Comments from Stacy Sigman, Oct. 16, 2018: Good afternoon. On behalf of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mississippi Valley Division, Vicksburg District, I would like to thank everyone for coming to this special awards ceremony. Specifically, I would like to thank Greg Miller, Chairman for the Corps Foundation, for traveling all this way to present the ENDURING SERVICE VOLUNTEER AWARD. For those you who do not know Jerry Shields, I would like share of few words. Jerry had a 35 year career with AT&T. He started out as grade-one machine operator on the factory floor. He attended night classes for 9 years in order to attain his Bachelor of Science Degree. Ten years later, Jerry spent three years in night classes, achieving his Masters. Five years later he was chosen to pursue his Doctorate in International Business and then promoted to Vice President of Asia Pacific contracting based Hong Kong. As … 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!!!.
One of the highlights of the Christmas season this year was an event atop Hickory Nut Mountain a few days before Christmas. Over two hundred people crowded the parking area of the old vista area to witness the release of a rehabilitated bald eagle back into the wild. It was a stirring site to see this magnificent bird that had been struck by a vehicle almost a year ago suddenly leap into the air with a mighty push of its now repaired wigs and soar down the slopes of the mountain to the lake surface almost a 1000 feet below. It was heartening to see so many people on the vista all gathered to wish the old eagle well and to drink in the beauty of the view on a sparklingly clear day. There were so many vehicles the large parking lot could not accommodate the crowd, forcing latecomers to … Click to read the full article
Hittin’ The Trails “Guided Hikes” (First Published in the Montgomery County News, April 1, 2018) Fifteen years ago, the idea of a hiking and biking trail along the southern shore of Lake Ouachita was born. Support from both land mangers of the proposed route – the US forest Service and the US Army Corps of Engineers – was sought and received by a small band of local trail enthusiasts who later became the Traildog Volunteers. A plan was developed to construct a trail from the Denby Bay area of the lake to the Blakely Mountain Dam Avery Recreation Area forty-five miles to the east. The US Forest Service agreed to take the lead in the training of volunteers in trail design, construction and long term maintenance. Some ten years later and over a million dollars of grants, in-kind labor and donations, the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail, or as it known … Click to read the full article
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
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 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 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
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
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
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