Back on November 26, 2015, I had a cool hike doing the 2.2-mile segment on the Ouachita Trail in LeFlore County, Oklahoma, from Deadman’s Gap (mile point 8.0) to Forest Road 6010 (about mile point 5.8).
This 2.2-mile segment of Section 1 of the Ouachita Trail (Ouachita Forest, LeFlore County, Oklahoma) runs from Forest Road 6010 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.
Arkansas has earned the reputation as “The Natural State” because of the beautiful natural sites around the state. And as a part of this reputation, Arkansas has established an outstanding state park system that is diverse in the natural beauty they provide.
Mount Nebo State Park
One of the crown jewels of the state park system is Mount Nebo State Park. The park was established in 1935. Many of the trails and cabins date were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), part of President Roosevelt’s “New Deal” during the Great Depression.
The park is located seven miles west of Dardanelle on Highway 155. You can get there by taking Highway 7 south, through Russellville and Dardanelle, making a brief right onto Highway 22, and then turning left on Highway 155. (Follow the signs to the park.)
Highway 155 up Mount Nebo is very steep and very curvy. (Don’t bring a long trailer.)
At the top of the mountain, there are campsites, cabins that can be rented, private residences, a pool, tennis courts, playground equipment, a basketball court, and a great little visitor center with several snakes on hand, so you can learn about the native species.
You may also catch the sight of hang gliders from the visitor center as it is a frequent launch point.
The park also offers 360-degree views of the countryside which also means fantastic views of the sunrise and sunset (at sites aptly named “Sunrise Point” and “Sunset Point”).
Mount Nebo Hiking Trails
The park boasts over 14 miles of hiking trails, all of which connect in ways that can make for a wide variety of routes, distances, and difficulty levels.
The 3.5 mile stretch of the Ouachita Trail from the Potato Hill Vista spur to Forest Road 6010 is a pretty cool one. There are a number of nice vistas and several areas with interesting rocks. This segment has a moderate amount of climbing.
The trail profile I did from my October 3, 2015 hike is here.
In this post, I have some additional photos I took that day on the trail and at the nearby Potato Hill Vista (accessible via the .1-mile spur from the OT).
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.