New Directional Signs and Gap Creek Cleanup – Feb. 12, 2017

Traildogs Ron Mayfield and Robert Cavanaugh put up 13 trail signs where the trail comes down Hickory Nut Mountain and along the intersections of the LOVIT and FS 47. Six of the signs were placed on Hickory Nut Mountain.  Four of these were on  two posts where the trail comes down to Hickory Nut Mountain Road (FS Road 50) from the trailhead, and two were placed on a post near the kiosk/trailhead.  Another was placed at the intersection of FS 47A and FS 47.  Four went on bare posts previously placed along FS 47, and one replaced an arrow that was missing.   We put one more near the old pavilion near Crystal Springs. This should help hikers and bikers stay on the trail. Robert and Ron also cut 10 or 11 trees off of the short section between the Gap Creek Bridge and Hwy 270. This area had not been … Click to read the full article

New Water Bars Along Section 1 – Feb. 1, 2017

Today, four Traildogs (Al Gathright, Robert Cavanaugh, Ron Mayfield, and Dan Watson) attacked drainage problems along the Trail in a couple of areas along Section 1 between Denby Bay and Tompkins Bend. The first location was near the “Pine Plantation” area, a bit west of Shangri La Road.  After working on a new water bar here, we followed the trail back to the Sunset Vista spur (34°33’12” N 93°28’46” W) to enjoy that beautiful location for a while and to clean up debris along the trail. The second location was above the two bridges just west of “The Dip” along Shangri La Road.  Three new water bars were installed along the very steep slope a bit south of the bridges (34°33’13” N 93°28’6″ W). It was a beautiful and balmy day for the first of February – a great day to be on the LOViT!!  Finishing a little after noon, we … Click to read the full article

The LOViT Is Now Clear and Open – Sept. 8, 2016

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

Trail Improvements on Little Bear Mountain – Feb. 24, 2013

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

Clearing Storm Damage on Section 4 – Jan. 11, 2013

Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, we had five Traildogs working the storm cleanup on Section Four Between the trailhead at Hickory Nut Mountain and Forest Service Road 47A.  It was good to visit this this 3.2 mile section along the southern face of Hickory Nut Mountain again as it is one of the most scenic sections, especially after a rainfall. Hickory Creek that begins on the summit of the mountain was pure eye candy for our team as we cleared downed trees and limbs.  This deep drainage creek creates one waterfall after another as it rushes down the gorge and empties into Lake Ouachita. The area around the artesian spring was highlighted by a set of twin falls just to the north of the spring a sight well worth a hike. We were able to completely clear this section from the Hickory Nut Mt. trailhead to the intersection of U.S. Forest … Click to read the full article

Storm Damage Update – Jan. 8, 2013

Snow storms bedevil trails with broken limbs, fallen trees, and bent down bushes and small trees.  Traildogs have been working to check and clear the entire trail of storm damage. The first section of the trail from Denby Bay to the Tompkins Bend trailhead, including all spurs, has been cleared. This includes clearing the Pine Plantation Road and Bus access roads off Shangri La Rd. The second section from the Tompkins Bend trailhead and the Homestead trailhead to Mountain Harbor Road, including spurs, has been cleared. On Tuesday, Jan. 8, three Traildog volunteers worked the third section of the the trail from the Joplin trailhead to the Hickory Nut Mountain trailhead.  We removed dozens of trees and limbs that were brought down by the heavy snow. This section has weathered quite well except for one short section about a half a mile north of the Joplin trailhead. This uphill section … Click to read the full article

Recent ADA Trail Work

A small group of Traildogs completed the installation of the gravel pavers around the six pieces of exercise equipment at the ADA trailhead on Monday, October 1. The Corps of Engineers had generously provided five additional rolls of the paver material, which was exactly the amount required. As the materials weather and settle, this will provide a very stable surface in and around the equipment and will meet all American Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements at the site. All we need to complete the planned work is installing some field stone on the south side of the equipment to provide a border from the open field. We are seeking a supply of field stone to complete this project. On Thursday, Oct. 11, we had five volunteers assisting with the cleaning and trimming of the ADA handicap accessible section of the Trail.  The trees and bushes that line the outer edge of the … Click to read the full article

Clearing Trees on the Joplin Trail Segment

Traildogs Jerry and Robert went to the Homestead and Joplin Trail Segments today in order to clear a number of trees that had fallen across the trail as part of the cleanup preceding the currently-scheduled December 8, 2012, LOViT Trail Marathon.  Trees were cleared from above the Cascades on up Hickory Nut Mountain. As always, there are more that need to be cleared, but this was a good start. … Click to read the full article

Clearing Trees, and The Dreaded Twig Girdler

The fall weather this morning was perfect as Traildogs Robert Cavanaugh and Jerry Shields cleared a dozen trees from across the trail on section three (Joplin to Hickory Nut Mountain) and on the old fire tower spur on top of Hickory Nut Mountain. Most of these trees required chain sawing to remove the blockage. The storms that passed through this area in late August and early September brought down several dead spars that had blocked the third section from being fully utilized by mountain bikers. The trail was covered in several places along the trail by small limbs that had been pruned from the hickory trees by a tiny beetle known as a “twig girdler” (Oncideres cingulata). The twig girdler chews the small limbs like a beaver, then drills a hole in the pruned limb and lays its eggs in the limb. See the attached photo of their work. Seems … Click to read the full article