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
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!!!.
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
On Saturday, March 8th, eleven volunteers from a Little Rock Boy Scout Troop led by Eagle Candidate Rhett Gill joined three of the Traildog volunteers – Robert Cavanaugh, Al Gathright and myself – on the LOViT to install two new Trailhead Signs that Rhett had designed, planned and led the construction of for installation on the Trail. Rhett and I had planned this day of installation over a month ago, and, amazingly, it was a perfect day to be out on the Trail. The Scouts and their leaders arrived at the Crystal Springs Trailhead by caravan at 9:00 am from Little Rock with a 16-foot trailer holding two beautifully constructed trailhead signs. There were six scouts and five of their support leadership, all ready for a LOViT experience. We drove from Crystal Springs west on USFS RD 47 to the Pipe Spring intersection of the LOViT and Charlton trails where … 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
Cool but sunny weather greeted us today on the Trail. Overnight a light shower settled the dust of our construction making work on the trail a bit easier today. We are currently working our way up the west flank of Brady Mountain and are about a half a mile from the summit and those huge rock outcroppings. We are now just reaching the north face of the mountain where today the north wind coming up the mountain from the lake had a sharp edge to it. As when we were on the south side, the cool 39 degree temperature was softened by a Blue Bird sky and a warm February sun. We call this a good day to find a sunny spot with a downed tree trunk to soak up the sun while we enjoy our trail lunch. Mike Wade, a ranger from the Corps of Engineers, who is installing … Click to read the full article
A Nice day to be on the trail today as four Traildogs pushed the finish work to the 1.5 mile mark. The rolling, twisting terrain of this section will be a good change of pace for those hiking or riding east off the challenging Bear Mountain section. The Machine team is approaching the halfway mark of this dig and are moving through the rocky area near the peak of the mountain where the large rock outcroppings are located. This unique scenic area is where plan to install a bench and interpretive sign once we have completed construction. We began using the FS’ WO04 road as our access to the work area. Directions to this road are: Take Brady Mt Road 4.9 miles from the US 270-W turnoff. At the 4 mile mark, you will be at the trailhead parking area. Continue .3 miles north, where you will pass a dirt … Click to read the full article
One of our rare Saturday workdays produced a great team. We had seven Arkansas Wildlife students from Arkansas Tech in Russellville join seven traildogs working the finishing step in the construction of the final leg of the trail. It was a perfect day to be on the trail with temps in the low 70’s and a crystal clear sky. Were able to complete 8/10’s of a mile of finish work, which brought us up close to the trailing machine of the three machine crew from Progressive Trail Design. We owe another deep word of thanks to Wayne Shewmake of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation for recruiting another fine group of young adults to help on the trail. We appreciate their driving down from Russellville for a day of raking and cutting. A special word of thanks to Ricky Lee and his Subway crew for preparing and donating the trail lunch for … Click to read the full article