Pipe Spring

Pipe Spring

Pipe Spring, Dec. 2012

Pipe Spring, Dec. 2012. There really is a “pipe spring” at this trailhead!


The LOViT overlaps with the Charlton Trail at Pipe Spring for a 1.9 miles trek to the Crystal Springs trailhead . At Pipe Spring there is, indeed, a pipe spring with an uninterrupted flow of cold water. This trail segment is 40 years old and travels north along the western flank of an unnamed mountain, over the mountain, and then down into Crystal.

There are lovely views of the Walnut Creek Valley at the eastern end of Hickory Nut Mountain. You will hike through an area previously clear cut of trees but that is now dense. Cross the road from the pipe spring to enter the trail.

The trail traveling south from behind the pipe spring is a continuation of the Charlton Trail to the Charlton Recreation Area on Highway 270 and is a tough uphill climb with serious switchbacks.

Surrounding Area:

The Crystal Springs campgrounds and the Crystal Springs Resort are at the end of the Pipe Spring trail segment.


1.9 miles from Pipe Spring trailhead (P7) to the Crystal Springs trailhead (P8).

2.2 miles on the trail, or 1.9 miles on the road, to the FS47A/47 trailhead (P6).


Easy to moderate trail with no water crossings


There is water at the pipe spring located at the trailhead.

Directions to Trailhead:

From Mount Ida go east about 13 miles to Hickory Nut Mountain Road. Turn north (your only option) on Hickory Nut Mountain Road for 9/10s of a mile to Forest Service Rd. (FS47.) Turn right (your only option.) Pass the FS47A/47 trailhead turnoff on your left at about 2.2 miles and continue on for about 1.4 miles to cross Walnut Creek. The Pipe Spring trailhead is about 1/2 mile past the creek. Look for the pipe spring splashing water on your right. The Pipe Spring trail segment is across FS47 from the spring. The trail behind the pipe spring is a continuation of the Charlton Trail. There is a very small parking area.

From Hot Springs, go west on Highway 270 to the Crystal Springs turnoff on the right. Follow that road until you see FS47 on your left. Take FS47 west until you see the Pipe Spring trailhead. Or you could just go on in to the Crystal Springs trailhead and hike to Pipe Spring.


Near the Crystal Springs trailhead are the Crystal Springs campgrounds, which provides camping and bathrooms, and Crystal Springs Resort, which has lodging, a full service marina, and seasonal restaurant.

Slightly further west on Highway 270 from Hickory Nut Mountain Road are Mountain Harbor Resort , The Joplin Inn at Mountain Harbor , and the nearby Joplin Recreational Area and Campgrounds .

Recent articles about the LOViT Pipe Spring trail segment:

Cleaning up Trail Entrances – FS47A to Pipe Spring – May 16, 2014

Four years of storms and neglect were remedied last Friday when six Traildogs spent the day improving Section 5 of the Trail where it parallels and crisscrosses US Forest Service Road 47 between Crystal Springs Road and Hickory Nut Mountain Road. We worked the part of this section from the FS47A trailhead at the eastern base of Hickory Nut Mountain to Pipe Spring, where the LOViT joins the Charlton Trail leading to the Crystal Springs Campground Pavilion. We sought to improve access and signage at each entrance and exit point along the road. We started at the intersection of FS47 and FS47A, where we installed an assurance directional sign post. The post directs users to follow FS47A 1/4 of mile north to where the Trail turns left and proceeds west to the summit of Hickory Nut Mountain. We also installed a new sign at the FS47A trailhead. We cleared all … Click to read the full article

Boy Scouts – Mar. 8, 2014

On Saturday, March 8th, eleven volunteers from a Little Rock Boy Scout Troop led by Eagle Candidate Rhett Gill joined three of the Traildog volunteers – Robert Cavanaugh, Al Gathright and myself – on the LOViT to install two new Trailhead Signs that Rhett had designed, planned and led the construction of for installation on the Trail. Rhett and I had planned this day of installation over a month ago, and, amazingly, it was a perfect day to be out on the Trail. The Scouts and their leaders arrived at the Crystal Springs Trailhead by caravan at 9:00 am from Little Rock with a 16-foot trailer holding two beautifully constructed trailhead signs. There were six scouts and five of their support leadership, all ready for a LOViT experience.  We drove from Crystal Springs west on USFS RD 47 to the Pipe Spring intersection of the LOViT and Charlton trails where … Click to read the full article

Hunting Season 2013 – Be Careful On The Trail!

It’s hunting season in Arkansas, and because the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail is primarily located in the Ouachita National Forest, you must be aware of the potential for hunters to be on or near the Trail. Here are the “Hunter Orange Requirements” as published by the International Hunter Education Association: Arkansas (A) It is unlawful to hunt wildlife, or to accompany or assist anyone in hunting wildlife, in zones open to firearm deer, bear, or elk seasons, without wearing an outer garment, above the waistline, of daylight fluorescent blaze orange (Hunter Orange) within the color range of 595-605 nanometers or flouorescent chartreuse color range of 555nm – 565nm (Hunter Safety Green) totaling at least 400 square inches, and a hunter orange or hunter safety green head hat must be visibly worn on the head. (B) Florescent blaze orange (Hunter Orange)or florescent chartreuse (Hunter Safety Green) totaling at least 144 square … Click to read the full article

New Signs for Pipe Spring, and Construction on Bear Mountain

New Signs at Pipe Spring We recently installed a new trail directional sign at the pipe spring on USFS 47 where the Charlton and LOViT trails merge, about two miles west of Crystal Springs Road.   We have been receiving feedback from users that they are confused on where the Charlton goes and the LOViT goes from this point. Hopefully this will solve those issues. Bear Mountain Construction – Crystal Springs to Brady Mountain We finalized our construction plans for this fall’s dig on the second half of the seventh section of the trail.  The Progressive Trail Design team will arriving on site on Monday, October the 29th. They will begin construction, working from where we stopped construction last February, and will move east toward Brady Mountain road about 4.0 miles from our previous stop position. This dig team will be leaving a more finished trail that will require the … Click to read the full article