time has the biggest pine tree I have ever seen. You will also find wildlife ponds in the middle of nowhere. Several areas will also have no cell service.

Several long sections of the trail will spend a lot of time on ridges so you get good views across the valleys to the next set of ridges (the Ouachitas are unique as they run east to west and are the highest points between the Rockies and Appalachians). There are several areas where you look up and down the mountain and do not see the top or bottom (trees night have something to do with this

trail running
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

backpacking
9 months ago

Very over growing in places, lots of trees on the trail. A few new cabins which is nice. Needs water tanks on trail in the summer, some parts you can't get water for 20 miles. Beautiful, difficult, and secluded. I didn't pass anyone and I hiked parts of it for 4 days.

9 months ago

My brother and I are about 1/3 of the way through our goal of completing the whole trail in 23 mile segments. Started in Talimena State Park and headed East. It has been an awesome experience with varied terrain so far. I would definitely recommend this trail.

10 months ago

Pretty gnarly trail! My dog and I loved it!

11 months ago

hiked from highway 9 to highway 7. around 32 miles in 3 days taking it easy. its a tough trail but the views are amazing. if your new to backpacking and want a trail worth the walk this is a great start.

hiking
1 year ago

The Old Military Road / Boardstand Path/ Ouachita Mountain Trail collectively form a looped hike of about 23 miles, overlapping with many other routes such as the Choctaw Nation Trail and Panorama Vista, through Talimena State Park—and is argued to be the best hike through the hills of Oklahoma. There are a couple instances towards the end that can be confusing: during the final decent to Talihina State Park, there are intermittent yellow blazes because the INT criss-crosses the Ouachita trail several times, but will close on its self where the Ouachita Trail intersects the Old Military Trail. All state park offices were closed except for central location; we saw no water sources on the route, mostly overcast and cold with strong winds in more open areas/higher elevation. Took us about 10 hours to complete. Not the best scenery in the winter, of course, but still very enjoyable.

hiking
1 year ago

hiking
1 year ago

camping
1 year ago

I went with my youngest teenage son and one of his friends on a three-day, 12 mile round trip hike with two nights of camping. They loved it. The boys hammock camped and I did the tent. The weather was warm during the day but fine in the evening. The trail quality was marginal, but enjoyable enough with the frequently creeks and waterfalls to keep the boys interested. We parked the car at the lot at Foran Gap. Hiked three miles east and camped. Next day three miles back to the car for a lunch and refuel. Then hiked three miles east and camped in a grove of pine trees. And then 3 miles back the following day. The wind was ferocious the second night but caused no issue.

hiking
1 year ago

I have hiked this trail within the boundaries of Pinnacle Mtn State Park. I cannot locate the trailhead once I leave the Park and end up at Hwy 300. I have tried the area of Natural Steps. What is the landmark or building I need to locate to find trailhead from state park. If I could avoid walking alongside the not so pedestrian friendly HWY 300, pls provide.

AS FOR the part of Ouchaita trail within the state park, the trail sometimes has slight feel of entering a slight forested area (need to finish complete to understand). GOOD PAIR OF HIKING SHOES AND STRONG ANKLES NEEDED.

1 year ago

Did a short section of this beautiful trail from hwy 9 to the Nancy mountain shelter. Great trek! Going to do from mena to lake sylvia this fall cant wait. If the rest of the trail is like this section it's going to be great!

hiking
1 year ago

hiking
2 years ago

My son and I started at the westernmost point on the trail in oklahoma and hiked 45 miles in 3 days to the state line where we had arranged for someone to pick us up and take us back to our car. Very rugged. Very remote. Not much water, but what a great adventure.

2 years ago

My friends and I did three days on this trail And covered 22 miles. We got caught in a rainstorm on top of one of the Bluffs. However upon reaching the shelter we were very much safe from the storm. We also had quite a bit of fog during the hike. Made us all feel like we were walking through a enchanted Forest. definitely look for water holes on a map before hand and plan accordingly. Fantastic trail without very much traffic. We did not see another person the entire time.