Rain most of the day Friday left me with a short weekend but I managed to hike the Ouachita Trail from the AR-7 trail head to Ouachita Pinnacle – miles 160.4 to 147.0 and back. At 1961 feet, Ouachita Pinnacle is the highest point on the eastern part of the trail (the highest point for the whole trail is on Rich Mountain near the Arkansas-Oklahoma border at about 2630 feet).
This segment features the Moonshine and Big Bear shelters, several nice creeks, and the first westbound views of Lake Ouachita far to the south. On the first day, I made it all the way to Ouachita Pinnacle and back to Big Bear shelter, where I spent the night. That’s 17.2 miles and a new one-day personal best. I think it will be tough to top that until we get some longer daylight hours.
On the way home I reconnoitered the AR-298 and AR-27 trail heads that I’ll use for my next couple Ouachita Trail hikes.