Tag - Difficulty: Very Strenuous

Very Strenuous hikes, the ones we consider the most challenging (difficulty level: 5 of 5).

Ouachita Trail 02: Winding Stair TH to Highpoint to Saddle (23.7 to 26.3)

Ouachita Trail 02: Winding Stair TH to Highpoint to Saddle (23.7 to 26.3) photo
South-facing view from vista about .2 miles past the Winding Stair Mountain highpoint (panoramic).

This is a great 2.5-mile strip of the Ouachita Trail on Winding Stair Mountain (Ouachita National Forest, LeFlore County, Oklahoma). It’s easy to get to, has some wonderful views and very interesting terrain.

The highlight of this segment is the Winding Stair Mountain highpoint at about MM25. The elevation here is about 2,450 feet. At one time, there was a fire tower here (called “Winding Stair Fire Tower” or “Billy Fire Tower”).

This is the beginning of Section 02. It starts at the Winding Stair Trailhead and heads west climbing up to the Winding Stair Highpoint and then heads downhill to a saddle.

When I did the segment a couple of months ago, I turned around at that point, and headed back for a 5-mile hike. If you do it that way, it’s a pretty vigorous hike with nearly 1,200 feet of total elevation gain.

Ouachita Trail 02: Winding Stair TH to Highpoint to Saddle (23.7 to 26.3) photo
Winding Stair Trailhead sign on Highway 1 (Talimena Scenic Drive)

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Ouachita Trail 02: Pashubbe TH to Kiamichi River TH (Wilton Mtn.) (34.3 – 39.2)

Ouachita Trail 02: Pashubbe TH to Kiamichi River TH (Wilton Mtn.) (34.3 - 39.2) photo
South-facing view from east side of Wilton Mountain

This 4.8 mile Ouachita Trail Section 2 segment (9.6 miles out and back) just to the east of the Winding Stair National Recreation Area (LeFlore County, Oklahoma) climbs over Wilton Mountain, an offshoot of Rich Mountain.

As an out-and-back hike, it’s quite vigorous with 2,100 feet of total ascent. It has some beautiful views from Wilton Mountain.

I recently did the hike west to east starting at the Pashubbe Trailhead (mile point 34.3) to the Kiamichi River Trailhead (mile point 39.2) and then back.

Per my gps, the total hike is about 9.6 miles.

Ouachita Trail 02: Pashubbe TH to Kiamichi River TH (Wilton Mtn.) (34.3 - 39.2) photo
Panoramic Wilton Mountain vista shot from the west side

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Ouachita Trail 01: Talimena S.P. to Potato Hill Vista (0.0 to 2.4)

Ouachita Trail 01: Talimena S.P. to Potato Hill Vista (0.0 to 2.4) photo
South-facing view from the Potato Hill Vista on the Talimena Scenic Drive (Highway 1)

This is where the Ouachita Trail starts. This vigorous 2.4-mile Section 1 segment goes from the western trailhead at Talimena State Park (LeFlore County, Oklahoma) to the spur for the Potato Hill Vista. It is mostly on Winding Stair Mountain.

Ouachita Trail 01: Talimena S.P. to Potato Hill Vista (0.0 to 2.4) photo
Hillside a little ways up from the Military Road Trail junction.

The 223-mile Ouachita Trail is the longest long-distance trail in this region. It runs from Talimena State Park all the way to Pinnacle Mountain State Park in Pulaski County, Arkansas. The majority of it is in the Ouachita National Forest. Continue reading Ouachita Trail 01: Talimena S.P. to Potato Hill Vista (0.0 to 2.4)

Redding Loop/Spy Rock Trail Pics (Ozark Forest)

Redding Loop/Spy Rock Trail Pics (Ozark Forest) photo
View from Spy Rock

The hike from Redding Campground to Spy Rock (Ozark National Forest, northeast Franklin County) is a great day hike.

It is vigorous one with a distance of 8.2 miles and a net elevation change of about 900 feet. But it’s quite scenic, featuring awesome views from Spy Rock, some nice views of Bowden Hollow from the west side of the Redding Loop, and two seasonal waterfalls on the east side.

Redding Loop/Spy Rock Trail Pics (Ozark Forest) photo
Redding Loop, west side, Ozark National Forest

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