|36.5 Miles||Out & Back System||17.5 Total Climbing Miles||1,345' Max||4.7% Avg Grade|
|82.25 Climb Index||80% Singletrack||15.5 Total Descending Miles||482' Min||31.5% Max Grade|
Overview: This trail is a joint effort by a lot of groups in the area in an effort to link all the resorts and campgrounds around Lake Ouachita together via a trail system. The trail starts at Denby Point and goes to the dam at Brady Mountain. The trail is mostly hard packed with some areas of loose rock. I have broken the trail up into sections to make it a little easier to find a section that is right for you. We have only ridden from Denby to the base of Bear Mountain.
Section 1: From Denby Bay/P1 to Tompkins Bend/P5 - This section of the trail is smooth and fast, the trail meanders around the edge of the lake with some fast flowing turns. There are a few steep little downhills and a few little climbs but for the most part this section of trail is pretty mild and a blast to ride. You will be given some really great scenic shots of Lake Ouachita in this section of trail. There is nothing real technical on this section so it should be good for most folks. Some may have to get off and push some of the climbs.
Section 2: From Tompkins Bend/P5 to Joplin/P6 - This section is a lot like the first section only the ups and downs seem to be more numerous and the climbs not quite so steep. If you have the chance and want some really scenic shots take the little .75 loop about .5 miles after crossing Shangri La Rd. I think it is called Eagle Lookout or something to that nature. As you get closer to Mountain Harbor road you might notice that the climbs are a little more numerous but not really long or steep. This section of the trail has nothing in the way of technical stuff so open it up and ride. This section would be good for most beginners and up, some might find some of the climbs a bit steep. While you are cruising on this section keep an eye out for the numerous small pits along the trail. I was told these are the remains of old quartz crystal mines.
Section 3: From Joplin/P6 to Hickory Nut Mountain/P7 - After crossing Mountain Harbor Road you will ride on a dirt road for a few miles, pretty mild. After passing the Joplin trailhead you will continue on the dirt road for a mile or so. The trail ducks off to the left and heads down into a gully, after crossing the creek look for the old remains of a still. Now you will climb back out of the gully, both the climb and descent are a little steep in places. The trail will drop you off on another dirt road and you will follow this for some time, not sure how long it is. While on the dirt road keep an eye out to your left for the cascade trail. You will have to take a little hike to get to them but it is only about 25 yards from the road if that and well worth the hike. The dirt road will eventually give away to single track at a creek crossing, go on up the trail a little ways and you will come to Hot Dog Falls. It is after Hot Dog Falls that you will be needing your climbing gears. It starts off pretty gentle but will eventually get steeper. The trail up Hickory Nut can be very steep at times and sustained you will find your path littered with loose rock that tries to take away any traction you have. Overall this section of trail is a whole different animal from section 1. There is no fast flowing trail except for the dirt roads which can be a little boring at times, the climbs and descents can be very steep and a little technical but the scenic payoff is well worth the effort plus you get a good workout in as well. I would rate this section for advanced beginner and up just for the fact of all the climbing involved.
Section 3: Hickory Nut Mountain/P7 to Crystal Springs/P10 - Here the trail meanders along the top of the mountain. This section is really nice for picture taking with some really scenic spots. The trail follows a bluff for a little ways before dropping you down the side of the mountain on an old road. There is a really cool creek that runs alongside this road with some really scenic opportunities. The trail down is not all that rough and part of it is on an old dirt road. It is kind of steep going down, so take it easy. Forest Road FS 47 heading for Pipe Spring can be a little confusing. The trail jumps across FS 47 several times and you really have to watch for the signs and blazes as you go along. If you miss a trail all you need to do is follow FS 47 until you come to the Charlton Trail, you will know you are there when you come to a pipe sticking out of the hillside and spring water pouring out. The portion of trail here is not real difficult and is mostly rolling type hills on well packed soil. Taking the road is faster but not near as fun. The Charlton trail picks up here at Pipe Springs. If you go right, the Charlton trail will take you into the Charlton Recreation Area. If you turn left you will follow the Charlton/LOViT trail on into Crystal Springs where the Charlton ends. This section of the trail is not really that bad, there is some climbing involved but nothing like some of the other areas of the LOViT. Once at the top of the ridge you will start your long swooping descent down into Crystal Springs. The trail through here is pretty well packed and fun to ride especially heading down to Crystal Springs.
Recommended Route: This is an out and back ride so using a shuttle is nice if you are not up for the full ride. You can also use the roads and make a loop out of it or just break it up into sections and ride the sections you like.
Rating: This trail is good for all riders. Most riders will enjoy the section between P1 and P5. The sections after P6 to P7 may be a little rough for some new riders because of the steep climbs unless of course you start at the top of Hickory Nut Mountain. The section from P5 to P6 most folks should enjoy. Once again I would keep novice riders on the P1 to P5 section. The section coming down Hickory Nut Mountain I would recommend for advanced beginners and up. The section of trail along FS 47 would be good for most folks, if the trail is to daunting then the rider can easily jump on FS 47 and ride. The section between Pipe Spring and Crystal Springs I would recommend for Beginners and up.
|Bear Creek||Hot Springs||45 miles||N/A|
|Big Brushy||Mena||15.5 miles||Int|
|Buffalo Gap||Hot Springs||9 miles||N/A|
|Cedar Glades||Hot Springs||10 miles||Beg|
|Charlton||Mount Ida||4 miles||Beg|
|Fourche Mountain||Mena||26 miles||Int|
|Little Blakely||Hot Springs||17 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