Saturday, October 25th, the Ouachita Mountain Hikers had a rally and BBQ at the Avery Recreation Area to celebrate the completion of their six-day hike of the entire Lake Ouachita Vista Trail system. Starting at the ADA Kiosk on Monday Oct 20th, various groups of OMH members hiked sections of the Trail. Eight of the members, including Traildog Chuck Dumas, received special recognition for hiking the entire forty miles of trail. This was a team effort of the Ouachita Mountain Hikers organization, with some members hiking, some shuttling, and some organizing the Rally and BBQ. The Ouachita Mountain Hikers invited the LOViT Traildogs to join in the hikes and to join them in their celebration rally and BBQ. Pam Harrison served as head chef and food organizer, and it was indeed a feast! Three of our Traildogs – myself, Robert Cavanaugh and Chuck Dumas – were present at the rally … 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!!!.
With the final 700 feet or so of Section 8 of the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail (LOViT) completed, we mark today as the day on which the original plan for the Trail has been fulfilled! Twelve years ago, Jerry Shields and Al Gathright began an effort to create a hiking and biking trail along the southern shore of Lake Ouachita with the intent not only to provide a terrific experience for those who enjoy this beautiful part of the country in which we live, but also to provide an additional tourist attraction to the area that would help bring “shoulder season” traffic to the resorts, restaurants, crystal shops, and other businesses in our area. Their goal has been realized with today’s completion of the LOViT as the Traildogs groomed the final stretch that emerged at the Trail’s easternmost trailhead near the Avery recreation area below Blakely Mountain Dam. A great … Click to read the full article
A warm and humid day on the Trail today, but it didn’t slow down the seasoned Traildogs as we pushed the finish work further down the south flank of Blakely Mountain. We completed finish work on the old tramway roadbed and down across the spring-fed creek at the bottom of the mountain. We spent a couple of hours armoring the very wet and muddy crossing of the creek as we began our approach up to the Corps’ security gate at the intersection of Rick’s Road and Blakely Dam Road. We visited with the Progressive Trail Design Crew, who assured us they would complete the machine finish work to the Avery Recreation Area today. We are scheduling our next and hopefully final workdays next week. We are planning three scheduled workdays: Monday April 7th, Wednesday April 9, Friday April 11th, and, if necessary, Saturday, April 12th. Once we determine our final … Click to read the full article
Spring and pollen are back as we began our descent of Blakely Mountain from the switchbacks leading down from the Blakely Mountain Dam vista site. Without the Trail, very few people have ever seen the view from this vista that overlooks the Dam and the bay leading up to the face of the dam. It is an area of large boulders that nature has taken time to paint with grey lichens and emerald moss. A group of eager Ouachita Mountain Hikers came through our work site this morning, checking out the new trail from the security gate on Rick’s Road over to the Brady Mountain Road Trailhead. We could also see fresh mountain bike tread marks in the freshly turned soil on the trail. Seems everyone is ready to enjoy this new section! We had another crew of experienced trail groomers today, and we pushed the finished tread about halfway … Click to read the full article
The last day of March proved to be a winner for trail diggers. We had a great team of experienced Traildogs meet at the Blakely Mountain section of the trail just east of where the trail crosses Rick’s Road. The Progressive Trail Design (PTD) team had roughed in and machine groomed the trail last week, and it was ready after two sunny days for the final hand grooming that only the Traildogs give to a a trail’s surface. We started the day developing the trail crossing sites on both the west and east sides of Ricks Road by constructing four large rock cairns on each side of the entry points and installing trail user posts on both sides of the road. We then broke into two team working the trail surface and a special effort on the angle of repose to remove all the loose rocks that might later roll … Click to read the full article
Saturday was a day to remember on the Blakely Mountain section of the Trail, with a gang of Little Rock Air Force Base Volunteers joining the Traildogs for a day of finish work on the newly constructed tread progressing east across the rocky southern face of Blakely Mountain. The Progressive Trail Design Machine Crew worked through the boulder strewn slope, with the trailing two machines reaching the Rick’s Road crossing, and the lead Sutter Trail Machine reaching the Dam overlook area. The rain showers that crossed the area Friday night made conditions less than ideal for finish work, but the volunteers persevered and pushed the finish work up to the Rick’s Rd. crossing, catching the two trailing machines by day’s end. The day was highlighted by the addition of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation’s First Cook, Wayne Shewmake, joining the volunteers, and while the trail volunteers were busy with trail work, … Click to read the full article
Another good day on section eight. The Traildogs pushed the trail further along the east slope of Brady Mountain, with grooming now only 1/10 of mile from the Forest Service road that leads down the mountain. While a team of 4 Traildogs (Al, Chuck, John, Mike) pushed down the mountain, Traildogs Robert and Dan started from Brady Mountain Road and painted blazes along the trail, catching up with the rest of the team just in time for lunch! Well planned! The new tread is now marked all the way to where the Trail joins the Forest Service road that comes out on Spillway Road. We will not have a scheduled workday on Wednesday, March 12, but will return to the trail on Thursday at 9:00 am. We will continue to meet at the parking area on Spillway Road. The Progressive Trail Design Team is now pushing the trail east of … Click to read the full article
The Progressive Trail Design machine crew has successfully pushed the segment eight construction over Brady Mountain and down to Spillway Road. Utilizing a number of switchbacks, they have created a nice transition down the east side of the mountain, keeping the slope at a manageable level. We are planning to resume the hand finishing work starting Monday, March 10, at 9:00 am. We are changing our rally point to Spillway Road, where we will park at the Forest Service Road on the left just before you reach the end of the spillway. Directions: take Brady Mountain Road north from US 270 approximately 1.8 miles to a right on Owl Creek Road. Follow Owl Creek Road until it terminates at Blakely Mountain Dam Road. Turn left at the stop sign, and drive to the sign for Spillway Recreation Area. Park in the open area to the left of the road, where … Click to read the full article
Saturday, March 1, we had eleven volunteers, including six enthusiastic volunteers from Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville. Our work is along the northern slope of Brady Mountain, where we are enjoying nice views of the lake in and around the Echo Canyon Resort. We worked through an extremely rocky section just below the large rock formations at the summit of Brady Mountain. In places, there was little or no soil to create a smooth tread. However, with a great deal of hand grooming, we were able to develop a reasonably smooth surface through this very beautiful but rocky stretch. A special thanks to the Airmen for their long trip down to assist us through a difficult section of the new trail. We completed 4/10 of a mile of finish work on the trail, right up to the machine crew’s trailing excavator. The Sutter Trail Machine, which is the … Click to read the full article
Tough day on the trail today. The sky was battleship grey, and a cold wind out of the south pushed us up the mountain to our work site. We had eight Traildog volunteers today, including a new volunteer Brady Auld, who joined us as we worked our way across the north face of Brady Mountain. This section of the trail is growing more rocky by the foot, and in places, there is little or no no soil, just layers of gray rock. As we worked we could hear thunder to the southwest, and within an hour we were working in sleet that beat on our unprotected ears but didn’t slow us down as we completed another 1/4 mile of finished tread today. It is an area of sweeping views to the northwest of the lake and the rolling hills around the bays west of the Brady Mountain Resort. We are … Click to read the full article