Shane Scott, Matt Williams, Ron Mayfield, and Robert Cavanaugh put up a new directional trail sign at the second boulder crossing east of Crystal Springs Road this morning. We came back toward Shangri-La Road and removed the three fallen trees from the LOVIT between Sunset Vista and Homestead. Lots of carrying tools, concrete, chainsaws etc. We enjoyed a nice morning on the trail with good friends. We finished up with pie at Shangri-La. (Article stolen from Robert’s Facebook page!) Robert, Ron, and Matt suggesting which way the new directional signs should point to help folks stay on the Trail!Robert and Shane display the fine art of post hole digging!Matt’s t-shirt tells the story: “Mystic Creatures at work on the LOViT”Boulder Crossing is always a tricky part of the trip.“How do you work this thing?” … Click to read the full article
BE AWARE OF HUNTING ON THE TRAIL!
The Lake Ouachita Vista Trail traverses U.S. Forest lands that have long been popular hunting grounds in all seasons. All Trail users should be aware of these activities and not wear clothing that could be mistaken for wildlife. Bright colors and hunter orange eliminate most instances of mistaken identity.
BE AWARE IT'S HUNTING SEASON - WEAR ORANGE ON THE TRAIL!
We would like to remind everyone that modern gun deer season opens on November 9, 2019, and continues through December 1 in the Ouachita National Forest along the LOViT. Dogs are allowed to be used hunting for deer during this time. A second modern gun season is December 26-28. Note also these deer hunting dates: Archery - Sept. 28, 2019, through Feb. 29, 2020; Muzzleloader - Oct. 19-27 and Dec. 14-16; Youth modern gun hunt - Nov. 2-3, 2019, and Jan. 4-5, 2020. Be especially careful and be sure to wear orange if you decide to hike or bike on the Trail during these times. We don't want anyone to get hurt or to cause conflicts between Trail users and hunters.
PLEASE visit the following link for more information regarding hunting seasons in Arkansas https://www.agfc.com/en/hunting/ Be safe out there!!!.
On May 4, 2019, over thirty friends, family, colleagues and trail enthusiasts gathered at the elevated Watchable Wildlife walkway section of the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail (LOViT) to celebrate Tom Ferguson’s life and long career. Tom was an outdoorsman’s outdoorsman. He enjoyed opening the beauties of nature to any and all that could keep up with his long stride in his many forays into the wilds of nature. Tom was known throughout the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) as a man who enjoyed the complexities of nature and its impact on those who enjoyed the adventure of a hike through an untamed forest. He was part of the first teams to explore the possible creation of what is now known as the LOViT Trail. Tom along with other USFS trails professionals scouted the Ouachita Mountains bordering the southern shore of Lake Ouachita searching for the best possible route. Tom seemed to always … Click to read the full article
A handful of Traildogs showed up today to add three new benches on the Elevated Walkway section of the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail. No matter how big or small the effort, it’s always a fun day filled with many laughs. Al and Jerry were out two days ago measuring the existing benches so that the materials for the new benches could be gathered. Dan, Ron, Robert, and Matt enjoying a break to devour chocolate pie from Diann Gathright via Al. Yum! How many ‘Dogs does it take to cut a 2×6? Today’s crew posing with tools, hoping to convince our readers that we actually know what we’re doing! Thanks Al, Dan, Robert, Ron, Matt, and Jerry!!! Another fun day working on the LOViT. … Click to read the full article
Comments from Stacy Sigman, Oct. 16, 2018: Good afternoon. On behalf of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mississippi Valley Division, Vicksburg District, I would like to thank everyone for coming to this special awards ceremony. Specifically, I would like to thank Greg Miller, Chairman for the Corps Foundation, for traveling all this way to present the ENDURING SERVICE VOLUNTEER AWARD. For those you who do not know Jerry Shields, I would like share of few words. Jerry Shields with Stacy Sigman of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jerry had a 35 year career with AT&T. He started out as grade-one machine operator on the factory floor. He attended night classes for 9 years in order to attain his Bachelor of Science Degree. Ten years later, Jerry spent three years in night classes, achieving his Masters. Five years later he was chosen to pursue his Doctorate in International Business and then … Click to read the full article
Local Traildog volunteers gathered near Denby Bay of Lake Ouachita the week of January 14, 2019, to repair the planking on the trail bridge over the Gap Creek part of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990) Watchable Wildlife handicap accessible portion of the 45-mile-long LOViT trail system. The Gap Creek Bridge was originally constructed by a trail coalition team in 2010, lead by the US Corps of Engineers, and supported by the Traildog volunteers, with funding through a grant from the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission. The thirty-foot-long pedestrian bridge is a low maintenance structure made of structural fiber and wooden planking. It rises almost twenty feet above the creek bed and is above the Lake Ouachita’s high water mark. During the construction stage, the Corps of Engineers constructed a temporary road from the Old Highway 270 road, known locally as “Blow out Bridge Road,” to the construction … Click to read the full article
One of the highlights of the Christmas season this year was an event atop Hickory Nut Mountain a few days before Christmas. Over two hundred people crowded the parking area of the old vista area to witness the release of a rehabilitated bald eagle back into the wild. It was a stirring site to see this magnificent bird that had been struck by a vehicle almost a year ago suddenly leap into the air with a mighty push of its now repaired wigs and soar down the slopes of the mountain to the lake surface almost a 1000 feet below. It was heartening to see so many people on the vista all gathered to wish the old eagle well and to drink in the beauty of the view on a sparklingly clear day. There were so many vehicles the large parking lot could not accommodate the crowd, forcing latecomers to … Click to read the full article
Hittin’ The Trails “Guided Hikes” (First Published in the Montgomery County News, April 1, 2018) Fifteen years ago, the idea of a hiking and biking trail along the southern shore of Lake Ouachita was born. Support from both land mangers of the proposed route – the US forest Service and the US Army Corps of Engineers – was sought and received by a small band of local trail enthusiasts who later became the Traildog Volunteers. A plan was developed to construct a trail from the Denby Bay area of the lake to the Blakely Mountain Dam Avery Recreation Area forty-five miles to the east. The US Forest Service agreed to take the lead in the training of volunteers in trail design, construction and long term maintenance. Some ten years later and over a million dollars of grants, in-kind labor and donations, the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail, or as it known … Click to read the full article
Yesterday, a team of Traildogs attacked the perennially soggy approach to “Traildog Bridge” on LOViT’s Section 1, not too far from the Tompkins Bend Pavilion and Trailhead. We had a good and enthusiastic team that included better-late-than-never help from a US Army Corps of Engineers bobcat and its driver, which we appreciated, along with the USACE-donated pavers and gravel. The new approach got a good test immediately as the rains came with a vengeance as the last load of gravel was spread and our tools were gathered. There was insult to injury, as the storm knocked out power in the area, so rather than a Shangri-La lunch, some of the soggy Traildogs had to settle for pie!!! It was a good day on the Trail! … Click to read the full article
May is National Bike Month, sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling — and encourage more folks to giving biking a try. Here in Montgomery County, Arkansas, three of our trails have been designated by the International Mountain Bicycling Association as IMBA EPICS: the Womble, the Lake Ouachita Vista (LOViT), and the Ouachita National Recreation Trail. Join us this Friday, May 26th, from Noon – 4:00 pm, at Tompkins Bend Recreation Area & Campground (15 Tompkins Bend, Mount Ida, AR 71957) for our National Bike Month Event, “Tires on the Trail”. Dust off your bikes and come put your tires on the LOViT Trail! Learn basic bike maintenance, repair, and safety tips and signup for a guided mini-ride on the LOViT Trail. BYOB – Bring Your … Click to read the full article
Traildogs Ron Mayfield and Robert Cavanaugh put up 13 trail signs where the trail comes down Hickory Nut Mountain and along the intersections of the LOVIT and FS 47. Six of the signs were placed on Hickory Nut Mountain. Four of these were on two posts where the trail comes down to Hickory Nut Mountain Road (FS Road 50) from the trailhead, and two were placed on a post near the kiosk/trailhead. Another was placed at the intersection of FS 47A and FS 47. Four went on bare posts previously placed along FS 47, and one replaced an arrow that was missing. We put one more near the old pavilion near Crystal Springs. This should help hikers and bikers stay on the trail. Robert and Ron also cut 10 or 11 trees off of the short section between the Gap Creek Bridge and Hwy 270. This area had not been … Click to read the full article