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4 Miles Out & Back System 2.0 Total Climbing Miles  774 Max 8% Avg Grade
16 Climb Index 100% Singletrack 2.1 Total Descending Miles 509 Min 31% Max Grade

Overview: The Charlton is an out and back trail with trail heads at both the Charlton Recreation Area and the Crystal Springs Camping Area, you can start from either end, parking is available at both places. The trail does have lots of climbing involved as well as some nice downhills so you should get your fill of both. It is very well maintained by the Forestry Service. It can be very technical in places especially on the big hill near Charlton. For the most part it is well packed and clean, some places can get a little rough and rocky but nothing that will have you hiking the bike. Some places can be fast and twisting and others can just be dogging, it has a little of this and that. For just 5 miles it has a lot to throw at you. It is a fun little ride that will give you a good workout. The climbs are sustained but not real hard pulls. The downhills are fast and exciting. Remember this in an out and back so once you reach the end you have to turn around and head back unless you have a shuttle set up. There is a nice little spring about mid-way down the trail on FS 47 road that the trail cross's. If you want to get some nice cool, good tasting water this is it. If you finish up at Charlton you can take a nice cool plunge in the swimming hole there. The Charlton is conveniently located close to other big named trails like Womble, Lake Ouachita Vista Trail (LOViT), and Cedar Glades Park you can spend days doing all these rides. Lake Ouachita Vista Trail (LOViT) now connects to this trail at the dirt road. The half from the dirt road to Crystal Springs has all been fixed up and is now a nice swooping trail and not so technical of a ride.

Recommended Route: I have ridden this trail from both directions and personally I like to start from Charlton and get the big climb out of the way. I think you do more climbing heading toward Crystal Springs, so I always like to get that done and over with.

Rating: I would not rate this trail for a new beginner or novice rider. There is a lot of climbing out there and some sections require some good handling skills especially coming down into Charlton. Advanced and intermediate as well as advanced beginners should enjoy this ride.

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Minimum Skill Level











Trail City Length Skill
Bear Creek Hot Springs 45 miles N/A
Buffalo Gap Hot Springs 9 miles N/A
Cedar Glades Hot Springs 10 miles Beg
Little Blakely Hot Springs 17 miles Int
Lake Ouachita Vista Mount Ida 36.5 miles Int
Ouachita Trail Mount Ida 104 miles Int
Possum Kingdom Hot Springs 17 miles Nov
Womble Mount Ida 35 miles Int

Mount Ida, AR



MAX 39°F, MIN 36°F
0km/h North



MAX 66°F

MIN 45°F


MAX 72°F

MIN 48°F


MAX 59°F

MIN 46°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.