Tagged: Counties: Montgomery + Polk (Ark)

Tall Peak Trail (Ouachita Forest) Photos January 2013

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"Tall Peak Trail (Ouachita Forest) Photos January 2013 " photo
Panoramic shot from vista on Tall Peak Trail, Ouachita National Forest

As I mentioned here, last weekend I went to the Tall Peak Trail which starts at Shady Lake, in the Ouachita National Forest, southeast of Mena, Arkansas.

Due to getting a late start, I only did about half of the trail that day.

"Tall Peak Trail (Ouachita Forest) Photos January 2013 " photo
Saline River, Tall Peak Trail (panoramic)

These are some photos I took that day. Most are of the very scenic first part of the trail along the Saline River. (Click for larger photo.)

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Shady Lake Trail Map (Ouachita Forest)

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This past weekend I hiked part of the Tall Peak Trail in the Ouachita National Forest, Polk County, Arkansas. The trailhead is at the Shady Lake Recreation Area campground, near the Caney Creek Wilderness Area, about an hour’s drive southeast of Mena. (I started too late in the day to finish the trail.)

The campground is closed now for winter, but the trails are open. (You may have to park outside the gate.)

"Shady Lake Trail Map (Ouachita Forest)" photo
Shady Lake Trail Map (displayed at campground information board)

While there, I saw this map posted showing the Shady Lake Trail as well as the Tall Peak trailhead. (The trailhead is at the south end of the campground’s C Loop.)

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Ouachita Trail Rich Mountain Snow Photos December 2012

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"Ouachita Trail Rich Mountain Snow Photos December 2012" photo
Trail head (Ouachita Trail), near Queen Wilhelmina State Park

Yesterday, I wanted to take some snow pictures so I headed toward Queen Wilhelmina State Park. It is up on Rich Mountain, near Mena, Arkansas.

It turned out that there was so much snow and ice at the park that the trails were closed, but I was able to get some pictures on the nearby Ouachita Trail section just west of the park. (This is the part I called 02-J, between the park and the pioneer cemetery. It is between Mile 50 and 51.)

"Ouachita Trail Rich Mountain Snow Photos December 2012" photo
Panoramic of Ouachita Trail (facing West) with lots of snow

The snow seemed a foot or more deep, but I didn’t bring a ruler. (Officially, Mena got 9 inches of snow.)

Hiking through snow that deep is kind of like hiking through a giant sandbox. Good exercise, but hard to move very fast. 

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

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"Earthquake Ridge Trail + S. Loop (Ouachita Forest)    3 mi" photo
On the main loop of the Earthquake Ridge Trail (facing south), Ouachita National Forest

The Earthquake Ridge Trail is a moderately challenging but short loop trail in the Ouachita National Forest, just north of Mena, Arkansas. It has a main loop and a few additional loops, one called the “Southern Loop.” Back in October, I hiked the main loop and the Southern Loop. It’s a nice little hike — under 3 miles by my measurements.

"Earthquake Ridge Trail + S. Loop (Ouachita Forest)    3 mi" photo
Eastward view from Rich Mountain on Earthquake Ridge Trail

My gps measurement of the two loops is shorter than what is shown on the official Forest Service trail map. It shows the two loops (including an initial spur) having a total length of about 3.8 miles. My gps-based calculation for those 2 loops comes to about 2.8 miles.

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