Ouachita National Forest Horseback Riding Overview

Horseback Riding in Ouachita National Forest
Horseback Riding in Ouachita National Forest (Arkansas Dept. of Parks and Tourism)

Ouachita National Forest Horses and Riding Travel Tips

  • This national forest has more than 250 miles of trails open to horseback riders. Many of them are concentrated into trail complexes with varied route possibilities.
  • The Boardstand Road and Old Military Road Trail makes a 23-mile loop. Start at Old Military Road Picnic Ground. The climb up Winding Stair Mountain is a tougher part of this loop.
  • The Bear Creek trail complex offers 45 miles of paths spread over four loops. You’ll travel amid woods broken by views, including the vista from Powell Mountain tower site. Base out of Bear Creek Horse Camp.
  • Begun by equestrians, the Sugar Creek system totals 36 miles. Trail intersections are marked and rides of all distances are possible. Water trigger at trailside ponds.
  • The Wolf Pen Gap trails, near the Arkansas-Oklahoma border, run east-west along ridges and hollows, and add up to 35 miles. Four trailheads accommodate equestrians and make it easy to explore different areas of the trail complex.

Many of the Ouachita Mountains hiking trails are open to horseback riding. But first you'll probably want to take a look at the dedicated equestrian trails...

The Cedar Lake Equestrian Camp is the starting point for the Winding Stair Equestrian Trails. Its 77 miles of loops allow riders to plan either short or long rides. The network ranges over hilltops and rich river bottoms. Camping, swimming, and fishing are available near the camp.

The Fourche Mountain Trail is network that gets a fair amount of hikers and mountain bikers, too. The views of Fourche Mountain and Buck Knob are spectacular.

The Eight West Equestrian Trail Network was laid out in 1991 and is a real treasure. The western portion of the trail follows along Self Mountain and offers an outstanding view to the South. The lowlands of this trail system offer a picturesque setting through beautiful bottomland hardwoods with clear running streams. While enjoying the trail, the visitor will pass several old home sites.


5-10 miles
Billy Creek

10-20 miles
Caney Creek Wilderness
Fourche Mountain

20+ miles
Winding Stair
Viles Branch

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 12 Oct 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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