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.
The "Traildogs" organization was established in the fall of 2005 as a group of volunteers dedicated to the construction and maintenance of the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail (LOViT). The organization consists of approximately thirty volunteers who provide support to the US Forest Service and Corps of Engineers in the design, planning, and construction of the Vista trail.
There are no meetings to attend and no dues. The Traildogs are notified through email of the planned workdays and join the construction teams as their schedules permit.
initial layout and flagging of each new segment of the trail
assistance in the actual construction of the trail
installing benches and signs along the trail
marking the trail with signs and blazing
ongoing trail maintenance as needed
Traildogs enjoy the new bridge on Segment 1 near the Tompkins Bend Trailhead.
Traildog shirts are awarded to each participant at the completion of each new segment of the trail. A minimum of five work hours are required.
To join the group, please send us your name, address, phone number and email address by
None of your contact information will be shared with anyone else without your permission.
Shane Scott, Matt Williams, Ron Mayfield, and Robert Cavanaugh put up a new directional trail sign at the second boulder crossing east of Crystal Springs Road this morning. We came back toward Shangri-La Road and removed the three fallen trees from the LOVIT between Sunset Vista and Homestead. Lots of carrying tools, concrete, chainsaws etc. We enjoyed a nice morning on the trail with good friends. We finished up with pie at Shangri-La. (Article stolen from Robert’s Facebook page!)
A handful of Traildogs showed up today to add three new benches on the Elevated Walkway section of the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail. No matter how big or small the effort, it’s always a fun day filled with many laughs.
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
Local Traildog volunteers gathered near Denby Bay of Lake Ouachita the week of January 14, 2019, to repair the planking on the trail bridge over the Gap Creek part of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990) Watchable Wildlife handicap accessible portion of the 45-mile-long LOViT trail system. The Gap Creek Bridge was originally constructed by a trail coalition team in 2010, lead by the US Corps of Engineers, and supported by the Traildog volunteers, with funding through a grant from the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission. The thirty-foot-long pedestrian bridge is a low maintenance structure made of structural fiber and wooden planking. It rises almost twenty feet above the creek bed and is above the Lake Ouachita’s high water mark. During the construction stage, the Corps of Engineers constructed a temporary road from the Old Highway 270 road, known locally as “Blow out Bridge Road,” to the construction …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
Yesterday, a team of Traildogs attacked the perennially soggy approach to “Traildog Bridge” on LOViT’s Section 1, not too far from the Tompkins Bend Pavilion and Trailhead. We had a good and enthusiastic team that included better-late-than-never help from a US Army Corps of Engineers bobcat and its driver, which we appreciated, along with the USACE-donated pavers and gravel. The new approach got a good test immediately as the rains came with a vengeance as the last load of gravel was spread and our tools were gathered. There was insult to injury, as the storm knocked out power in the area, so rather than a Shangri-La lunch, some of the soggy Traildogs had to settle for pie!!! It was a good day on the Trail!
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
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
Today, a number of Traildogs installed a new bench along the Trail’s 5th section between USFS Road 47A and Pipe Spring. The bench, sponsored by Mike Hardage to honor Wanda Hardage, sits about 30 yards off the trail and overlooks a beautiful beach along Walnut Creek a bit south of where it dumps into the cove occupied by the Crystal Springs Marina.
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