Tag - Counties: Montgomery + Polk (Ark)

Trails in Montgomery and Polk Counties in Arkansas, including Queen Wilhelmina State Park and the Shady Lake Recreation Area of the Ouachita National Forest.

For a list of all trails in this group, visit this link.

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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Queen Wilhelmina: Reservoir Trail – 1 mi (o&b)

Queen Wilhelmina: Reservoir Trail - 1 mi (o&b) photo
Wooden walkway south of lodge leading to trailhead for Reservoir Trail and Lovers Leap Trail (panoramic)

The Reservoir Trail at Queen Wilhelmina State Park is a short but vigorous hillside walk that starts right behind the lodge.

It makes a .4-mile (each way) downhill zigzag on the south side of Rich Mountain leading to a historic reservoir.

Queen Wilhelmina: Reservoir Trail - 1 mi (o&b) photo
Stone steps on the Reservoir Trail, Queen Wilhelmina State Park
Getting to Queen Wilhelmina State Park

If you are coming from the north on Highway 71, at Acorn, take a right (heading east) on Highway 59/270. After 9 miles, take a left onto Highway 272. (Follow the signs to Queen Wilhelmina State Park.) This takes you up Rich Mountain to Highway 88 (Talimena Scenic Drive). Take a right on Highway 88. After about a half-mile. Turn left into Queen Wilhelmina.

If you are coming from the south on Highway 71, turn left onto Highway 88 in Mena.  Stay on 88 for about 12 miles. Queen Wilhelmina will be on your left.

The trailhead is by the lodge on the south side.

CLICK – Google Maps Directions to Reservoir Trailhead at Queen Wilhelmina

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