Tag - Ouachita Forest: Mena/Oden District

Earthquake Ridge Trail Pics (Ouachita Forest)

Earthquake Ridge Trail Pics (Ouachita Forest) photo
Heading uphill on the east side of the Earthquake Ridge Trail

The Earthquake Ridge Trail, including the adjacent Southern Loop, is an enjoyable 3-mile hike at the east end of the Talimena Scenic Drive (Highway 88) near Mena, Arkansas. This Ouachita National Forest hike is easy to locate, starting at the Visitor Information Center.

My profile of this trail with pics from my June 6, 2015 hike is in this post.

Here are more pics from my hike that day.

Earthquake Ridge Trail Pics (Ouachita Forest) photo
Earthquake Ridge Trail, Ouachita National Forest

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Earthquake Ridge Trail + Southern Loop (Ouachita Forest) – 3 mi

Earthquake Ridge Trail + Southern Loop (Ouachita Forest) – 3 mi photo
View to the north from the east side of the Earthquake Ridge Trail (main loop)

The Earthquake Ridge Trail is a short moderately challenging loop trail in the Ouachita National Forest, just north of Mena, Arkansas. It has one main loop and several additional loops, all at the southeast end of Rich Mountain.

On this hike, we are doing the main loop plus the Southern Loop. By my measurements, the entire walk is just under 3 miles.

The 2 loops together basically make one long loop that goes around a 1-mile stretch of the Talimena Scenic Drive.

Earthquake Ridge Trail + Southern Loop (Ouachita Forest) – 3 mi photo
Earthquake Ridge Trail, east side

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Ouachita Trail 03: Talimena Drive to Hwy 270 (Black Fork Mtn) TH (54.1 to 56.7)

Ouachita Trail 03: Talimena Drive to Hwy 270 (Black Fork Mtn) TH (54.1 to 56.7) photo
View (panoramic) of Black Fork Mountain from north side of Rich Mountain on Ouachita Trail

This 2.6-mile Ouachita Trail Section 3 segment is a pretty vigorous hike if you do it as an out-and-back as I did starting (east to west) at the Highway 270 (Black Fork Mountain Wilderness) Trailhead (Polk County, Arkansas). There is an elevation increase of about 1,000 feet, almost all of it in the first 1.5 miles.

If you are doing it as a through-hike from west to east, it shouldn’t be a difficult stretch.

This stretch climbs interesting terrain and has some cool views, especially during leaf-off.

Ouachita Trail 03: Talimena Drive to Hwy 270 (Black Fork Mtn) TH (54.1 to 56.7) photo
Ouachita Trail connection at mile point 54.1, behind the Highway 270 Trailhead

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Caney Creek Trail – West (Ouachita Forest) – 11 mi (o&b)

Caney Creek Trail - West (Ouachita Forest) - 11 mi (o&b) photo
Cascade (Mini-waterfall) on the Caney Creek Trail, Ouachita National Forest

The western part of the Caney Creek Trail is a wonderfully scenic hike through the Ouachita National Forests’s Caney Creek Wilderness. It is a hike of 11.4 miles (5.7 miles each way) and has 22 wet crossings (11 miles each way), but it is well worth the effort.

The Caney Creek Trail runs 9 miles from west to east, mostly following Caney Creek. You can use of the eastern part of the trail to make a 9.4-mile loop hike with the Buckeye Trail. (See this post.)

This hike is an out-and-back one that just covers the western 5.7 miles of the Caney Creek Trail. It goes from the west trailhead to the Buckeye Trail junction.

Caney Creek Trail - West (Ouachita Forest) - 11 mi (o&b) photo
Cossatot River crossing on the Caney Creek Trail

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