It’s hunting season in Arkansas, and because the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail is primarily located in the Ouachita National Forest, you must be aware of the potential for hunters to be on or near the Trail. Here are the “Hunter Orange Requirements” as published by the International Hunter Education Association: Arkansas (A) It is unlawful to hunt wildlife, or to accompany or assist anyone in hunting wildlife, in zones open to firearm deer, bear, or elk seasons, without wearing an outer garment, above the waistline, of daylight fluorescent blaze orange (Hunter Orange) within the color range of 595-605 nanometers or flouorescent chartreuse color range of 555nm – 565nm (Hunter Safety Green) totaling at least 400 square inches, and a hunter orange or hunter safety green head hat must be visibly worn on the head. (B) Florescent blaze orange (Hunter Orange)or florescent chartreuse (Hunter Safety Green) totaling at least 144 square … 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 Tuesday, June 4, the Traildogs hosted a film crew representing the Arkansas Parks & Tourism Commission for a visit to the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail (LOViT). The Womble Office of the USFS and local Traildogs Al Gathright and Jerry Shields provided logistical support to the seven person crew, leading them up onto Bear Mountain. The crew was lead by Director Chris Cranford, supported by Lyle Arnett and Gary Jones. Chuck Haralson served as the still photographer. Parks & Tourism travel writer Zoie Clift and actors Ben Stone & Alyssa Journey provided the biking and hiking action shots. The new Traildog Vista is located about six trail miles east of the Crystal Springs Recreation Area on Lake Ouachita. This new vista is located at the highest point of the trail as it traverses the north slope of Bear Mountain. The slope of the mountain drops sharply away from the rock outcropping that … Click to read the full article
Sunday was another stunningly beautiful spring day for a hike on the LOViT. This was our second Master Gardener’s Calendar Hike to develop a bank of trail photos to use on next years Master Gardener Calendar. We had six eager hikers, three master Gardeners and three Traildogs participate, lead by Traildog & Master Gardener Jerry Shields, and with strong support from canine leader Winnie. We departed the Crystal Springs Road Trailhead parking area at 2:00 pm with six hikers and our feisty canine guide. We managed to cross both creeks on the boulder bridges without anyone taking an unplanned bath. The Traildogs created these boulder crossings in lieu of building high maintenance bridges. The spring bloom had caught it’s stride, and we were treated to a show of Nature’s floral designs at every turn of the trail. The wild Verbena was still strutting its stuff, but now the elusive Fire … Click to read the full article
A big thanks to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Team for the great new Trailhead parking area on Crystal Springs Road. This much needed new parking area eliminates one of the two most dangerous Trail crossings. Due to the narrowness of the roads, both Crystal Springs Road and Brady Mountain Road were areas of saftey concern for users. With this recently-completed parking area on Crystal Springs Road, only the planned parking area at Brady Mountain Road remains to be resolved. The Corps of Engineers laid new tile in the drainage ditch the length of the new lot, which makes entrance and exit easy and safe from both directions. We will soon be constructing a new trailhead sign for this new parking area to support the increasing number of users who are enjoying the ten mile section from Crystal Springs Road to Brady Mountain Road. Stacy and Jason, your efforts … Click to read the full article
Neither Rain, snow, wind, or even sunshine could chase us off the mountain today. Four Traildogs met today at the Brady Mountain Road trail entrance to the Bear Mountain trail segment to install a temporary direction sign designating trail mileage, 10.0 miles, from The Brady Mt. entrance to Crystal Springs Road. Not so surprisingly, we encountered a few rocks digging the post hole but did finally mange to get it installed. We also utilized some of the large stones found at the switchback located in the newly-dubbed “Saddle” of Bear Mountain to create a natural stone bench for users to take a rest from the long uphill climb and enjoy the great view of the valley and lake to the north. This area of the trail is a great example of trail building through a very rocky ridge. The trail weaves very naturally through this boulder-strewn area, and, after all … Click to read the full article
Al Gathright I hiked up on Little Bear Mountain today to install a bench sponsor’s plaque. It was a crisp February day, just perfect for a nice hike. The skies were a sharp blue background for the emerald green hills around the Crystal Springs Bay area. Some early blue wild flowers are already blooming along the edges of the trail with a promise of more to come. We met four hikers who were also enjoying the trail, with one set having hike the entire 11 miles from the Brady Mountain Road entrance to the Crystal Springs trailhead. Unfortunately we observed several ATV’s illegally driving just south of Little Bear Mountain and two more on the south slope of Bear Mountain. There was also evidence that ATV’s have been utilizing the Little Bear Mountain portion of the trail by removing one of the barriers at the bottom of the switchbacks. A … Click to read the full article
We had five seasoned Traildogs join us on the trail today. We were able to finally complete the finish work on the east end of the seventh section; the “seventh section” runs across Bear Mountain from Little Bear Creek on the west to Brady Mountain Road on the east. The work today included armoring the wet crossing at the east end trailhead on Brady Mountain Road and completing the final finish work of cutting roots and raking out the new tread on the final 1/3 mile of the new tread. The east end of the Trail at Brady Mt. Rd. is seeing a great deal of usage as the word spreads about this new section. Parking is becoming a safety issue, with folks trying to find a spot near the trail to leave their vehicles. This road is a very busy road, so all users should especially careful when parking … Click to read the full article
It was a windy day on the mountain as five Traildogs began the final days of finishing work on the mountainous seventh section. We are working just north of the massive tornado blow-down area of May 2011. Tens of thousands of trees were ripped, torn, twisted and destroyed along the northern portion of Brady Mountain Rd. Finding a usable route for the trail was a real challenge, but thanks to the tenacity of U.S. Forest Service personnel, we successfully have threaded the trail between tornado damage and private property. Job well done! The wind today blew in another treat as we working. Suddenly, the air was filled a distant aroma that could only be described as manna from Louisiana, when up the mountain an apparition bearing a foil covered pan of smoking hot Cajun Sausage Bread appeared. Georgia Cavanaugh, Cajun Cook Supreme, brought the Traildog volunteers and the Progressive Trail … Click to read the full article
Today was a day of accomplishments as five Traildog volunteers pushed the trail finishing work over a half a mile west where we joined with the finish work that was completed last month when we were coming in from the west by barge. After a mile and a half hike up the mountain this morning, we set our goal of reaching the point where we ceased operations November 30. A great deal of the tread we were working required only minimal finishing, but there were several extended areas we describe as “gravel pits” that are covered in small to medium stones after the machines finish the new tread. These gravel pits are a pain to finish and require a great deal of fire rake work, followed by root pruning. We did take time to build two rock cairns from some of the moss covered boulders the machine crews had uprooted. … Click to read the full article
We completed another 1/3 of a mile today on Big Bear Mountain, continuing to work our way back to our previous stopping place Nov. 29 when we were coming into the work area from the west. The Progressive Trail Design team has now pushed the trail to within eye-shot of Brady Mountain road. There remains another quarter to a third of a mile before the trail is expected to exit the Forest onto the road, and this last bit of tread will be steep, rocky, and difficult to cut. But, it’s getting there! Today’s work was often in very rocky areas, but toward the end of the day, we broke into an area where the going was relatively easy. The views remain spectacular as we continue to climb, but we will soon be back to “moguls” as we traverse the north side of the mountain just below its summit. Along … Click to read the full article