Location: Spans E-W across Ozark NF, from Lake Fort Smith to Richland Creek. Access at numerous trailheads.
Counties: Franklin, Pope, Johnson, Newton
Starts at Lake Ft. Smith State Park on Hwy 71 and ends at the Buffalo River. Many trail access points can be found throughout the forest where it bisects most state and woods roads.
The Ozark Highlands Trail (OHT) is a combination of simple footpath and old forest roads favoring the heights of land, and located for minimum reliance on construction for protecting the resource. Views from the OHT are predominantly forested, sporadically intermixed with old fields, pastoral valleys, and cultural landscapes. The OHT offers a diversity of topography and a variety of vegetation and animal life exposing the hiker to the entire range of land forms, clear water features, history, and uses of the land found throughout the Ozarks.
The trail is the only designated National Recreation Trail on the forest. Facilities include the OHT footpath itself, trailhead parking areas, information boards at road crossings and developed recreation areas. Management practices are modified to recognize the nationally significant aesthetic and recreation values of these lands.
Width: 24 inches.
Primary Surface: Soil
Secondary Surface: None
Average Grade: 15%
Maximum Grade: 30%
Elevation Low Point: 900
Elevation High Point: 2,200
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available
Year Designated: 1984
Supporting Webpages and DocumentsWebsite: Avenza maps
Website: Ozark Highlands Trail Association
Website: USFS Trail Details
For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.
PhotosNo additional photos are available.
A challenging trail
The OHT is a heavily forested, backpacking trail located in Northern Arkansas. The prime time to visit is from October through April. The summers are hot, humid, buggy and the trail becomes choked with vegetation. This is an amazing winter hiking trail, with people coming from all over the country to get in some winter backpacking. This is a wilderness trail that does not pass through populated areas. You may never see another hiker while on the OHT. The maps from Underwood Geographics are essential, as is the trail guide by Tim Ernst. Your best source for information is the Ozark Highlands Trail Association www.ozarkhighlandstrail.com.
March 31, 2019
November 13, 2017
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