Ozark Highlands Trail

Free downloadable topo maps of the Ozark Highlands Trail (OHT)

Skip the trail descriptions and jump to the topo maps

NEW: The entire trail is now on Google Earth. See below.

Background. It used to be said that the Ozark Highlands Trail (OHT) was 165 miles long, stretching from Lake Fort Smith State Park to Woolum Ford on the Buffalo River. Now it is a little more complicated. First, on the west end Lake Fort Smith and Shepherd Lake were combined into one, Lake Fort Smith State Park was moved 4 miles north and the old trail was flooded. A new trail section connects the new park with the existing trail in Jacks Creek. According to the GPS track we took April 17 2009, it is a mile shorter.

Making it up at the other end is the east section of the Buffalo River Trail and the new Sylamore Section of the OHT. Though not actually part of the OHT, the east BRT is dozens of miles downstream from the west BRT terminous at Pruitt. The east BRT picks up where the OHT ends at Woolum and runs another 15 miles to the US Highway 65 bridge across the Buffalo River. Another 30 miles to the east as the crow flies is the Sylamore section of the OHT. Though far from being contiguous with the existing trail at Woolum, this 31.6 mile trail is officially part of the OHT. Both the east BRT and the Sylamore Section of the OHT will be part of the Trans-Ozarks Trail (TOT). When complete, the TOT will combine the Ozark Highlands Trail, the east BRT, the Ozark Trail of Missouri and many trails still to be built, to connect Fort Smith AR and St Louis MO.

NEW! Trail Descriptions: The following links will give you descriptions and pictures of selected sections of the trail.

Fort Smith State Park to Cherry Bend (Maps 1, 2, 3, and 4)
Cherry Bend to Morgan Mountain (Map 4)
Morgan Mountain to Ozone (Map 5, 6, 7 and 8)
Ozone to Fairview (Maps 9, 10, 11, and 12)
Fairview to Woolum (Maps 13, 14, 15, 16 to 17)

The Maps. The 17 detailed topos are a little further down the page. They begin at the new Fort Smith Lake State Park and stop at Woolum. The maps are free downloads that are formatted to print at scale (1:24,000) on 11 x 17 paper. Click on the image to get to the full size map and right click to download. It is free! Alternatively, you can purchase the same maps printed in color on weather proof, Rite in the Rain, 11 x 17 paper (see bottom of page).

The base maps are a composite of USGS topos. The OHT is shown in red and other trails are shown in blue. Mileages between waypoints are provided and are based on the offical distances used by Tim Ernst's trail guide and the forest service. The forest roads have been enhanced and updated using aerial photos, satellite imagery and the 2005 Ozark National Forest map. Many different road designations are shown because they have different names on different maps and in different versions of the trail guide.


Entire OHT on Google Earth
It is a large file and may take a minute to load

The maps have been updated since I first posted them in January 2008. I have re-GPSed the trail from Lake Fort Smith to Woolum and added the trail description pages. I was foiled by highwater so the 1.4 mile section between Ben Hur and the Richland Creek crossing is based Eric Strong’s 2004 GPS track. Because of the scale of these maps and GPS data, they are the most accurate maps available for the trail. I hope you find these useful for your next trip to the Ozarks.

Entire OHT on Google Earth. The map on the right is the portal to the entire OHT on Google Earth. But wait, there's more. You will not only see the OHT rendered in red, but all the side trails are there in blue, including the White Rock Shores Lake Loop, Spy Rock Loop, the high water by-pass in the Hurricane Creek Wilderness and the East BRT extension. Plus I have all the Waypoints and mile markers. Plus, it is not just on a Google Map API, it is on the Google Earth API and the 3D element is enabled. Not working? The API has problems with 32 bit programs. Here is the KML file.

Entire OHT in GPX Format.This link is for the a GPX file of the entire trail, suitable for your GPS. That said, it is one continuous track and has many waypoints meaning it will likely exceed the capacity of your GPS. Load it into your computer using you GPS mapping software and split it to meet the capacity of your saved tracks on your GPS model. You may need to delete some of the waypoints.

Google Earth Images. Google Earth still images of the entire trail are provided below with each map. You will note that the orientation changes on each one so that north may be up, down or any which way. The reason for this is because I have tried to orient each scene to provide the best view of the trail and to highlight the topography.

Trail Mileage. Click here for an Excel spreadsheet of the trail. There is an West to East and East toWest version so it is ready to use regardless of your route. Since it is a "live" file you can sum your mileage to get a better idea of the length of your days. Check out column "D." By copying the formula in one of the cells to the beginning and ending location of a day and deleting the formulas in between, you can get subtotals. Feed back welcome! Also, if you prefer mileage tables in a PDF format, here they are. Here is the West-to-East version and here is the East-to-West version.

Waypoints. Click here for a table of the 52 waypoints in Lat-Lon, decimal degrees (pdf format).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: An ice storm during the week of January 26, 2009, forced the OHT to be closed for a while. The Ozark Highlands Trail Association ( OHTA) did a great job of clearing dead trees and recently laid a new trail in the Richland Creek area. Thank you! Here are some Forest Service pictures to give you an idea of the severity of the ice storm (Credit: Ozark National Forest).

OHT Map 01: Lake Fort Smith to Dockerys Gap.

Trail Description: See Fort Smith State Park to Cherry Bend

Google Earth Images:
Waypoints OHT-01, OHT-02 and OHT-03
Waypoints OHT-03 and OHT-04

 

OHT Map 02: Dockerys Gap to White Rock.

Trail Description: See Fort Smith State Park to Cherry Bend

Google Earth Images:
Waypoints OHT-04 and OHT-05
Waypoints OHT-05 and OHT-06
Waypoints OHT-06 and White Rock
Waypoints OHT-07

OHT Map 03: White Rock to Fane Creek.

Trail Description: See Fort Smith State Park to Cherry Bend

Google Earth Images:
Waypoints OHT-07 and OHT-09
Waypoints OHT-09 and OHT-10

OHT Map 04: Fane Creek to Morgan Mountain.

Trail Description: For Fane Creek to Cherry Bend, see Fort Smith State Park to Cherry Bend. For Cherry Bend to Hare Mt and Morgan Mt, see Cherry Bend to Morgan Mountain.

Google Earth Images:
Waypoints OHT-10 and OHT-11
Waypoints OHT-11 and OHT-12
Waypoints OHT-12 and OHT-13
Waypoints OHT-13 and OHT-14

OHT Map 05: Morgan Mountain to Lick Branch.

Trail Description: See Morgan Mountain to Ozone

Google Earth Images:
Waypoints OHT-15
Waypoints OHT-16

OHT Map 06: Lick Branch to Hignite Gap.

Trail Description: See Morgan Mountain to Ozone

Google Earth Images:
Waypoints OHT-17 and OHT-18
Waypoints OHT-18 and OHT-19
Waypoints OHT-19 and OHT-20

OHT Map 07: Hignite Gap to Moonhull Mt.

Trail Description: See Morgan Mountain to Ozone

Google Earth Images:
Waypoints OHT-20 and OHT-21
Waypoints OHT-21 and OHT-22
Waypoints OHT-22 and OHT-23
Waypoints OHT-23 and OHT-24

OHT Map 08: Moonhull Mt. to Ozone.

Trail Description: See Morgan Mountain to Ozone

Google Earth Images:
Waypoints OHT-24 and OHT-25
Waypoints OHT-25 and OHT-26
Waypoints OHT-26 and OHT-27

OHT Map 09: Ozone to FR 1498/1003.

Trail Description: See Fairview to Ozone.

Google Earth Images:
Waypoints OHT-27 and OHT-28
Waypoints OHT-28 and OHT-29
Waypoints OHT-29 and OHT-30

OHT Map 10: FR 1498/1003 to Haw Creek Falls.

Trail Description: See Fairview to Ozone.

Google Earth Images:
Waypoint OHT-30
Waypoint OHT-31
Waypoints OHT-31 and OHT-32
Waypoints OHT-32 and OHT-33

OHT Map 11: Haw Creek Falls to Hurricane Creek.

Trail Description: See Fairview to Ozone.

Google Earth Images:
Waypoints OHT-33 and OHT-34
Waypoint OHT-34
Waypoints OHT-34 and OHT-35
Waypoints OHT-35 and OHT-36

OHT Map 12: Hurricane Creek to Fairview.

Trail Description: See Fairview to Ozone.

Google Earth Images:
Waypoints OHT-35 and OHT-36
Waypoints OHT-36 and OHT-37
Waypoints OHT-37 and OHT-38
Waypoints OHT-38 and OHT-39

OHT Map 13: Fairview to Moore CCC.

Trail Description: See Woolum to Fairview.

Google Earth Images:
Waypoints OHT-39 and OHT-40
Waypoints OHT-40 and OHT-41
Waypoints OHT-41 and OHT-42

OHT Map 14: Moore CCC to Falling Water Creek.

Trail Description: See Woolum to Fairview.

Google Earth Images:
Waypoints OHT-42 and OHT-43
Waypoints OHT-43 and OHT-44

OHT Map 15: Falling Water Creek to Richland Campground.

Trail Description: See Woolum to Fairview.

Google Earth Images:
Waypoints OHT-44 and OHT-45
Waypoints OHT-45 and OHT-46
Waypoints OHT-46 and OHT-47

OHT Map 16: Richland Campground to Forest Boundary.

Trail Description: See Woolum to Fairview.

Google Earth Images:
Waypoints OHT-46 and OHT-47
Waypoints OHT-47 and OHT-48
Waypoints OHT-48 and OHT-49
Waypoints OHT-49 and OHT-50

OHT Map 17: Forest Boundary to Woolum.

Trail Description: See Woolum to Fairview.

Google Earth Images:
Waypoints OHT-49 and OHT-50
Waypoints OHT-50 and OHT-51
Waypoints OHT-51 and OHT-52
Waypoint OHT-52

To Buy Map: If you don't want to take advantage of the FREE download, color weatherproof versions (11x17) of each map are available for $5 each plus S&H by emailing Charlie@OuachitaMaps.com. A 20% discount is available if you want the entire set. That is $73 folded and delivered by mail in the US. Expensive, yes but cheaper than the $90+ for the full set of USGS topo, that don't have the trail. They are also available at Ozark Outdoor Supply in Little Rock and Pack Rat Outdoor Center in Fayetteville.

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