Ouachita Trail – Foran Gap to State Line

This weekend I hiked the area between the Foran Gap Shelter – just a bit east of US-71 – and the Arkansas/Oklahoma state line, meaning the completion of that tiny bit of section 4 left from the last trip, plus all of section 3 and a bit of section 2.

This segment goes up and over that part of Fourche Mountain west of Foran Gap, across the “toe” of Black Fork Mountain, up the side of Rich Mountain to Queen Wilhelmina State Park, and then west along the ridge a few miles to the state line and the boundary of the Kiamichi River Wilderness.

Rich Mountain is the second-highest peak in Arkansas and has some spectacular views – not only from the trails but also from the highway that runs along the ridge.  It’s a must-see if you’re in the area.

I parked at Queen Wilhelmina S.P. and hiked east to the Foran Gap shelter at mile 69 for camp #1, then west back to Q. W. where I spent night #2 with the whole campground to myself.  Sunday was a 4.5 hour day-hike to the state line at mile 46.3 and back.

Note that due to plumbing issues, there is no potable water at QWSP.  It’s expected to be fixed “early summer (’15)” so plan on caching your own water there or at State Line, or call to see if the problem is resolved.

The weather was decent with a bit of fog Friday AM, a couple sprinkles around noon, then mostly sunny.  There was a good chance of rain most of the day so I won the coin-toss this time.  Saturday was sunny and pretty clear.  The rain started about 4 AM Sunday and went off and on most of the morning accompanied by a very cold wind.

The wildflowers are in full bloom and the deciduous trees are starting too.

After getting home I found that my main computer had quit running and a rather important part of the hard drive’s partition table had been erased somehow. I do full backups periodically and a daily differential backup in the mean time so the situation didn’t seem too bad, but then I found that the daily backups got zapped too.  I went to bed feeling sick about some of the recent data I was losing.

Fortunately, parted was able to rescue my data partitions.  The operating system partition had to be restored from the 2 month old full backup and some recent updates reapplied but that’s not a big deal.  Whew!  I dodged a big bullet there, probably losing nothing more than a couple emails from Friday and several hours I could have spent planning the next trip.

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About Michael R

I enjoy hiking, landscaping with native plants, nature photography, dark chocolate, fine dining, good movies, and old jazz.
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2 Responses to Ouachita Trail – Foran Gap to State Line

  1. Mary Ann Reed Fateley says:

    I really enjoy your articles and photos. You get some great pictures.

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