A Recon Hike Along Section 4 – Jan. 8, 2016

Four Traildogs – Al, Mike, John, and Dan – met  Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, to set two posts for future directional signs where the LOViT crosses Hickory Nut Mountain Road, and then to hike Section 4 east to the trailhead for Section 5 at USFS Road 47A. The goal of the hike was “recon” – to evaluate the shape of the trail segment for any problems that need to be added to the winter maintenance schedule. After placing the posts, the recon hike was mostly uneventful, which is a Good Thing!  We were able to move three fallen trees off the trail, two of which needed a little prodding from a small hand saw.  Also, we noted a couple of areas that are in need of water bars in order to deflect rainwater off the trail to prevent erosion. And, no recon hike is complete without carrying loppers and shears … Click to read the full article

New Directional Signs Along Section 5 – January 4, 2016

It is winter and time to hit the Trail for a number of maintenance projects that are never fun during the heat of summer, so today, five Traildogs met at the trailhead at USFS Road 47A to place a number of new directional signs along LOViT’s Section 5 from FS47A east to Pipe Spring. This section of the LOViT both crisscrosses USFS 47, which runs between Hickory Nut Mountain Road to the west and Crystal Springs Road to the east, and also follows along USFS 47 at times before sinking back into the Ouachita National Forest.  It’s easy to miss a turn. Overall, the day was beautiful, and, for the most part, the digging was not too difficult, although we did have to relocate a couple of times due to hitting a shelf of shale.  Once a hole was dug, a post was set in concrete, leveled, and then the signs were … Click to read the full article

Trail Maintenance by the Diamond Lakes Master Naturalists – Dec. 19, 2015

A team of hardy Diamond Lakes Master Naturalist trail workers met at Spillway Landing recently to work on one segment of the LOVIT Trail. The team restored 10 cross draining structures needed to eliminate erosion due to the scouring of the trail. The Master Naturalists adopted this 7 mile section of trail as part of their volunteer work in the Diamond Lakes area. The group also worked on the finish grading of a new spur trail tying the LOVIT Trail into the Spillway parking area.  Those seeking an easy 2 mile hike should consider parking at this location and hiking down to the Avery Park trail terminus. … Click to read the full article

2015 LOViT Marathon Is In The Books …

The 2015 LOViT Marathon was run December 5, and by all accounts, it was a successful event. Your LOViT Traildogs supported the event by working at aid stations at both the Joplin and Hickory Nut Mountain Trailheads. Click on the image below to view photographs of the runners who made it to the top of Hickory Nut Mountain, the turnaround point for this out-and-back marathon. Here are the race results:  http://runarkansas.com/results/LOViT2015.htm.  Also, a slide show with many more photos can be found here:  http://runarkansas.com/slideshow/LOViT26_2015/slideshow.php.  Finally, here’s the LOViT Marathon Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LOViTmarathon/. What a great bunch of participants we enjoyed at this aid station.  Great people, great event! … Click to read the full article

2015 LOViT Marathon Scheduled for Dec. 5, 2015

The annual LOViT Marathon, a 26+ mile out-and-back course on the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail (“LOViT”), is scheduled for December 5, 2015. Registration and additional information for this Ultra Trail Series race can be found on the website of the Arkansas Ultra Running Association:  http://runarkansas.com/LoVitTrailMarathon.htm. By registering for the race, it helps the race management and volunteers to put on a better and safer run for everyone, and it helps Phil and Bonnie Carr, who put on this annual event, when you register online via the above link, although registration is also accepted via “snail mail”. You can keep abreast of current announcements and other race information through The LOViT Marathon Facebook page (and we hope you “Like” us there!). A bit more information about previous LOViT Marathon events on the Trail can be found by entering “Marathon” in the search box on the right side of this page. The … Click to read the full article

Bench Plaques for Jeff Smith and Tommy Sue Marsh – July 15, 2015

Traildogs Al Gathright and Jerry Shields hit the trail today to do some trimming and to install two plaques on sponsored benches.  We drove to the Brady Mountain Trailhead parking area for the 3/4 mile hike into the first bench, located on the banks of the small creek the Trail crosses. This bench was purchased by the Traildogs to be sponsored for Jeff Smith of the Hot Springs Sentinel Record, who was tragically killed in a car accident. Jeff had followed the development of the LOViT from the first day of construction until his untimely death. He wrote hundreds of articles about the Trail’s development and was instrumental in bringing the Trail’s existence into the public eye. We installed a brass plaque in honor of Jeff’s support. The location is a beautiful, secluded location and has a very nice view of the creek and the small waterfall just upstream from … Click to read the full article

Two New Bench Plaques on LOViT’s Elevated Walkway – July 8, 2015

On Wednesday, July 8, Traildogs Jerry Shields and Al Gathright placed two plaques on adjacent benches along LOViT’s elevated walkway, part of the Watchable Wildlife Trail Segment. The two bench plaques were donated in honor of Diann Gathright’s dad and her uncle. The benches are side-by-side on the fishing pier part of the raised walkway. It is appropriate to have the brothers together near the lake they loved.  Here’s their story as told by Diann’s sister, Pam Howell: The Boys of the Lake by P.R. Howell If people didn’t know better, they would have sworn they were twins. They looked alike, talked alike, laughed alike, and possessed a kinship beyond being older and younger brother (one of two). They were friends. Their friendship was fostered – as anyone who had the good fortune to hear their boyhood stories – through a series of adventures and misadventures while growing up in … Click to read the full article

Trail Maintenance on Little Bear and Bear Mountain – June 9, 2015

On a very hot Tuesday in June, Traildogs Al, Robert, and Dan took to the woods to clear any downed trees on Little Bear and Bear Mountains following the month of May’s severe storms and continuous rain.  What we found was a trail that was in reasonably good shape but that was quite overgrown with vegetation in areas where the canopy is thin. In all, there were only about 10 trees that needed to be cut off the trail.  However, there are areas where the briars are getting a good foothold and needed to be trimmed back.  We were fortunate to have with us a pair of Stihl weed eaters with scythe attachments that made short work of clearing weeds in several areas. All in all, it was another great day to be on the Trail, despite the hard work and hot weather! … Click to read the full article

New Trail Maps – December 2014

We’re happy to announce that there is a set of new Trail maps available for download. You can find these links at the bottom of The Big Picture page. Files are in PDF format and include a single PDF document containing the LOViT East and LOViT West maps, along with a set of segment maps. All maps are relatively high resolution and could be printed on up to 11″x17″ paper. We know of a few changes we need to make, and there are a couple of benches missing from the segment maps, but if you find anything we should know about, please drop us an email or contact us through our Facebook page. Have fun, and be safe on the Trail. … Click to read the full article

Trail Maintenance on Hickory Nut Mountain – Nov. 8, 2014

Saturday November 8th was a perfect fall day on Hickory Nut Mountain as six Traildogs met at the Trailhead for some trail maintenance. We had four certified sawyers, myself, Jay Marsh, Dan Watson, and Al Gathright, along with Chuck Dumas with his trusty weed trimmer, and Mike Curran with his historic one man four foot hand saw. Our first order of business was to install the new trailhead sign furnished by the US Forest Service. It took a bit of digging in the stone-infested ground, but we finally concreted in the 6 X 6 post and sign just to the left of the Trailhead map sign. We also cleared all the downed trees and limb debris from the campground located adjacent to the Trailhead. There were two overnight campers in the campground, but the tents’ inhabitants were out taking advantage of the perfect fall weather to enjoy the Trail . … Click to read the full article