Mount Ida’s “Tires on the Trail” Event – May 26, 2017

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

New Directional Signs and Gap Creek Cleanup – Feb. 12, 2017

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

New Water Bars Along Section 1 – Feb. 1, 2017

Today, four Traildogs (Al Gathright, Robert Cavanaugh, Ron Mayfield, and Dan Watson) attacked drainage problems along the Trail in a couple of areas along Section 1 between Denby Bay and Tompkins Bend. The first location was near the “Pine Plantation” area, a bit west of Shangri La Road.  After working on a new water bar here, we followed the trail back to the Sunset Vista spur (34°33’12” N 93°28’46” W) to enjoy that beautiful location for a while and to clean up debris along the trail. The second location was above the two bridges just west of “The Dip” along Shangri La Road.  Three new water bars were installed along the very steep slope a bit south of the bridges (34°33’13” N 93°28’6″ W). It was a beautiful and balmy day for the first of February – a great day to be on the LOViT!!  Finishing a little after noon, we … Click to read the full article

A New Bench On LOViT’s Section 5 – Jan. 23, 2017

Today, a number of Traildogs installed a new bench along the Trail’s 5th section between USFS Road 47A and Pipe Spring.   The bench, sponsored by Mike Hardage to honor Wanda Hardage, sits about 30 yards off the trail and overlooks a beautiful beach along Walnut Creek a bit south of where it dumps into the cove occupied by the Crystal Springs Marina. … Click to read the full article

A Cold and Rainy LOViT Marathon – Dec. 4, 2016

Yesterday, a handful of Traildogs joined with Phillip Carr and Shangri La’s Carr family to help with the annual LOViT Marathon, an out-and-back race traditionally held on the first Saturday in December. The race starts at the LOViT’s ADA Pavilion just off Shangri La Road and follows the Trail 14.1 miles to the turnaround at the Hickory Nut Mountain Trailhead. Phil had expected a record turnout, but the bleak and rainy December morning brought out 76 or so runners for the event, some running the full marathon, while others ran a ½ marathon, catching a shuttle back to the start/stop line from Hickory Nut Mountain. Despite the weather, this is always a great event. … Click to read the full article

The LOViT Is Now Clear and Open – Sept. 8, 2016

The clean up of downed trees from the severe windstorm of last July was completed yesterday. Many thanks to a few Traildogs, especially Robert Cavanaugh and Ron Mayfield, and to our good friends on the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) Trail Crew.  Over the past couple of months, we cut well over 100 downed trees off of the Trail.  Much of the saga can be read about on the LOViT Facebook Page. The entire LOViT is now open for hiking and biking. Fall is a great time to enjoy the trail. … Click to read the full article

Help Protect the LOViT – A Call To Action

Help Protect The LOViT By Making Your Voice Heard The LOViT Traildogs, Friends of Lake Ouachita, and the Lake Ouachita Citizens Focus Committee are seeking user support from all those who hike, bike, or just generally love the LOViT. The United States Forest Service has published an announcement of a proposed “Resource Management Project” (see the link below) that would likely damage the canopy, the tread, and the aesthetic beauty of the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail. We urge each of you read the proposal letter and provide your input to the Womble District Ranger, Shalonda Guy.  Public input is a key element in the planning and execution of all Forest Service proposed projects. In addition to the Project document from the USFS and their map describing the areas in which the proposed burn and timber harvest would take place, we have also attached a sample of letters already submitted regarding the viability of this proposed resource … Click to read the full article

Traildog Outing with Workers from IMBA and the Texas Conservation Corps – June 8, 2016

This afternoon, led by Al Gathright, 6 Traildogs (yes, spouses are Traildogs too!!!) hosted trail workers from the International Mountain Biking Association and the Texas Conservation Corps to a hamburger and brat supper at the new Friends of Lake Ouachita-sponsored pavilion at the entrance to the Tompkins Bend Campground, followed by a short tour of Lake Ouachita. We all tremendously appreciate the work these teams are doing along the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail – THANK YOU ALL!!! … Click to read the full article

A Great Blog Post of a LOViT End-to-End Adventure

Yesterday, the Traildogs received a very nice note via Facebook from Mara Kuhn, who with her brother Jacob, enjoyed an end-to-end trek of the LOViT from March 22 to March 25, 2015. Mara writes, “Hello! Thank you for such a wonderful trail! Last year my brother and I hiked the LOViT end-to-end, minus the spur trails. I have a blog and wrote about our hike. I was wondering if you would like to share my post with your followers?” We sure would like to share Mara and Jacob’s adventure with you all!  Here’s the link:  http://www.rightkindoflost.com/gotta-lovit-the-lake-ouachita-vista-trail/. It’s a good story with some beautiful photos of the LOViT.  We hope you enjoy it. … Click to read the full article

Controlled Burn Notice – March 6, 2016

Apologies for the late notice, but we’ve just been informed by Forestry that there will be a controlled burn from the area along Walnut Creek near the Charleton Campground back toward the Crystal Springs area. The burn is expected to be set at around 3 pm today, March 6, 2016. If you were planning to be on the LOViT in the area from Forest Service Road 47A to Crystal Springs Road today or in the next couple of days, you will want to be aware of this activity. The Forest Service will be placing signs in the area today to make folks aware of this upcoming controlled burn. … Click to read the full article