In May, 2001 the Ouachita National Forest Supervisor opened 137 miles of the Ouachita Trail to use by mountain bikes. Elevations range from 600 to 2,600 feet as the trail passes through forested mountains, across sweeping valleys and near clear-running streams. Spur trails connect to various recreation areas and points of interest. Numerous road crossings and access points provide opportunities for point to point mountain bike rides of various distances. For more information, you may purchase a detailed map at all Ouachita National Forest offices.
Check out the Ouachita Challenge 60 mile Tour at www.ouachitachallenge.com.
Local User Input
We now have 137 miles of the Ouachita Trail open for Mountain Bike use. For rider that are interested in riding the Ouachita Trail, I would caution that in comparison to lets say the Womble Trail, the Ouachita Trail presents a more challenging trail. If you have never ridden the Ouachita Trail, I would suggest that you first ride the areas that were open for study in 1998. This would be from Hwy 71 to Hwy 27. This 58 mile section served as the test area, and has benefited from the increased usage and increased trail maintenance by local cycling clubs. The rest of the new trail that has been opened is best to be left for the more adventurous riders willing to encounter unimproved trail conditions. These new sections will improve with time, and use and maintenance.
Best Ouachita Trail Rides at this Time ( The study Section)
1. Big Brushy Trail Complex heading East
2. Big Brushy Trail Complex heading West
3. Hwy 27 Trailhead heading West
4. Hwy 71 heading East
5. Hwy 71 heading West
Ouachita Trail Rides for the adventurous at heart. (New Trail Opened in 2001)
1. Talihina State Park heading East. (Provides access to the Military Road Trail which is very nice trail)
2. Emerald Springs at the Talimena Scenic Drive heading East to the Big Cedar Trailhead.
3. Mountain Fork Trailhead on Hwy 270 to Highway 72.
4. Hwy 27 heading East
5. Hwy 7 heading West