Ouachita National Forest

Biking
Gorp.com

The Ouachita National Forest is dedicated to expanding the opportunities for mountain bikers—frequently to the consternation of hikers. Fifty miles of the glorious Ouachita National Recreation Trail have recently been opened up to mountain bikers—for a trial period. Reports back are that the views are great, but the trail is rocky and slow-going.

The 37-mile Womble Trail may be a better choice for an extended ride. It's considered one of the finest singletrack trails in the area. Short sections meander along the bluffs of the Ouachitas, providing breathtaking views. There are several good camping opportunities in the area, so this makes a good destination for your next biking vacation.

If you're up for a real challenge, the Wildcat Trail is everything that its name implies. This is actually a trail system designed with bikers in mind. Laid out of old logging roads with the help of Little Rock area bikers, the trail offers panoramic views and thrilling downhills—definitely one of the worthy ones.

If you just want to go out for a fun day's spin, the Wolf Pen Gap System offers up to 41 miles of loops through an interesting array of areas. And this wouldn't be the South without its offering of quirky attractions—in this case a two-foot-tall oak tree and a peek at old mines. Plus excellent, excellent riding.

The Earthquake Ridge Trail was designed to provide hiking and biking opportunities along the Talimena Scenic Byway. It makes for an especially exciting challenge for bikers.

The Possum Kingdom Trail is a good choice for families. It has the happy combination of scenery and road surface that is both easy to ride and varied, so children don't have to overexert themselves in order to be happily entertained.

Trails

0-5 miles
Earthquake Ridge
Possum Kingdom
Shady Lake

5-10 miles
Charlton
Little Blakely
Buffalo Gap

10-20 miles
Womble
Wildcat Mountain

20+ miles
Fourche
Viles Branch Equestrian Trail
Ouachita
Wolf Pen Gap


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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