Repairing a Soggy Approach to “Traildog Bridge” – June 1, 2017

Yesterday, a team of Traildogs attacked the perennially soggy approach to “Traildog Bridge” on LOViT’s Section 1, not too far from the Tompkins Bend Pavilion and Trailhead.

We had a good and enthusiastic team that included better-late-than-never help from a US Army Corps of Engineers bobcat and its driver, which we appreciated, along with the USACE-donated pavers and gravel.

Traildogs attacking a load of gravel delivered to the site by a USACE-furnished bobcat and its driver.(Click on this image to view more photos of the day's work.)

Traildogs attacking a load of gravel delivered to the site by a USACE-furnished bobcat and its driver.
(Click on this image to view more photos of the day’s work.)

The new approach got a good test immediately as the rains came with a vengeance as the last load of gravel was spread and our tools were gathered.

There was insult to injury, as the storm knocked out power in the area, so rather than a Shangri-La lunch, some of the soggy Traildogs had to settle for pie!!!

It was a good day on the Trail!

Mount Ida’s “Tires on the Trail” Event – May 26, 2017

May is National Bike Month, sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling — and encourage more folks to giving biking a try.


Here in Montgomery County, Arkansas, three of our trails have been designated by the International Mountain Bicycling Association as IMBA EPICS: the Womble, the Lake Ouachita Vista (LOViT), and the Ouachita National Recreation Trail.

Join us this Friday, May 26th, from Noon – 4:00 pm, at Tompkins Bend Recreation Area & Campground (15 Tompkins Bend, Mount Ida, AR 71957) for our National Bike Month Event, “Tires on the Trail”. Dust off your bikes and come put your tires on the LOViT Trail! Learn basic bike maintenance, repair, and safety tips and signup for a guided mini-ride on the LOViT Trail. BYOB – Bring Your Own Bike! (Helmets Required). 

This is a FREE family friendly community event! Light refreshements provided. Kids of all ages are encouraged to attend! Minors must be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian to participate in the rides.

Produced by the Trail Tourism Committee of the Mount Ida Area Chamber of Commerce.

http://tiresonthetrail.us/

Sponsored by: Action Realty, Lake Ouachita Vacation Rentals, Ouachita Kayak Tours, Robin Smith Law Firm, PA, Shangri-La Resort, The Gear Factory, and Mount Ida Area Chamber of Commerce

League of American Bicyclists: http://www.bikeleague.org/
IMBA EPICS: https://www.imba.com/model-trails/epics/all-rides

New Directional Signs and Gap Creek Cleanup – Feb. 12, 2017

New directional signs installed along the LOViT between Hickory Nut Mountain and Crystal Springs.

New directional signs installed along the LOViT between Hickory Nut Mountain and Crystal Springs.

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 cleared in some time.

“It was another nice morning in the woods.”

Thanks Ron and Robert!

 

New Water Bars Along Section 1 – Feb. 1, 2017

Today, four Traildogs (Al Gathright, Robert Cavanaugh, Ron Mayfield, and Dan Watson) attacked drainage problems along the Trail in a couple of areas along Section 1 between Denby Bay and Tompkins Bend.

The first location was near the “Pine Plantation” area, a bit west of Shangri La Road.  After working on a new water bar here, we followed the trail back to the Sunset Vista spur (34°33’12” N 93°28’46” W) to enjoy that beautiful location for a while and to clean up debris along the trail.

Robert, Ron, and Al working on a new Section 1 Water Bar.<br />(34°33'13" N 93°28'6" W)

Robert, Ron, and Al working on a new Section 1 Water Bar. (34°33’13” N 93°28’6″ W)
(Click on this image to view more photos from Feb. 1, 2017.)

The second location was above the two bridges just west of “The Dip” along Shangri La Road.  Three new water bars were installed along the very steep slope a bit south of the bridges (34°33’13” N 93°28’6″ W).

It was a beautiful and balmy day for the first of February – a great day to be on the LOViT!!  Finishing a little after noon, we decided to enjoy lunch at Jenn’s Gourmet Galley (now “Jenn’s Specialty Foods”).

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.  

A good sentiment for this new bench on the LOViT!

A good sentiment for this new bench on the LOViT!
(Click on this image to view more photos from today’s bench installation.)

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.

Traildogs enjoying a job well done!

Traildogs enjoying a job well done!
(Click on this image to view more photos from Jan. 23, 2017.)

A Cold and Rainy LOViT Marathon – Dec. 4, 2016

Yesterday, a handful of Traildogs joined with Phillip Carr and Shangri La’s Carr family to help with the annual LOViT Marathon, an out-and-back race traditionally held on the first Saturday in December.

The race starts at the LOViT’s ADA Pavilion just off Shangri La Road and follows the Trail 14.1 miles to the turnaround at the Hickory Nut Mountain Trailhead.

The LOViT Marathon always brings good friends together for a great run the woods, despite the weather! (Click on this image to view more photos from the 2016 LOViT Marathon)

The LOViT Marathon always brings good friends together for a great run the woods, despite the weather!
(Click on this image to view photos of runners approaching the Hickory Nut Mountain Trailhead, the turnaround point for the 2016 LOViT Marathon)

Phil had expected a record turnout, but the bleak and rainy December morning brought out 76 or so runners for the event, some running the full marathon, while others ran a ½ marathon, catching a shuttle back to the start/stop line from Hickory Nut Mountain.

Despite the weather, this is always a great event.

The LOViT Is Now Clear and Open – Sept. 8, 2016

The clean up of downed trees from the severe windstorm of last July was completed yesterday.

Many thanks to a few Traildogs, especially Robert Cavanaugh and Ron Mayfield, and to our good friends on the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) Trail Crew.  Over the past couple of months, we cut well over 100 downed trees off of the Trail.  Much of the saga can be read about on the LOViT Facebook Page.

The entire LOViT is now open for hiking and biking. Fall is a great time to enjoy the trail.

A late-August view from Traildog Vista on Bear Mountain.

A late-August view from Traildog Vista on Bear Mountain.

Help Protect the LOViT – A Call To Action

Help Protect The LOViT
By Making Your Voice Heard

The LOViT Traildogs, Friends of Lake Ouachita, and the Lake Ouachita Citizens Focus Committee are seeking user support from all those who hike, bike, or just generally love the LOViT.

Removal of the canopy (whether by fire, thinning, or harvesting) results in explosive growth or weeds, bushes, and briars in the trail.

Removal of the canopy (whether by fire, thinning, or harvesting) results in explosive growth or weeds, bushes, and briars in the trail.

The United States Forest Service has published an announcement of a proposed “Resource Management Project” (see the link below) that would likely damage the canopy, the tread, and the aesthetic beauty of the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail.

We urge each of you read the proposal letter and provide your input to the Womble District Ranger, Shalonda Guy.  Public input is a key element in the planning and execution of all Forest Service proposed projects.

In addition to the Project document from the USFS and their map describing the areas in which the proposed burn and timber harvest would take place, we have also attached a sample of letters already submitted regarding the viability of this proposed resource management project as background information for your personal response.

Many, many thanks in advance for your help and for your comments to the US Forest Service.

The Traildogs

(Click on the links below to view the documents):

USFS Gap Creek Project proposal:

Lake Ouachita Citizens Focus Committee Response:

Other individual responses:

 

Traildog Outing with Workers from IMBA and the Texas Conservation Corps – June 8, 2016

This afternoon, led by Al Gathright, 6 Traildogs (yes, spouses are Traildogs too!!!) hosted trail workers from the International Mountain Biking Association and the Texas Conservation Corps to a hamburger and brat supper at the new Friends of Lake Ouachita-sponsored pavilion at the entrance to the Tompkins Bend Campground, followed by a short tour of Lake Ouachita.

The IMBA and Texas Conservation Corps joins the Traildogs for a picnic at the new Friends of Lake Ouachita-sponsored pavilion at Tompkins Bend Campground.

The IMBA and Texas Conservation Corps joins the Traildogs for a picnic at the new Friends of Lake Ouachita-sponsored pavilion at Tompkins Bend Campground.
(Click on this image to view more photos from June 8, 2016)

We all tremendously appreciate the work these teams are doing along the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail – THANK YOU ALL!!!

A Great Blog Post of a LOViT End-to-End Adventure

Yesterday, the Traildogs received a very nice note via Facebook from Mara Kuhn, who with her brother Jacob, enjoyed an end-to-end trek of the LOViT from March 22 to March 25, 2015.

Mara Kuhn at the beginning of her and her brother Jacob's end-to-end hike of the LOViT.

Mara Kuhn at the sign at the ADA Trailhead, the beginning of her and her brother Jacob’s end-to-end hike of the LOViT.

Mara writes, “Hello! Thank you for such a wonderful trail! Last year my brother and I hiked the LOViT end-to-end, minus the spur trails. I have a blog and wrote about our hike. I was wondering if you would like to share my post with your followers?”

We sure would like to share Mara and Jacob’s adventure with you all!  Here’s the link:  http://www.rightkindoflost.com/gotta-lovit-the-lake-ouachita-vista-trail/.

It’s a good story with some beautiful photos of the LOViT.  We hope you enjoy it.

Mara and Jacob at the Avery Trailhead, the easternmost terminus of the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail.

Mara and Jacob at the Avery Trailhead, the easternmost terminus of the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail.