Ouachita National Recreation Trail

Free downloadable topo maps of the Ouachita Trail (OT)

Skip the trail descriptions and jump to the topo maps

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

Background. The Ouachita National Recreation Trail is 223 miles stretching from Talimena State Park in Oklahoma to Pinnacle Mountain State Park on the outskirts of Little Rock, Arkansas. The trail stays in the Ouachita National Forest from Oklahoma to Arkansas Highway 9. From there to the end, the trail passes through lands under varied ownership and is administered by Pinnacle Mountain State Park.

While there are maps of the Ouachita Trail, none exist that have the terrain detail available from the USGS 1:24,000 topographic maps and created from GPS tracks. Though I have been intending to hike the trail and produce the same quality maps as the Ozark Highland Trail series, Buffalo River Trail series and the numerous other hike on this website, I have not gotten much past the first 50 miles in Oklahoma. Meanwhile, there have been several intrepid hikers who have tracked all or some of the trail and posted those tracks on the Internet. The following are my preliminary maps, based on all the data I could find. The tracks of the trail are a composite of that data. See the bottom of the webpage for credits.

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

The Maps. The 29 topos are a little further down the page. They begin at Talimena State Park and end at Pinnacle Mountain. 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! Thay are also available printed in color on weather proof, Rite in the Rain, 11 x 17 paper.   If you are interested, send me an email (see bottom of page for price and details).

The base maps are a composite of USGS 7.5 minute topos. The OT is shown in blue. Mileage markers where the data was available are provided. The text to the left of the maps show the approximate mileage of the trail and the Friends of the Ouachita Trail (FoOT) trail sections. Some of the maps have been enhanced and updated using aerial photos and satellite imagery.

Entire OT on Google Earth. The map on the right is the portal to the entire OT on Google Earth. You will see the OT rendered in blue and assorted waypoints and mile markers. Since this is a Google Earth API, the 3D element is enabled. WARNING. It is a 2.5 mb file and may take a while to download.

Entire OT 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.

Free Detailed Trail Description Available On Line. John (JD) Smith of Frisco, Texas has created a two volume trail description of the west half of the trail. Volume 1 goes from Tamimena State Park (Map 1) to Upper Kiamichi Trailhead at the Oklahoma-Arkansas state line (Map 7). Volume 2 describes the trail from Upper Kiamich to Big Brushy Creek Recreation Area (Map 13).

Improving the maps. While these maps are far better than anything else available, there is always room for improvement. If you have tracks of any section of the trail that you want to share, email me. I am missing some of the mile marker locations, shelter locations and spur trail tracks, the campsite site locations of the designated campsites on the east side of Lake Maumelle and there are many section that could use better data.  Also, some of the intersecting trails in Arkansas are very rough.

OT Map 01: Talimena SP-Deadman Gap.

FoOT Section: 01

Mile Markers: 001 to 009

Highway and road access: US 271, FR 6010, Talimena Dr

OT Map 02: Deadman Gap-Holson Valley.

FoOT Section: 01

Mile Markers: 008 to 017

Highway and road access: Talimena Dr, FR 6022

OT Map 03: Horse Thief Spring.

FoOT Section: 01 and 02

Mile Markers: 015 to 022

Highway and road access: FR 6014

OT Map 04: Winding Stair-US 259.

FoOT Section: 02

Mile Markers: 020 to 031

Highway and road access: Talimena Dr, FR 6023, US 259, K37A

OT Map 05: Pashubbe Section.

FoOT Section: 02 and 03

Mile Markers: 029 to 038

Highway and road access: US 259, K37A, FR 6032

OT Map 06: Kiamichi Section.

FoOT Section: 03

Mile Markers: 037 to 046

Highway and road access: FR 6034, Talimena Dr

OT Map 07: Queen Wilhelmina.

FoOT Section: 03

Mile Markers: 045 to 051

Highway and road access: Talimena Dr, FR 514, Talimena Dr

OT Map 08: Black Fork Mt.

FoOT Section: 04

Mile Markers: 051 to 060

Highway and road access: Talimena Dr, US 270/59, FR 516

OT Map 09: Foran Gap West.

FoOT Section: 04

Mile Markers: 060 to 068

Highway and road access: US 270/71

OT Map 10: Foran Gap East.

FoOT Section: 05

Mile Markers: 068 to 074

Highway and road access: US 270/71

OT Map 11: Fourche Mt.

FoOT Section: 05

Mile Markers: 075 to 081

OT Map 12: Irons Fork.

FoOT Section: 05 and 06

Mile Markers: 082 to 088

Highway and road access: FR 76, FR 48


OT Map 13: Big Brushy West.

FoOT Section: 06

Mile Markers: 088 to 095

Highway and road access: FR 76, FR48, FR 813, FR 6, US 270

OT Map 14: Big Brushy East.

FoOT Section: 06

Mile Markers: 094 to 101

OT Map 15: Rainy Creek.

FoOT Section: 07

Mile Markers: 102 to 110

OT Map 16: Muddy Creek.

FoOT Section: 07

Mile Markers: 109 to 119

OT Map 17: Highway 27.

FoOT Section: 07 and 08

Mile Markers: 117 to 126

OT Map 18: Sandlick Mt.

FoOT Section: 08

Mile Markers: 124 to 135

OT Map 19: Highway 298.

FoOT Section: 08

Mile Markers: 134 to 144

OT Map 20: Ouachita Pinnacle.

FoOT Section: 09

Mile Markers: 144 to 152

OT Map 21: Highway 7 West.

FoOT Section: 09

Mile Markers: 153to 161

OT Map 22: Highway 7 East.

FoOT Section: 10

Mile Markers: 160 to 168

OT Map 23: Flatside West.

FoOT Section: 10

Mile Markers: 167 to 177

OT Map 24: Flatside East.

FoOT Section: 10 and 11

Mile Markers: 175 to 185

OT Map 25: Highway 9 West.

FoOT Section: 11

Mile Markers: 184 to 192

OT Map 26 Highway 9 East.

FoOT Section: beyond coverage

Mile Markers: 192 to 201

OT Map 27 Lake Maumelle West.

FoOT Section: beyond coverage

Mile Markers: 202 to 211

OT Map 28 Lake Maumelle East.

FoOT Section: beyond coverage

Mile Markers: 211 to 219

OT Map 29 Pinnacle Mt.

FoOT Section: beyond coverage

Mile Markers: 216 to 223

Credits: The following are the source of the data used for the maps. The final tracks, however, are a composite and my own interpretation or interpellation of the data so if you find errors while making your own track, it is not their fault.

  • Talimena SP to Queen Wilhelmina SP. This is from my track set that I collected for the existing OT maps on OuachitaMaps.com. I had a few other tracks to the east of the Queen, but not much.
  • Eric Strong’s 2005 through hike. Eric through hiked the OHT in 2004 and OT in 2005. I have been using his OHT tracks to fill the gaps in my own mapping and they have been a huge resource. I started trying to use his OT data several years ago but the data is in routes and waypoints so the trail looks more like a kid's dot to dot rather than a trail. Tons of good info, though, and a solid foundation.
  • Jim Ennis. Jim hiked the 31 mile section between Highway 7 and Highway 9 in March 2011 and took an excellent track. Unfortunately, I have numerous other map projects in the works and a pesky real job, so it has been sitting in my inbox for almost a year. Since the track was so good, I decided to make a final version of the maps with enhanced roads and other goodies. When I finally started laying out the sheets I thought to myself, Self, you should lay out the entire trail so that they can be number sequentially. That precipitated this web page and all the other maps.
  • Mike Newman at http://arklahomahiker.org/. Mike has tracked several segments between Queen Wilhelmina and Big Brushy that were very helpful and has made them publicly available on his website.
  • David Saugey and Tim Tate and have added mile posts, water sources and corrections.
  • Michael Reed (http://compulsivehiker.com/) provided an updated track from mile 192 to 214, tracks to some of the shelters and many mile markers. He also has some informative trail reports on his site.
  • Other Sources. Timble Outdoors has several tracks.  The Forest Service has a track of the entire trail through the Ouachita National Forest, but it has some major errors, possibly reflecting reroute, and it is much smaller scale (less detail)..

To Buy Map: Color weatherproof versions (11x17) of each map are available for $5 each plus S&H by emailing cew5151@gmail.com. A 20% discount is available if you want the entire set. That is $4.00 per sheet or $127 total, delivered by UPS in the US. Expensive? Yes, but, there are 29 maps and it is much cheaper than the $300+ for the full set of USGS topos, that doesn't even have the trail. Selected OT maps are also available at Backwoods in Tulsa, OKC and Norman, and Ozark Outdoor Supply in Little Rock.

Weatherproof Topographic Maps at OuachitaMaps.com - Hiking Trails of the Ouachitas and Ozarks
Featured Topographic Maps in Oklahoma and Arkansas
Ouachita Trail Loops: Billy Creek Trail - Boardstand Trail - Holson Valley Loop - Horse Thief Springs Trail - Old Military Road Trail - Talimena-Bohannon Loop
Other Ouachita Hikes: Beech Creek Trails - Buckeye Trail - Caney Creek Area - Caney Creek Trail - Eagle Rock Loop
Selected Ozark Hikes: Butterfield Trail (Devils Den) - White Rock-Shores Lake Loop

Contact: cew5151@gmail.com