National Recreation Trails Database


Trail Description Continued

The Ouachita National Recreation Trail is a 223-mile back country trail, running east and west the length of the Ouachita Mountains. More commonly referred to as the "Ouachita Trail", it lies primarily within the Ouachita National Forest. Most of the trail (177 miles) is in Arkansas, with forty-six miles extending into Oklahoma. Both ends of the trail are in state parks. The eastern terminus is in Pinnacle Mountain State Park, west of Little Rock (Pulaski County); the western terminus is in Talimena State Park, Oklahoma.

Terrain across the length of the trail is rugged, providing a variety of hiking experiences and scenic opportunities. Elevation ranges from a high point of 2610' above seal level on Rich Mountain, near the Arkansas/Oklahoma state line, to a low of approximately 300' near Lake Maumelle. Climbs between 1000' and 1500' are common. Two designated wilderness areas enhance enjoyment of the trail.

Originally intended as a foot trail, the entire length is open to both day hikers and backpackers. Since 2000, mountain bikers have been given access to western portions of the trail, currently about 140 miles, and have joined other trail users as good stewards of the trail. In addition to the state parks, forest service recreation areas provide campground facilities along the trail. A string of nine overnight shelters further enhance the experience for backpackers.

Friends of the Ouachita Trail is an all volunteer group that works with the managing agencies to maintain the Ouachita Trail:


Close this window






This website provides access to the National Recreation Trail (NRT) database, a collection of information on the various trails which have been designated as NRT's. These trails are located throughout the United States and U.S. territories. The amount of information may vary from trail to trail. If you need more information than is available on this site, please use the contact(s) listed for that trail. (If no contacts, are listed, you may request help from American Trails at

The on-line database has details on the currently designated National Recreation Trails. The NRT Program online is hosted by American Trails: