Lake Ouachita Vista Trail (“LOViT”)
The Lake Ouachita Vista Trail (“LOViT”) is an unsurfaced hiking and mountain biking trail winding along the southern shore of Arkansas’ Lake Ouachita. Developed by volunteers in cooperation with the US Army Corps of Engineers and the US Forest Service, the Trail, including spurs, extends about 45 miles along the shore, connecting private resorts and public campgrounds, including Ouachita Shores Resort, Shangri-La Resort, Mountain Harbor Resort, Crystal Springs Resort, Brady Mountain Resort, and Echo Canyon Resort before finally reaching its easternmost terminus at the Avery Recreation area below Blakely Mountain Dam near Hot Springs, AR. Parking is provided at each trailhead.
The Trail rises 900 feet from the Denby trailhead to the top of Hickory Nut Mountain and then on to Little Bear Creek at the foot of Bear Mountain, where one enjoys another 1200 foot climb across Bear Mountain to Brady Mountain Resort, followed by a final 1000 foot climb across Brady Mountain. Hikers and bikers travel up, down, and along mountain slopes through mixed hardwood and pine forests opening up at several places to breathtaking views of the Lake Ouachita. Beautiful displays of wildflowers and tumbling waterfalls await during spring and summer months.
See the The Big Picture for an overview of the entire trail.
Eagle Vista spur on the Tompkins Bend to Joplin trail segment provides a glorious opportunity to view the Bald Eagles in the winter. Along the trail, pits left by quartz and silver speculators, an old cattle dip, the remains of a moonshiner’s still, and waterfalls are evidence of the area’s colorful history. And, as on the entire trail, strategically placed benches allow hikers and bikers to take a break and enjoy the view.
The Watchable Wildlife, ADA-accessible trail segment was dedicated in a small ceremony on Oct. 7, 2011.
The International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) declared the LOViT to be an IMBA “Epic Model Trail in August, 2014.
For more information about Lake Ouachita and the Trail, visit these links:
- History of Lake Ouachita
- History of the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail
- Dedication Ceremony recognizing the completion of the Trail.
- The LOViT is now an International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) Epic Model Trail
- Follow Lake Ouachita Vista Trail on Facebook for the latest and greatest on what’s happening on and around the Trail.
- More interesting information about Blakely Mountain Dam and Lake Ouachita