Tag - Ouachita National Forest

Hiking trail posts in the Ouachita National Forest. The forest runs from LeFlore County, Oklahoma to central Arkansas.

Ouachita Trail 01 Pics: FR 6014 to Winding Stair TH (21.7 to 23.7)

Ouachita Trail 01 Pics: FR 6014 to Winding Stair TH (21.7 to 23.7) photo
Fall foliage on the Ouachita Trail between FR 6014 and the Winding Stair Trailhead.

The 1.8-mile stretch of Section 1 of the Ouachita Trail from Forest Road 6014 (west end) to the Winding Stair Trailhead is an enjoyable walk. Along with the rest of Section 1, it is on Winding Stair Mountain (Ouachita National Forest, LeFlore County, Oklahoma) one of my favorite places to hike.

This stretch covers the last part of Section 1. The easiest way to reach it as a standalone hike is to start at the Winding Stair Trailhead. (Google Maps directions.) From there you would head west for a little under 2 miles. (Across the highway is the start of Section 2.)

The elevation change on this stretch is about 300 feet, so be prepared for a bit of climbing. It is all on the north side of the mountain. The trail in this part is usually in good condition and not difficult to follow.

Ouachita Trail 01 Pics: FR 6014 to Winding Stair TH (21.7 to 23.7) photo
The rocky area in the vicinity of Mile Marker 22 is the coolest part of this stretch of the trail.

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Hunt’s Loop Trail (Ouachita Forest) – 4 mi

Hunt’s Loop Trail (Ouachita Forest) - 4 mi photo
The view from the Short Mountain vista.

One of my favorite day hikes around Hot Springs is the Hunt’s Loop Trail in the Ouachita National Forest (north Garland County/south Perry County).

The 4.3-mile-hike takes you straight up Short Mountain to a gorgeous vista and then through some of the most beautiful woods along the ridge of the mountain before returning to the narrow valley of the Middle Fork of the Saline River.

It is a moderate trail overall. The only difficult part is at the beginning (going clockwise) up Short Mountain. The elevation change is about 500 feet.

Hunt’s Loop Trail (Ouachita Forest) - 4 mi photo
Heading north on Hunt’s Loop Trail on top of Short Mountain, Ouachita National Forest
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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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Ouachita Trail 02: Pics of Winding Stair TH to Highpoint to Saddle (23.7 to 25.8)

Ouachita Trail 02: Pics of Winding Stair TH to Highpoint to Saddle (23.7 to 25.8) photo
Sunset view from near the Winding Stair highpoint, Ouachita National Forest (OK)

The 2.5-mile segment of the Ouachita Trail from Winding Stair Trailhead to the saddle around mile point 25.8 is a cool one. It’s on Winding Stair Mountain (Ouachita National Forest, LeFlore County, Oklahoma) and goes to the highpoint (at 2,450 feet) before heading downhill to the saddle.

Most of the climb to the highpoint is on a road trace, but it was a really cool walk on December 30 with the snow-covered trees.

The trek down to the saddle was also pretty cool. It’s a long series of switchbacks with really interesting topography and some pretty views during leaf-off.

Ouachita Trail 02: Pics of Winding Stair TH to Highpoint to Saddle (23.7 to 25.8) photo
On the switchbacks between the highpoint and the saddle, Ouachita Trail, Ouachita National Forest (OK)

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