Ouachita National Forest

Hiking - Charlton Trail

Trail Highlights: The Charlton Trail begins at Charlton Recreation Area and ends at Crystal Springs Campground on beautiful Lake Ouachita. Both areas offer camping, picnicking, and swimming. This trail is a popular day hike, traveling up and down mountain slopes through a mixed hardwood and pine forest. Beautiful displays of wildflowers await travelers during the spring and summer months. Although its primary use is hiking, the trail is also open to mountain bicyclists.

Surrounding Areas: Camp, swim and picnic at Charlton Recreation Area or Crystal Springs Campground at either end of the trail. Lake Ouachita offers visitors a broad array of water sports opportunities, restaurants and overnight accommodations. Hickory Nut Mountain, which can be accessed from the trail or Highway 270 on Forest Road 47, offers a panoramic view of Lake Ouachita.

Length: 4.3 miles, one-way.

Directions: U.S. Highway 270 to Charlton Recreation Area; the trail begins at Charlton amphitheater and ends at Crystal Springs Campground.

Trail Information: Travel time is about 1.5 to 2 hours across an unpaved trail of various grades. White rectangles mark the trail.

Site Amenities: The trail begins and ends at Charlton Area and Crystal Springs Recreation Area at Lake Ouachita. Drinking water is available at both sites.

Safety: Treat water from springs, streams and lakes before drinking.

Difficulty Level: First half-mile is most difficult; the rest of the trail is easy to more difficult.

Requirements: Trail is open to hiking and mountain bikes only.

Recommended Seasons: Spring, fall and winter.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 23 May 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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