Forest Service Road 47A (FS47A)

Forest Service Road 47A (FS47A)

FS47A Trailhead

The FS47A Trailhead can be found just across the bridge up FS47A from where it meets FS47.

Description:

The Hickory Nut Mountain Trail segment drops sharply down off Hickory Nut Mountain to a takeout at Forest Service Rd. (FS) 47A, a short road that turns north off FS47. A fabulous trail coming down, Hickory Nut is very strenuous going back, and often hikers choose to park a pick-up vehicle at the bottom of the trail; the FS47A trailhead is primarily used for this purpose. The FS47A trail segment itself is really a connector section of 2.2 miles of some scenic interest, and it gets you to the Pipe Spring trailhead where the hike gets more interesting.

This short trail segment crisscrosses FS47 as it moves east to Pipe Spring on a trail that is easy with a few low hills. The trail entrances off FS47 are not always easy to see and, if you choose, you can just walk 1.9 miles east down FS47 to Pipe Spring. Watch for traffic.

Surrounding Area:

There are two very scenic locations along this section, one overlooking a deep valley to the south, and another overlooking a hidden bay of Lake Ouachita to the north.

Length:

2.2 miles (1.9 miles if you just follow FS47 east) to the Pipe Spring trailhead.

Difficulty:

The FS47A/FS47 trail segment is easy to light moderate.

Amenities:

The nearest restroom facility is at the top of Hickory Nut Mountain and the nearest water is at the pipe spring at the Pipe Spring trailhead.

Directions to Trailhead:

Traildogs installing a new directional sign at the junction of FS47 and FS47A (34°32'41" N 93°23'20" W)

Traildogs installing a new directional sign at the junction of FS47 and FS47A (34°32’41” N 93°23’20” W) in 2014.

Go east from Mount Ida about 13 miles, or west from Hot Springs about 21 miles (a mile or so west of the border separating Montgomery and Garland counties), to Hickory Nut Mountain Road. Turn north (your only option) onto Hickory Nut Mountain Road for 9/10s of a mile. Turn right onto FS47 (also called “Walnut Fork Rd”, or, incorrectly on Google maps as “Hickorynut Mountain Rd”) and go 2.4 miles to the intersection of FS47 and FS 47A on your left (34°32’41” N, 93°23’20” W). See the iron post on the left with “47A” printed on it, and proceed through the gate. Go 2/10s of a mile to a low water bridge (see picture above) and park just across the bridge. If you are leaving FS47A/FS47 to go east to Pipe Spring, then backtrack across the bridge to FS47 and look for the trail entrance(s) east of the FS47/FS47A junction.

If your intent is to climb Hickory Nut Mountain back to the Hickory Nut Mountain trailhead, then follow FS47A about 400 feet north across the low-water bridge, where you will see the Hickory Nut Mountain trail entrance on the left. The trailhead is marked but is without a trail map.

If perchance the entrance gate is closed you can park at the gate and walk on in on FS47A to pick up the Hickory Nut Mountain trail segment. Or you can hike east on down FS47 toward the Pipe Spring trailhead.

GPS coordinates of road FS47A just beyond the low water bridge: 34° 32′ 51.9″ N x 93° 23′ 19.7″ W.

Accommodations:

The trailhead does not accommodate camping.


Recent articles about the FS47A LOViT Trail Segment:

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

A New Bench On LOViT’s Section 5 – Jan. 23, 2017

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. … Click to read the full article

Controlled Burn Notice – March 6, 2016

Apologies for the late notice, but we’ve just been informed by Forestry that there will be a controlled burn from the area along Walnut Creek near the Charleton Campground back toward the Crystal Springs area. The burn is expected to be set at around 3 pm today, March 6, 2016. If you were planning to be on the LOViT in the area from Forest Service Road 47A to Crystal Springs Road today or in the next couple of days, you will want to be aware of this activity. The Forest Service will be placing signs in the area today to make folks aware of this upcoming controlled burn. … Click to read the full article

A Recon Hike Along Section 4 – Jan. 8, 2016

Four Traildogs – Al, Mike, John, and Dan – met  Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, to set two posts for future directional signs where the LOViT crosses Hickory Nut Mountain Road, and then to hike Section 4 east to the trailhead for Section 5 at USFS Road 47A. The goal of the hike was “recon” – to evaluate the shape of the trail segment for any problems that need to be added to the winter maintenance schedule. After placing the posts, the recon hike was mostly uneventful, which is a Good Thing!  We were able to move three fallen trees off the trail, two of which needed a little prodding from a small hand saw.  Also, we noted a couple of areas that are in need of water bars in order to deflect rainwater off the trail to prevent erosion. And, no recon hike is complete without carrying loppers and shears … Click to read the full article

New Directional Signs Along Section 5 – January 4, 2016

It is winter and time to hit the Trail for a number of maintenance projects that are never fun during the heat of summer, so today, five Traildogs met at the trailhead at USFS Road 47A to place a number of new directional signs along LOViT’s Section 5 from FS47A east to Pipe Spring. This section of the LOViT both crisscrosses USFS 47, which runs between Hickory Nut Mountain Road to the west and Crystal Springs Road to the east, and also follows along USFS 47 at times before sinking back into the Ouachita National Forest.  It’s easy to miss a turn. Overall, the day was beautiful, and, for the most part, the digging was not too difficult, although we did have to relocate a couple of times due to hitting a shelf of shale.  Once a hole was dug, a post was set in concrete, leveled, and then the signs were … Click to read the full article