Tag - Ouachita Trail: Section 03

The Ouachita Trail is a 223- mile trail running from Talimena, Oklahoma to Pulaski County, Arkansas. The vast majority of it is in the Ouachita National Forest.

For a list of trail segment profiles on this site, visit this link.

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

Continue reading Ouachita Trail 03: Talimena Drive to Hwy 270 (Black Fork Mtn) TH (54.1 to 56.7)

Ouachita Trail 03: Eagle Gap to MM63 (58.5 to 63.0)

I hiked the Ouachita Trail on the eastern half of west Fourche Mountain about a month ago. (West Fourche Mountain is the part on the west side of highway 71. I don’t know why it’s not considered a separate mountain.) Last Saturday, I hiked the western part.

I had thought the trail on the western part would be like the other side. It was an enjoyable hike, but it seemed that there were not as many nice views as there had been on the eastern half.

Of course, it was noticeably warmer on this hike than on the earlier one.

Ouachita Trail 03: Eagle Gap to MM63 (58.5 to 63.0) photo
View of Rich Mountain from Fourche Mountain on Ouachita Trail, Near MM62 (OT-03FG)

It did seem like there were not as many nice views of nearby mountains as there were on the eastern part. I did notice some scenic views on the way down the mountain. There probably are a lot more good views during leaf-off. Continue reading Ouachita Trail 03: Eagle Gap to MM63 (58.5 to 63.0)

Ouachita Trail 03: MM63 to Foran Gap (63.0 to 68.1)

Saturday, I hiked another 5 miles of the Ouachita Trail; this time in Section 3.

This was a pretty cool hike because it was the first time I have come across a waterfall on the Ouachita Trail (or in any national forest for that matter).

Ouachita Trail 03: MM63 to Foran Gap (63.0 to 68.1) photo
Waterfall on Ouachita Trail (03-I) – About 1 Mile West of Hwy 71 (Foran Gap)

I began (and parked) at the Foran Gap trailhead on Highway 71, between Waldron and Mena, Arkansas. From there I hiked west about 5 miles to MM 63. Originally, I intended to go just to MM 64, but it appears that there is no marker at MM 64.

There is a marker at MM 63, but it looks like it was written with a ball point pen. (There have been problems lately with some of the OT mile markers disappearing.)

I refer to the part of the trail I hiked Saturday as “03-H” and “03-I.”

The section of the Ouachita Trail between Eagle Gap (around 58) and Foran Gap is about 10 miles long and has no access points in between. Continue reading Ouachita Trail 03: MM63 to Foran Gap (63.0 to 68.1)

Ouachita Trail 03: Queen Wilhelmina to Hwy 88 (51.6 to 54.1)

Ouachita Trail 03: Queen Wilhelmina to Hwy 88 (51.6 to 54.1) photo

Saturday, I hiked what I have labeled as segments 03-A and 03-B of the Ouachita Trail. This is a 2.5 mile section that begins at Queen Wilhelmina State Park and continues East until it intersects with Highway 88 (of the Talimena Scenic Drive). The first half-mile or so it is the same as the State Park’s Lover’s Leap Trail.

It’s not that difficult a trail segment overall. There is some up and down climbing, but there are also long stretches on a relatively level ridge.

As you would expect, the trail has some great views from Rich Mountain.

Ouachita Trail 03: Queen Wilhelmina to Hwy 88 (51.6 to 54.1) photo

Continue reading Ouachita Trail 03: Queen Wilhelmina to Hwy 88 (51.6 to 54.1)