On May 4, 2019, over thirty friends, family, colleagues and trail enthusiasts gathered at the elevated Watchable Wildlife walkway section of the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail (LOViT) to celebrate Tom Ferguson’s life and long career.
Tom was an outdoorsman’s outdoorsman. He enjoyed opening the beauties of nature to any and all that could keep up with his long stride in his many forays into the wilds of nature.
Tom was known throughout the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) as a man who enjoyed the complexities of nature and its impact on those who enjoyed the adventure of a hike through an untamed forest.
He was part of the first teams to explore the possible creation of what is now known as the LOViT Trail. Tom along with other USFS trails professionals scouted the Ouachita Mountains bordering the southern shore of Lake Ouachita searching for the best possible route.
Tom seemed to always find a solution through challenging areas required to access key points of interest for the future trail. In the first years of the LOViT’s development, Tom was also a patient instructor to the first Traildog Volunteers. He would demonstrate to the volunteers the proper methods of trail development to ensure the durability of tread.
Under Tom’s tutelage, the new volunteers quickly became seasoned trail builders, building water bars, bridges, and armoring water crossings while developing a clear understanding of proper trail construction.
At the memorial ceremony several of Tom’s Forest Service friends and coworkers provided stories of his many exploits that brought smiles to all attending, as memories of Tom’s many exploits were shared. Tom’s family all attended and participated in the installation of the trail bench plaque memorializing his long career and his leadership during the construction of the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail system.