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104 Miles Out & Back System 45.9 Total Climbing Miles  2,608' Max 5.3% Avg Grade
243.27 Climb Index 70% Singletrack 47.3 Total Descending Miles 617' Min 24.7% Max Grade

Overview: This is the longest trail in the state. Stretching from Talihina, Oklahoma to Little Rock, Arkansas. Unfortunately not all this trail is open to mountain bikes. This trail has some really good spots and some really bad spots. This trail will offer up some of the biggest climbs you will ever do and some of the best downhill's you will ever ride in the Ouachita's, the only trick is to know when and where to go. The trail can be very rugged and and remote in places. As far as technical stuff goes there is plenty of that out there. There are some places that are just really sweet and others I would just assume not ever ride again. Mountain bikes are only allowed on the trail from Talimena State Park in Oklahoma to Hwy 59 in Oklahoma. You can pick the trail back up again just north of Mena on Hwy 270. Well you can actually ride from the top of Rich Mountain down to Hwy 270 but last time I did this it was more like walk to Hwy 270. There is a group that maintains this trail called Friends of the Ouachita Trail and they have made a big difference in many places. Still there remains places where it is more hike-a-bike then ridding. Don't get me wrong, not all of this trail is bad like I said before, you just got to go to the right places to ride. As I stated above the trail has some very remote places on it and I think that is one of the problems because it would require a hike in, set up a camp, do maintenance, stay the night, and then hike out. I think another issue is that the trail was designed for hikers and not bikers and to my knowledge there is no plan on changing this anytime soon. Until the entire trail can appeal to most average riders I believe it will never really be able to become the epic ride it could be or even get the same notoriety as the Womble or Ouachita Vista.  Don't get me wrong, the Ouachita Trail has a lot to offer and I ride certain sections of it frequently depending on the time of the year. Spring, Winter and late Fall are the best times. Summer can be bad in some areas especially in areas where there are few trees to keep back the undergrowth. I have ridden places out there where we spent more time looking for the trail than actually ridding it and then I have ridden places out there that I believe is some of the best mountain biking in the state. Hopefully now that it is a IMBA Epic it will get more maintenance not that FOoT did a bad job, its such a huge remote trail with a lot of miles to maintain. Hopefully someday they will make this trail more biker friendly so that it will appeal to most average riders, right now it only caters to a select few, those who really like the rugged back country experience.

On the accordion menu to the right you will see a tab labeled Ouachita Trail Segments. This menu will direct you to the various sections of the Ouachita Trail. Because the trail is so big I broke it up into sections between the major trailheads, you can mix and match these sections in any way you please.

Recommended Route: These are some of the best areas to ride. Big Brushy, Blowout Mountain, Irons Fork and Forun Gap.

Rating: Not for novice riders. There are some places that even the advanced rider may wish he had stayed home. Some of the climbs are really long and can be steep. The trail has some pretty technical areas. There can be a lot of hike-a-bike even for the advanced rider. Most areas are remote and have very few bailouts. This trail is by far about the most rugged and remote track in the state, bring a GPS, map, cell phone, food and plenty of water.

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Minimum Skill Level

Novice

None

Beginner

Little

Intermediate

Mostly

Advanced

Lots

Expert

None

Mena, AR

Clear

33.6°F

MAX 34°F, MIN 32°F
Humidity:
95%
Visibility:
9.7km
Wind:
0km/h NW

FORECAST

Mon

MAX 61°F

MIN 43°F

Tue

MAX 65°F

MIN 34°F

Wed

MAX 52°F

MIN 33°F

Arkansas Trail Rules

Ride Open Trails: Respect trail and road closures — ask a land manager for clarification if you are uncertain about the status of a trail.

Leave No Trace: Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage than dry ones. Don't cut switchbacks. Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in.

Control Your Bicycle: Inattention for even a moment could put yourself and others at risk. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations, and ride within your limits.

Yield Appropriately: Riders yeild to foot and horse traffic. Riders traveling downhill should yeild to ones headed uphill, unless signed for oneway or downhill traffic only.

Never Scare Animals: Animals are easily startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement or a loud noise. Give animals enough room and time to adjust to you.

Plan Ahead: Know your equipment, your ability and the area in which you are riding and prepare accordingly. Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.