One perennial mud hole gone from the trail! After celebrating with the Ouachita Mountain Hikers on Saturday, Oct. 25, I met members of the Boy Scout Troop 262 out of Little Rock at the Tompkins Bend Trailhead parking area. Six Scouts, their troop leader, and several parents joined in to assist Bryan Wornock complete his Eagle rank project of building a 12′ foot bridge about a 3/4 mile east of Shangri-La Road. The team started to work around noon and finished at 5:00 pm, with the new bridge completed and ready for use. Bryan utilized the existing design of our other small bridges to construct the bridge over an area know to bikers and the “Slick Spot” where you can easily take a spill if not careful. Hikers refer to the spot as the “Mud Hole”! We really appreciate the Scouts supporting the Trail! They exemplify the best of young … 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!!!.
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
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
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
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