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Location: Rural/Backcountry/Wilderness, Talimena State Park.
State(s): Arkansas, Oklahoma
Counties: Pulaksi, Perry, Le Flore
In the west the trail begins at Talimena State park on US Hwy 271. The Eastern boundary is south of Perryville, 15 miles west of Little Rock, AR.
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.
There are now 21 shelters along the trail. The nine older style shelters were built by the Forest Service in the eastern side of the trail. The 12 new shelters were built by FoOT volunteers in the western end of the trail. All the new shelters have a covered 'porch', with gravel flooring, and other amenities. The nine older shelters are in the process of being upgraded to reflect the new style, with the first one being completed in 2018.
Width: 24 inches.
Primary Surface: Soil
Secondary Surface: None
Elevation Low Point: Not Available
Elevation High Point: Not Available
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available
Year Designated: 1978
Supporting Webpages and DocumentsDocument: USFS Trail Map/Overview
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.
Ouachita National Forest
P.O. Box 1270
Hot Springs, AR 71902
Visitor's Information Center
Pinnacle Mountain State Park
Pinnacle Valley Rd.
Little Rock, AR 72223
Longest Trail in Arkansas has something for everyone
This is a great long-distance backpacking trail. It includes some great vistas, rock formations, wet creek crossings, steep climbs, and leisurely strolls. There is a string of shelters across the length of the trail (about every 8 - 10 miles), many built by volunteers.
Current trail information available from Friends of the Ouachita Trail (www.friendsOT.net).
November 29, 2017
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