Lake Ouachita Vista Trail


Lake Ouachita Vista Trail for Hiking and Biking.

The Lake Ouachita Vista Trail follows the Lake Ouachita shoreline as much as possible crossing over the mountains where you have a scenic view of the lake.

The Dancing TreeIf you would like to assist the trail builders you can volunteer by e-mailing Jerry Shields at

Jerry Shields is a volunteer with the Lake Ouachita Citizens Focus Committee was named the 2007 Arkansas Trails Volunteer of the Year.

The open segment of the trail begins at Denby Bay and follows the hilly shoreline for approximately five miles where it terminates at the entrance to the Corp of Engineers Thompkins Bend Campground.

Lake Ouachita Vista Trail is marked by White Rectangles.

The trail dips into hollows covered in old growth high canopies trees combined with high vistas of Lake Ouachita.
You'll see "Hush Hollow" a moss and fern lined hollow,  the "Coon Tree Hotel" an old growth Oak Tree that Raccoons love to sleep in or look for the "Squirrel Head Tree".

Plans call for the trail to extend 40 miles along the shores of Lake Ouachita, linking up with the Charlton trail. Along the trail will be pits left by quartz speculators and the remains of a moonshiner’s still in evidence of the area’s history.

The Lake Ouachita Vista Trail was started, thanks to cooperation by the:


Arkansas Game and Fish Commission,

Montgomery County,

Lake Ouachita citizen committee

U.S. Forest Service

The Forest Service supplied the tools for volunteer of the five groups to help a work crew from the National Student Conservation Association to create a handicapped-accessible fishing pier and a short paved trail in the Denby recreation area.

There will have to be built two bridges over gullies on the LOVT, which may have to be built with volunteer workers.

The Game and Fish has yet to budget $100,000 a year for 3 years to complete the Wilderness and Education section of the trail for handicapped, board walk and interpretive signs.

The Corp is still on track to build the trail and if year end funds become available, comfort station.

Metal plates will be placed on benches for a $500.00 donation. The plates will only cost about $150.00 and the rest of the donation will go for the construction of the trails.
Jerry Shields a member of the Lake Ouachita Citizen Focus Committee is working
with the Friends of the Ouachita Trail to help out in construction.
The trail is expected to take at least five years to complete.

2007 Arkansas Trails Volunteer of the Year

Jerry Shields, volunteer with the Lake Ouachita Citizens Focus Committee has been named the 2007 Arkansas Trails Volunteer of the Year. The announcement was made June 2nd as part of the Ouachita National Forest’s Centennial National Trails Day Celebration at Albert Pike Recreation Area.

Nominated by Tom Ledbetter, Recreation Technician for the Forest, Shields was honored for his efforts in spearheading the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail.

According to Ledbetter, “Beginning in 2002, Jerry has spent countless hours planning routes, securing funding, and promoting this trail system. He also works tirelessly building trail. In the last 7 months alone, Jerry has worked 315 hours constructing trail and 282 hours on off-trail activities for a total of 597 hours. In addition to his personal contribution, he has coordinated the efforts of 26 volunteers for 902 hours of trail work in the last 7 months. His drive and dedication as a champion for the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail are truly amazing.”

Shields serves on the Lake Ouachita Citizens Focus Committee, a 15-member panel that advises the Corps of Engineers on management of the area resources. Currently, he is the Chairman of the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail project. He formed a group of volunteers (Trail Dogs) to maintain the existing sections of the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail. He has fostered partnerships with groups, including U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Forest Service, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas Parks and Tourism, Mount Ida Chamber of Commerce, Montgomery County Health Advisory Board, Lake Ouachita Resort Owners Association, Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, and many other groups.

“Jerry is an expert at bringing people, community organizations, and public agencies together to accomplish a common goal,” stated Tim Oosterhous, Forest Recreation Manager.

The Arkansas Trails Council is an advisory body of volunteers open to all state and federal agencies, local governments, public and private utility companies, private land owners, and trail users with an interest in or potential for trail development.  Arkansas Striper Fishing

Lake Ouachita Vista Trail System

By Ben Sanders Striper Guide Lake Ouachita
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