Ozark Highlands Trail

The Ozark Highlands Trail is a 165 miles long trail spanning most of the Northern half of the Ozark Mountains from Lake Fort Smith State park to the Buffalo river. It offers a variety of diverse landscapes representing various topographic, vegetative, pastoral, historic, human and animal life communities that are typically found throughout the Ozarks.

photo: photo by OakleyOriginals, flickr

Type: Backcountry
Length: 165.00 miles
Loop Trail? No
Allowed Uses: Camping
Agency: USDA Forest Service
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

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Location: Spans E-W across Ozark NF, from Lake Fort Smith to Richland Creek. Access at numerous trailheads.
State(s): Arkansas
Counties: Franklin, Pope, Johnson, Newton
Latitude: 35.700052
: -94.030371

Starts at Lake Ft. Smith State Park on Hwy 71 and ends at the Buffalo river. Many trail access points can be found throughout the forest where it bisects most state and woods roads.


The Ozark Highlands Trail (OHT) is a combination of simple footpath and old forest roads favoring the heights of land, and located for minimum reliance on construction for protecting the resource. Views from the OHT are predominantly forested, sporadically intermixed with old fields, pastoral valleys, and cultural landscapes. The OHT offers a diversity of topography and a variety of vegetation and animal life exposing the hiker to the entire range of land forms, clear water features, history, and uses of the land found throughout the Ozarks.
The trail is the only designated national Recreation Trail on the Forests. Facilities include the OHT footpath itself, trailhead parking areas, information boards at road crossings and developed recreation areas. Management practices are modified to recognize the nationally significant aesthetic and recreation values of these lands.

Additional Details

Width: 24 inches.
Primary Surface: Soil
Secondary Surface: None
Average Grade: 15%
Maximum Grade: 30%
Elevation Low Point: 900
Elevation High Point: 2,200
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available

Year Designated:

Supporting Webpages and Documents

Website: Avenza maps
Website: Ozark Highlands Trail Association

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Trail Management:
Robert Duggan
Ozark St Francis National Forest
605 W. Main St.
Russellville , AR 72801
(479) 964-7200



No additional photos are available.


November 13, 2017



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