The Ouachita National Recreation Trail stretches 223 miles through the Ouachita Mountains, from Talimena State Park in Oklahoma to Pinnacle Mountain State Park in Arkansas. More information and maps are available from the Friends of the Ouachita Trail (FoOT) and from the U.S. Forest Service Ouachita National Forest site.
Back in 1991, Bill Laster of Bailey, CO, did the the OT in 5d2h23m. The same year, Lou Peyton and Jim Schuler did the route in a slightly slower time, 5d8h7m.
I am planning to fastpack the Ouachita Trail unsupported starting April 22nd 2018. My route will be east/west from Pinnacle Mountain State Park to Talimena State Park. It will be tracked and documented to get an unsupported FKT for this trail on the boards. It will be a beautiful walk if the weather gods are smiling!
Isaac Mornin' Joe Robinson
I hiked half the trail in cool weather and intermittent rain but called it off at Highway 27 due to swelling high ankle sprains. Flatside Wilderness is beautiful and I’ll have to try it again when the weather cools and the ticks are gone. Unsupported FKT stands unclaimed.
I'll be starting at 8 am, Sunday March 28, 2021 to attempt the supported female FKT on the Ouachita Trail record (West to East). You can follow along here: https://share.garmin.com/WheresFawn
I'm raising money for my local Boys & Girls Clubs who's members have been running in support of my adventure for the past several weeks. If you'd like to contribute please visit: https://www.bgcacadiana.com/donate
Good luck Fawn! I am planning an unsupported effort next week. Will add a tracker here and hopefully we can raise Ouachita's profile a little. Look forward to hearing about it.
That’s exciting, Craig! I finished this up in 3d 22h 15m with tons of crew/ pacer support. It’s a wonderful trail that makes you earn the finish! Wishing you luck and please reach out if you have any questions!
Wow what an effort Fawn! Congratulations are well deserved. Crew or not, your daily progress was awesome and I really enjoyed following it online. As an old guy who still remembers the rotary telephone it is remarkable being able to track these things in real time.
I’ve been to the Ozarks a handful of times but not the Ouachitas, would love to hear your thoughts on the trail. What’s the best way to reach out?
I suppose it’s Ouachita Trail time! Didn’t want to let the self-supported FKT to feel left out.
I’m going to successfully attempt setting a self-supported FKT for the OT starting Sunday, April 18th at 8am. My goal will be sub 4 days. You can follow along here: share.Garmin.com/nickfowler
- Nick Fowler
Good luck Nick!
Unfortunately my first food cache went missing. I hitched a ride to my next food cache but by the time I got there it was so late there was no traffic to hitch back to where I left the trail. With 12 hours lost so early in the attempt, I’ve decided to hide my caches better and give it another go another time.
Sorry to hear Nick, so many critters out there. Look forward to your next attempt.
FKT trip report for unsupported has been posted. Awesome trail. Above all what I learned is that going unsupported on a longer trail, your mistakes compound and can turn an effort into an ordeal. I thought a pack full of gear and 12-13 lbs of food would be my biggest challenge, or perhaps the long water carries during a heat wave (one was 26 miles and several were over 15), but it was forgetting to pack a $2 roll of athletic tape that caused so much pain and distress.
Headed out in the morning, Tuesday April 20th, for a crack at the unsupported FKT. I’ll be starting at Talimena and hiking eastbound. If anyone would like to track progress you can use this link: https://share.garmin.com/nolanball
-Nolan Ball (MANBEARPIG)
Good luck Nolan!
I had to call it last night at mile 94 due to knee and Achilles issues. Hitching at Hwy 270 to get back to Talimena, then to town to recuperate. This was still a great learning experience on a wonderful trail, and I’m already planning out the next attempt. I’ll be back for this one!