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
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 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
Some of the northern states’ misplaced weather has finally passed, and our currently moderate weather is allowing all the Traildogs down with cabin fever to hit the Trail again. Nine Traildogs gathered at the Spillway Recreation Area trail crossing to begin our tenth year of constructing the LOViT trail. It was 25 degrees and sunny as we broke into two teams, one three man team of sawyers to clear the Forest Service Road of storm damage, and a six man team to join the Progressive Trail Design (PTD) dig team on the west end to begin the finish work on this new section. The sawyers team cleared approximately 3/4 of mile of the FS Road, and the finish trail team completed 700 feet of finish work. The PTD machine team is about a 1/3 of mile ahead of the finish team. We welcome two new Traildog volunteers today – John … Click to read the full article
Fellow ‘dogs, It’s construction time again. The current plan is for the Progressive Trail Design dig team to arrive here on Monday, February 10th, depending on the weather. They will be transporting equipment, setting up their machines, and will will begin actual construction on Tuesday the 11th. They will be starting from the west end of the new Section 8 at the new Brady Mountain Road Trailhead parking area, directly across from the current termination point of the trail coming off Bear Mountain. There will be a three-man machine team who will work 5-6 days a week, with a target completion date of the end of March. This year’s PTD on-site leader will be Jon Bryan, who was part of the team last year. We will take a little different approach to working on the trail this year due to the reduced hand finish work required because of PTD construction … Click to read the full article
Fellow Trail Diggers, We are finally ready to begin construction of the Brady Mountain Road to Blakely Dam section of the LOViT. We have signed a construction contract with Progressive Trail Design, Inc. (PTD) to lead the construction effort beginning February 10, 2014. PTD was the construction company we utilized to build the final five miles of the Bear Mountain section of the trail. PTD is a professional trail building contractor with extensive experience building single track multiple use trails. This five-plus mile section has been designed, flagged and approved for construction and will be a great addition to the previous 39 miles of trail. This new section will begin directly east of Brady Mountain Road from the current termination point on the west side of the road. Once we have established our work schedules we will publish the planned workdays and times. Once we have competed this section, we will have completed the planned 45 … Click to read the full article
Trail Cleanup Traildogs are a hardy bunch, even when it is cold. Today, five of the Traildogs cleared 25 downed trees between Crystal Springs Road and Brady Mountain Road. The recent snow and ice storms had taken their toll, and they always either fall across the trail or on the trail. Most of the downed tress were on the north face of Big Bear Mountain. It was a balmy 25 degrees as we set on this ten mile stretch of mountainous trail. Patches of ice and a little snow were still evident on Little Bear Mountain, but big Bear Mountain was another story. As we reached the summit on the north side of the mountain, the trees and shrubs were completely covered in sparkling diamonds. The bright sunlight shining through a forest of ice was a sight to savor. The Trail itself was coated in leaves snow and ice but … Click to read the full article
Friday, May 3rd, the Traildogs received notification of approval for our National Recreational Trails Grant in the amount of $95,000, as requested. This grant will provide 80% of the $95K, or approximately $74,000, needed to complete the final 5.4 mile section of the trail from Brady Mountain Road to the Blakely Mountain Dam. The 20% matching requirement will be covered by in-kind volunteer support and trail donations. This eighth addition to the LOViT, when completed, will extend the Trail to its planned 45 miles of developed mountain biking and hiking trail. Our current plan is to begin construction of this final phase in the late fall of this year. We plan to put construction of this section of the Trail out for bids within the next 60 days. Congratulations to all who have contributed to the eight-year-long effort to develop the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail. JerryClick 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
The Traildog rock layers were at work again today. We had five volunteers assisting installation of the bench and creating the vista overlooking the Iron Creek Cascade at about the halfway point of the third section of the trail. At this spot where Irons Creek flows down from the deep valley between Broken Rock Mountain and Hickory Nut Mountain, the creek drops over five consecutive rock shelves creating a natural stopping place on the trail. This natural cascade offers hikers and bikers a spot to take a break and enjoy the soothing sounds of the creek as it tumbles over the rocks of the Cascades rushing west to empty into Lake Ouachita. Attached are photos of the entrance onto the very short spur over to the bench site, the Bench Site, and the view from the bench. Next week we will be installing two benches on the seventh section … Click to read the full article