Russellville, AR 72801
The Ozark Highlands Trail is a long distance hiking trail that crosses the Ozark National Forest in Arkansas. Hikers of this trail will take home many scenic and pleasant memories. If you hiked the entire trail from Lake Fort Smith State Park to the Buffalo National River, you would have traveled 165 miles. Most of the trail is on National Forest lands, but some portions of the trail cross privately owned land. Please respect the landowners by staying on the trail and not trespassing on their private property. The western 6.2 miles are on Arkansas State Park lands and the eastern 8.4 miles are on Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and National Park Service lands. Please be careful crossing these areas and respect their regulations and guidelines. Remember, saddle or pack animals are not allowed on any part of the Ozark Highlands Trail.
Although the U.S. Forest Service manages the Ozark Highlands Trail, they have assistance from partners in maintaining and often constructing many of the resources and facilities on the national forest. The Ozark Highlands Trail Association (OHTA) is one of these partners. The OHTA members have volunteered many hours of hard work to maintain the 165-mile trail.
We sincerely hope that hiking the forest will lift your spirits, stimulate your mind, and provide the physical challenge you seek. In turn, we trust that you will treasure the trail and its resources, protecting them in every way you can.
The Ozark Highlands Trail is marked with a 2-by-6-inch white blaze. The trail is also marked at every mile with a flexible brown post with the appropriate mile number. The numbering sequence begins on the west end and increases eastward. Two blazes, one on top of the other, indicate a prompt change in direction. You should not proceed more than 1/4 mile without noticing a trail marker. Major side trails are marked with a blue blaze.
a 165-mile hiking trail that crosses the Ozark National Forest and is recognized as one of the most scenic trails in the United States. Starting at Lake Fort Smith State Park on Arkansas 71, the trail crosses the forest to Woolum near the Buffalo National River. Trailhead parking is available at several locations along the trail.
The trail travels through a wide variety of forest landscapes ranging from lower stream side elevations to high ridges. Scenic bluff and rock formations along the high vistas are evident along most sections of the trail. Forest cover varies from newly established stands of pine and hardwood trees to older, mature stands.
Hiking the trail, you will see evidence of numerous management activities including wildlife openings and food plots, livestock improvements, timber harvesting, and reforestation. Other activities may include oil or gas exploration and production. Each of these activities plays an important role in the management of the national forest for a full range of resources.