LOViT Is An IMBA Epic Model Trail

On August 21, 2014, the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) awarded the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail – the “LOViT” – its prestigious Epic Model Trail designation. There are currently only forty trails worldwide with this designation, and Arkansas has four of these trails.

IMBA Regional Director Steve Schneider presents the IMBA EPIC Model Trail plaque to Traildog Jerry Shields during the October 28, 2014, LOViT Dedication Ceremony at the Avery Recreation Area below Blakely Mountain Dam.

IMBA Regional Director Steve Schneider presents the IMBA EPIC Model Trail plaque to Traildog Jerry Shields during the October 28, 2014, LOViT Dedication Ceremony at the Avery Recreation Area below Blakely Mountain Dam.

According the IMBA web site, an EPIC Model Trail must be a “demanding, single-track adventure in a natural setting”. These EPICs must celebrate true backcountry riding with experiences technically and physically challenging. Their track must consist of at least twenty miles in length, offering amazing opportunities to interact with the natural world.

The LOViT, a ten-year project of a coalition of federal, state, and local agencies, supported by local organizations and individuals led by the volunteer group known as the “Traildogs”, is a forty-five mile multipurpose single-track biking and hiking trail. The trail was built entirely on the US Forest Service-managed lands of the Ouachita National Forest and the US Corps of Engineers lands surrounding Arkansas’ Lake Ouachita.

IMBA plaque designating the LOViT as an Epic Trail, presented to Gloria Chrismer of the US Forest Service on Dec 31, 2014. The plaque is hanging in the Womble Visitor Center above the trail brochure rack.

IMBA plaque designating the LOViT as an Epic Trail, presented to Gloria Chrismer of the US Forest Service on Dec 31, 2014. The plaque is hanging in the Womble Visitor Center above the trail brochure rack.

The Traildogs’ vision was to build a challenge/reward trail connecting all the existing Corps of Engineers and U.S. Forest Service Recreation Areas, in addition to the private resorts, along the southern shore of Lake Ouachita, located in Montgomery and Garland counties.

Following the Lake’s southern shoreline, the Trail courses through deep, verdant valleys awash in wild flowers and old growth trees. There are several old homestead sites and other historical ruins along the Trail to enhance the wilderness experience.

The LOViT is a challenge/reward trail. Hikers and Bikers are challenged as the trail climbs from the deep valleys to the rocky ridgelines of five different mountains. These challenges reward users with sweeping views of beautiful Lake Ouachita and the surrounding valleys of the Ouachita National Forest.

This well-designed and constructed trail has twelve trailheads and a number of trailhead parking areas, providing easy access for all levels of users.

The Lake Ouachita Vista Trail Traildog Volunteers provide ongoing trail maintenance to ensure the LOViT is the finest EPIC Trail in Arkansas.