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!!!.
Traildog Robert Cavanaugh had a great day Wednesday, Oct. 22. Zoie Clift of the Arkansas Parks and Tourism Department asked Robert to lead her and two visitors from Italy on a mountain bike ride on the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail. Carlo is a magazine writer and is working on an article on Arkansas. He is a skier and a mountain biker. His friend, Giuliana, is a road biker. Zoie is a very good rider and is a great friend of the LOViT. We spent the day riding the trail, taking pictures, and then finished it up with a great meal at Shangri-La Resort (and a piece of the best banana crème pie in the known universe). A great ride with some very nice people. Click on the image below to view pictures from their time on the LOViT. Carlo has promised a copy of the article when it’s been published. … Click to read the full article
Lake Ouachita Vista Trail Ribbon Cutting Ceremony The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to officially open the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail (LOViT) has been set for: Date: Tuesday October 28, 1014 Time: 1:00 pm Location: The Avery Recreation Area at the Lake Ouachita’s Blakely Mountain Dam in Garland County. This forty-mile long trail system designed for mountain biking and hiking is the result of ten years of planning, design and construction by a coalition of a dozen local, state and federal organizations. The trail courses along the southern shores of Lake Ouachita over five mountains located in the Ouachita National Forest. The agenda for the ceremony will include remarks by: Colonel John W. Cross, Colonel US Army Corps of Engineers Norman Wagner, Forest Supervisor Ouachita National Forest Joe David Rice, Arkansas Tourism Director Jeff Crow, Deputy Director, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission Steve Schneider, Regional Director, International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) Following … Click to read the full article
A very good friend of the LOViT and of the Traildogs, Jeff Smith, was tragically killed Friday afternoon, Oct. 10, in a head-on collision on Highway 7 north of the town of Bismarck, AR. Jeff Smith was editor of the Special Sections of the Hot Spring Sentinel-Record and has faithfully reported the story of the building of the Trail now for 10 years, writing a great many articles about our progress. Jeff was a dedicated supporter of the Trail. He came to our first day of construction each year without fail, from year one to our last first day this year. From the Hot Springs Sentinel_Record Facebook page: “Jeff Durand Smith, a valued member of The Sentinel-Record family, was killed early Friday evening in a three-vehicle accident on Highway 7 south near Bismarck in Hot Spring County. “Jeff, the special sections editor for The Sentinel-Record, was well known in the community for his reporting of veterans … Click to read the full article
Oct. 15 was a beautiful fall day for completing some work on the Trail prior to the planned October 28 at 1:00 pm Dedication Ceremony. We had six Traildog volunteers today – myself, Robert, Dan, Chuck, John, and Jeremy – all helping install the new Trailhead sign at the Joplin Trailhead parking area. We also cleared brush and weeds around the parking area and also the section of the Trail heading east where we utilize the old road. We also cleared the weeds from the Trail where it crosses Mountain Harbor Road. Finally, we checked out the ADA Trail for downed limbs and debris. It was a good day to be out on the Trail, and it was nice to have Chris Ham and Tom Ledbetter from the USFS join us at the trailhead. Yesterday, Oct. 14, Traildogs Robert and Dan covered Section 7 of the LOViT from Brady Mountain … Click to read the full article
This past week we had six volunteers assist in the installation of the new trailhead signs at the Brady Mountain Trailhead parking area. It was a challenge to get two deep holes dug in the rock-hard clay soil, but we persevered and were able to install the two 6 X 6 treated poles and attached the six different signs required for the site. It is now virtually impossible to miss this parking area as you drive down Brady Mountain Road. We also attempted to construct the short spur from the parking area to the current trail on the east side of the Brady Mountain Road crossing, but it appears we need the assistance of a mini-excavator to complete this task. We did remove all the trash, brush, downed trees, and weeds from this now-usable spur, but a day with a mini-excavator and a few volunteers would create a better spur … Click to read the full article
Wednesday’s weather provided a perfect day to be out on the Trail again. We had five Traildog volunteers gather today at the Brady Mountain Road Trailhead parking area to assist with the installation of two new benches along LOViT’s Section 8, which runs from Brady Mountain Road to its easternmost trailhead at the Avery Recreation Area below Blakely Mountain Dam. Before starting the bench installation, we worked on flagging a spur from the parking area over to the Trail some 100 feet away. There currently is no connector from the Trailhead parking to the Trail; users must hike or bike down the busy Brady Mountain roadway to enter the Trail. Is is our plan to construct this short spur to limit having to utilize the busy roadway. Today, we loaded up the bench frames and slates with their hardware, along with 80 lb. bags of concrete and gallon bottles of … Click to read the full article
Four years of storms and neglect were remedied last Friday when six Traildogs spent the day improving Section 5 of the Trail where it parallels and crisscrosses US Forest Service Road 47 between Crystal Springs Road and Hickory Nut Mountain Road. We worked the part of this section from the FS47A trailhead at the eastern base of Hickory Nut Mountain to Pipe Spring, where the LOViT joins the Charlton Trail leading to the Crystal Springs Campground Pavilion. We sought to improve access and signage at each entrance and exit point along the road. We started at the intersection of FS47 and FS47A, where we installed an assurance directional sign post. The post directs users to follow FS47A 1/4 of mile north to where the Trail turns left and proceeds west to the summit of Hickory Nut Mountain. We also installed a new sign at the FS47A trailhead. We cleared all … Click to read the full article
On Tuesday, May 6, the Traildogs returned to the Trail, this time to install a trail bench along the ADA section of the Trail. We had four Traildogs helping install the bench at the junction where the ADA branches off the loop toward the elevated Trail.Click to read the full article
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