Ouachita National Scenic Trail - Section Hike

March 1 - 12, 2021 - Registration OPEN

Registration OPEN

Registration

minimum/maximum = 2/6
to confirm minimum course offering, registration closes February 14th

Location:  Arkansas

Hike Distance:  approximately 102-miles

Section Hike Description:  The Ouachita National Scenic Trail is a not often heard of, rarely visited, but an excellent location to practice skills and experience subtle beauty, solitude and a diversity of flora and fauna.  The trail extends 223-miles, too long for one extended hike for most so we will break this adventure up into two segments.  The dates for the second segment will either be fall 2021 or spring 2022.  

This hike is planned for a cooler time of year – simply an excuse to begin the hiking season early.  Each day registrants will hike a prescribed distance ranging from 6 to 12 miles, for a total of approximately 102-miles. The first week will be day hikes.   The second week will be backpacking.  

This is the longest trail in the Ouachita National Forest.  Elevations range from 600 to 2,600-feet.  The trail passes through forested mountains, across sweeping valleys and near clear-running streams. This is more of a wild earth hike than an adventure that leads to grandiose views of crowed summits.  There will be one full day off, though the “town stop” is a bit out of the way so don’t expect a lot of amenities.

In 2021 this section hike will be broken up into two styles of hiking.  For hiker’s intent on completing a trail from end-to-end, this is an excellent opportunity to test daily determination in a landscape that is beautiful and not often travelled.

  • The first 6 days are day hikes. Each day registrants will hike a prescribed distance ranging from 8 to 12 miles.  Many days have a shortened segment option.  Registrants are not required to hike daily and can instead choose to skip a day of hiking and operate the sag wagon. 
  • The second 5 days are backpacking. Each day registrants will backpack a prescribed distance ranging from 7 to 11 miles.  It is likely the sag wagon will be available with a shortened segment option.  NOTE:  This backpacking segment is subject to change and is contingent on confirmed registrants and a conversation of day hikes verse backpacking.

2021 Ouachita Trail – Daily Schedule

When:  Hike officially begins on Monday, March 1st and concludes on Friday, March 12th.  The Meet and Greet is scheduled for Sunday, February 28th at 4p.

The When Details:

  • Sunday, February 28th – pick-up at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas at 2p.
  • Saturday, March 13th – drop-off at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas at 10a.

Cost:  $2,230 per person – minimum 2/maximum 6.  Early bird registration closes at 6p (EST) on December 15th.  

Includes:  Every effort has been made to make this an all-inclusive offering.  Meals outside of the hike are not included and you are encouraged to visit one of the local eateries. 

  • All in the field meals and snacks.
  • Shared maps and individual bootleg data book.
  • Lodging (double occupancy) provided for the nights of February 28th, March 6th, March 7th and the night of March 12th.  
  • All designated campsite fees.

All About Food: Nutritious! Filling! Yummy!

A menu will be provided approximately three weeks prior to the hike start. Our menu is designed to ensure nutrition, is not carbohydrate heavy but instead blends all nutritional needs including: fruits, vegetables, fats and proteins as well as carbohydrates.  This hike will have a higher percentage of fresh fruits and vegetables because of trail and town proximity.

Breakfasts are generally quick, easy and include coffee or hot drinks.  A variety of items will be available for lunch to be packed daily.  Expect dinners to be a soup base. We have found that hearty, filling soups assist with ensuring you feel better, sleep better and maintain hydration. You won’t be hungry and we apologize now if you return to the trailhead a couple pounds heavier than when you began.

Allergy and dietary restrictions can be accommodated if we are advised in advance – like, when you register!

Gear and Equipment:  Registrants are expected to provide their own camping and personal gear. Equipment can be provided with prior request – typically no later than 14-days before the hike start. A complete list of suggested items will be provided following registration. Most, if not all, of the items needed are already in your closet.

There are space limitations in the sag wagon thus, you will be permitted a small bag that will be carried to each camp daily.   There will be no flexibility with regard to weight and size dimensions.

Each evening, registrants will set up their own tents and sleeping accommodations.  Many of the camps are in designated campgrounds as required by public land regulations.  Some camps are located on public lands without the same restrictions. 

The hike itself will require 11 days of hiking.  Registrants are required to carry their own packs with the 10 Essentials. 

Typical Hike Day:  Subject to change.

  • 6:30a – Morning wakeup call.
  • 7a – Hot drinks served. Please be on time!
  • 7:30a – Breakfast served. Prepare lunch during day hike segment.
  • 8:30a – Begin the day’s hike.
  • 4p to 6p – This is your free time to enjoy the landscape, read a book, write in your journal or take a nap.
  • 6p – Dinner served. Please be on time! Enjoy a big plate of delicious, nutritious, filling hot food.

Registration Considerations:  This segment hike is open to any individual who is willing to put in the time and effort required for training for this adventure.  In other words, don’t plan to slink off the couch, pull on a pack and intend to walk daily on trails with their traditional features of obstacles, hills and dirt.  We want everyone to be successful but much of that success rests solely on your shoulders for building endurance and strength before you go. 

This segment hike is open to individuals who meet the following criteria:

  • Have a great attitude and desire to complete the offering.
  • Ability to adhere to the following basic rules – Be safe. Have fun. Continue to put one foot in front of the other.
  • Physical stamina to hike at a moderate pace throughout the day.
  • Have the appropriate gear and equipment to maintain safety and campsite comfort.
  • Willingness to learn – you will learn something about yourself.
  • Must be 16 years old with parent or guardian.

Registration is OPEN (maximum of 6):  Cancellation policy applies and includes the following notification – individuals who withdraw from this end-to-end hike, once it has begun, receive no refund or credit and are responsible for their own lodging, meals and transportation when not in the field.  Further, the cancelling individual is responsible for any and all costs of lodging and meals of the Trip Leader, or their designee, needed or required because of the individual’s withdrawal. 

This segment hike has a higher non-refundable application fee of $300.

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