The Ouachita Project

Discussion in 'Central – From Da Nort Woods to the Plane States' started by Trail Boss, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. Trail Boss

    Trail Boss World's fastest slowrider

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    The Ouachita Project

    Adventure, Dual Sport and Off-Road Riding the Ouachita National Forest ​


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    The Ouachita National Forest (Ouachita NF) is the south’s oldest national forest and encompasses 1.8 million acres in west central Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma. Containing multiple mountain ranges, the Ouachita NF extends 225 miles east to west from Little Rock, AR to Atoka, OK and approximately 60 miles north to south. An extensive system of 1000s of miles of paved roads, non-paved and single track make the Ouachita NF a fantastic playground for adventure, dual sport, and off-road motorcyclists.

    Unfortunately, good information about the various adventure, dual sport, or off-road riding opportunities available in the Ouachita NF is scarce. Additionally, the information that is available is both incomplete and scattered across many different sources making it difficult for riders to find accurate information or to take full advantage of the riding available in the Ouachita NF.

    The purpose of the Ouachita Project is to consolidate all available information about adventure, dual sport and off-road riding in the Ouachita NF and to provide the riding community a single source of up-to-date, accurate riding information.

    I invite and encourage everyone with information about riding in the Ouachita NF to contribute to the Ouachita Project. If you know some good paved or non-paved roads to ride, some fun single track to explore, have some GPS tracks from a trip you made to the Ouachita NF, know a good place to eat, camp, or sleep, etc. please feel free to post it here or send me the information via email (rgibbens@austin.rr.com) or pm. I will consolidate all the information and post it to the Ouachita Project page of my web site (www.texasadventure.net).

    The Ouachita NF Recreation map
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    #1
  2. NateLePain

    NateLePain Long timer

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    #2
  3. Trail Boss

    Trail Boss World's fastest slowrider

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    bnafrnd,

    Thank you! Any and all help is appreciated.

    The pics in the ride report are good. I'm guessing ice cutting on the F650 was interesting, to say the least.
    #3
  4. DirtFarmer

    DirtFarmer Has anyone seen my mother

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    Richard, your timing is perfect. I just spent Christmas down there and was going to try to get something like this going in ride reports.

    We are planning to return to the Crystal Mountain area next fall for a week.

    Cross referencing National Forest maps, Gazetteer and Mapsource was a big pain.

    When I do my write up, I will send it to you.


    North Fork Lake:

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    #4
  5. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp REMF

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  6. Trail Boss

    Trail Boss World's fastest slowrider

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    DirtFarmer,

    Excellent! I look forward to your report.
    #6
  7. Trail Boss

    Trail Boss World's fastest slowrider

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    tbirdsp,

    Thanks for the idea.
    #7
  8. jgas

    jgas Stoogely Adventurerer

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    I know most of the single track in the Ouachita's and Ozarks well enough to get unlost when I get lost. I know Huckleberry a little, Brock well, and Mill Creek fairly well.

    A buddy of mine named Jim Devereaux has a nasty route from Brock Creek to Mill Creek, 140 miles one way of a mix of single, two track, dirt road, and a little pavement. We're trying to get it approved by the USFS as a DS route. Eventually we'd like to link all of the riding areas in the state with DS routes. The dream is to have Brock, Moccasin Gap, Mill Creek, (these are done), Sugar Creek, Fourche Mountain, and Talimena all linked. I hope I live to see it!

    We will be doing a DS ride from BC to Mill Creek soon, and anyone is invited, but this stuff is nasty terrain for some. We are dumb enough to enjoy it, but it is not really "adventure friendly" riding. I can do it on my KLR 650, but it's a bit of work. A racier bike is best.
    #8
  9. Navaho

    Navaho Long timer

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    I found a few nice roads last month on the Eastern edge of the forest above Jessieville in the Winona WMA / Flatside Wilderness area. Three main forest roads (FR86, FR132, and FR114) run East/West (on the East side of Hwy 7) through the WMA but it's the smaller connector roads that are so much fun.

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    #9
  10. huggybear

    huggybear Been here awhile

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    #10
  11. jgas

    jgas Stoogely Adventurerer

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    I don't have GPS yet, working on it. Santa didn't bring it this year. BooHoo. I have been simply memorizing trails and carrying maps for years. As soon as I get GPS capability, I'll share. You can go to ktmtalk, Region 1, and PM a guy called "anotheroldtrailrider". He occasionally lurks here, but not often and I don't know his handle on this site. His name is Art Astle. Tell him I sent you. (Jeff Gaston, aka JGas). I think Art has quite a bit of GPS of the Talimena/Mena area. If he doesn't, he will know who does. Art rides a Beemer, Guzzi, KTM Supermoto, KTM Rally bike, KTM race bike, and who knows what else. He's damn fast, and damn good as a trail guide.

    Thanks for this effort.
    #11
  12. johnwesley

    johnwesley wanta be

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    Kiamichi Trail is a good dual sport road. I can catch it about 10 miles form the house and ride all the way to the lake. It is a easy but rocky trail/road.

    The problem with the arkansas side is they are changing the rules in 2008. Which will make most of my tracks illegal. :baldy
    #12
  13. ozarkrider

    ozarkrider Discombobulated Sociopath

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    You wasn't too far from my house at this point. Shoulda come by for coffee!:lol3
    #13
  14. cman

    cman cman

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    This is a great thread and I'm already trying to plan for this spring.:D
    #14
  15. johnwesley

    johnwesley wanta be

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    lets see if this works It is a gpx file from saturdays ride. This track is not a gravel road tour type of ride. You will be faced with rocky uphill and down with several creek crossings (they're not bad) lots of rutts and the typical arkansas off road of the ouachita mtns. If you would like give it a try you can allways turn around and try a diffenent route. This area is pretty well marked and I would think anyone on a DS would be able to ride the easy trails.
    #15
  16. CodyY

    CodyY ADVenture Capitalist

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    Quite a few guys from KTMtalk in the Region I section frequent the area. I'll post a thread in there and see what turns up.
    #16
  17. Trail Boss

    Trail Boss World's fastest slowrider

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    John,

    Thanks for the info on Wolf Pen Gap and the GPS tracks. Very useful!
    #17
  18. jgas

    jgas Stoogely Adventurerer

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    The two track and roads are already somewhere out on the internet, mostly they are already GPSd on Mapquest and Rand McNally, but let's not post any singletrack trails on the I-net. For at least two reasons. We already have to hide singletrack from ATV riders who want to ride it and will destroy it, and it would also give the "Greenies" a perfect chance to "find" an endangered species of plant or animal on it.

    The so-called "Greenies" have done this trick before. They learn where some trails are, and plant vegetation or put some endangered species in an area to get it closed down. It's an old trick, but effective. It's hard to prove they did it. For these reasons, please don't post single track anywhere, not even sending it to a friend via internet or to anyone who might post it. Download it directly to their GPS, or send it on a disc.
    #18
  19. johnwesley

    johnwesley wanta be

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    There are no secrets in those files just Atv trails. :deal
    #19
  20. jgas

    jgas Stoogely Adventurerer

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    I think the Ouachita Project is a great idea for DS and Adventure type riding. It will take some of the work out of exploring dead end roads to find routes. I can't tell you how many thousand dead end fire roads, ATV trails, FS roads, and other routes I have been down. I was looking for a route from Brock to Bayou Bluff campground last Tuesday. I finally did it, but it took all day to go about 30 actual miles.

    As I said before, my buddy Jim Devereaux has a tough route from Brock Creek to Mill Creek. 135 miles one way of some tough DS type riding. We're planning another DS trip soon. I think we're carrying camping gear and living in the boonies this time rather than staying at a campsite.

    A guy who passed away a few years ago named Darrell Judy from Combs Ar (A genuine Ozarks motorcycle legend), had the route memorized, but took it to his grave. Devro rode with Darrell, and he's trying to reclaim the route, and I'm helping a little. We might never do it exactly like Darrell, but it should be close.

    When we plan the trip I'll post it and anyone will be invited. It won't be an easy route! But I always seem to remember the tough rides best anyway.
    #20