Tag - Difficulty: Moderate/ Strenuous

More challenging hikes. We rate the difficulty level on these as Moderate (3 of 5) or Strenuous (4 of 5).

Ouachita Trail 01: Pics of Talimena S.P. to Potato Hill Vista (0.0 to 2.4)

Ouachita Trail 01: Pics of Talimena S.P. to Potato Hill Vista (0.0 to 2.4) photo
Rock garden on Winding Stair Mountain, Ouachita Trail

The starting 2.4-mile Ouachita Trail segment from Talimena State Park to the Potato Hill Vista (mile point 0.0 to 2.4) has some nice scenic areas and quite a bit of climbing. The net elevation change is about 850 feet.

I like rocky areas and hills. As with much of Winding Stair Mountain, quite a bit of the trail is rocky, something that I think makes the trail more interesting.

Ouachita Trail 01: Pics of Talimena S.P. to Potato Hill Vista (0.0 to 2.4) photo
West-facing view, climbing up Winding Stair Mountain

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Ouachita Trail 01: FR 6010 to Deadman’s Gap TH (5.8 – 8.0)

Ouachita Trail 01: FR 6010 to Deadman's Gap TH (5.8 - 8.0) photo
View from the higher elevation area between Deadman’s Gap and FR 6010.

This 2.2-mile segment of Section 1 of the Ouachita Trail (Ouachita Forest, LeFlore County, Oklahoma) runs from Forest Road 6010 (about mile point 5.8) to Deadman’s Gap (mile point 8.0). At that point, the OT crosses the Talimena Scenic Drive (Highway 88) over to the north side of Winding Stair Mountain.

This is a pretty cool stretch to hike with some nice scenic spots and some pretty south-facing views.

There is a 650-foot elevation drop on this segment from the west to the east. So if you’re just doing this as a thru-hike from west to east, it shouldn’t be difficult.

If you hike it as an out-and-back like I did, you’ll have some significant climbing.

Ouachita Trail 01: FR 6010 to Deadman's Gap TH (5.8 - 8.0) photo
Rocky area by the stream crossing.

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Native American Falls in Piney Creeks WMA (Ozark Forest)

Native American Falls in Piney Creeks WMA (Ozark Forest) photo
Native American Falls, Piney Creek WMA, Ozark National Forest

Native American Falls is a fantastic waterfall in some rugged country within the Piney Creeks Wildlife Management Area in the Ozark National Forest in northwest Pope County.

The parking spot is easy to find and the falls is rugged to get to, but you will be rewarded with a fantastic 41-foot tall waterfall that cascades down the bluff and some beautiful scenery along the way.

Getting to Piney Creeks Wildlife Management Area 

The trailhead is easy to find. It is .4 miles south of Pelsor (aka Sand Gap) on Highway 7. Pelsor is a small community 28 miles south of Jasper and 28 miles north of Dover on Highway 7.

There is a sign for the Piney Creeks Wildlife Management Area on the west side of the highway. Park by the sign.

For approximate Google Maps directions to this area from your location, see this link.

Native American Falls in Piney Creeks WMA (Ozark Forest) photo
The sign for the Piney Creeks WMA is the parking spot to get to Native American Falls.
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Ouachita Trail 01: Horsethief Springs to Winding Stair TH. (19.9 – 23.7)

Ouachita Trail 01: Horsethief Springs to Winding Stair TH. (19.9 - 23.7) photo
Stone spring enclosure at the Horsethief Springs picnic area

This is a 3.4-mile segment of the Ouachita Trail from the Horsethief Springs junction to the Winding Stair Trailhead. It’s a scenic walk along the north side of Winding Stair Mountain that, for the most part, is not very difficult.

The Tim Ernst mileage for this segment is mile point 19.9 to 23.7. By my gps calculation though, it’s closer to 3.4 miles in length rather than 3.8.

Ouachita Trail 01: Horsethief Springs to Winding Stair TH. (19.9 - 23.7) photo
Ouachita Trail, east of Horsethief Springs

When I hiked this segment recently, I started at Horsethief Springs and headed east to the Winding Stair trailhead and then back for a 6.8-mile hike.

Continue reading Ouachita Trail 01: Horsethief Springs to Winding Stair TH. (19.9 – 23.7)