The Little Blakely Loops are about 18 miles of interconnected loops on a peninsula at the eastern end of Lake Ouachita, in the national forest a bit north of the State Park. A friend and I spent New Year’s Day and following one exploring much of the area.
Our intention was to hike the outer perimeter of the loops but we ended up skipping the south loop so that’s still on the to-do list. Temperatures were mild – always above freezing but it was a bit wet. A light rain started soon after we hit the trail and continued pretty steadily into the night. The next day began damp and foggy but it started raining again during the hike out when we were just a couple hundred yards short of the trail head.
I took my old camera because of the anticipated rain but neglected to charge the battery, so I’ve got no pictures. We didn’t see anything spectacular about the trails anyway – it’s just a nice walk in the woods. There were a few views of the lake but the trail never got very close to it (maybe on the south loop that we skipped?). The south part of the Rocky Ridge Loop might have some nice views but it was too foggy to tell for sure. This would be a great place for day-hiking if it were closer to home but it’s not exactly an epic backpacking destination. The trail is well-marked and in pretty good shape.
This was my first outing with a GPS receiver – a Garmin eTrex 20. I’ll have more to say about it soon in a separate post.
Update: I’ve produced a trail map with the GPS data I have from this trip. I’ll hike the rest of the trails on a future visit and update the map.