The Ouachita National Forest near the Arkansas and Oklahoma border from the Talimena Scenic Highway
The Ouachita National Forest of Arkansas and Oklahoma - a recreational and scenic paradise.
Ouachita National Forest
The Ouachita National Forest is the South's oldest national forest, compromising more than 1.6 million acres. Rich in history, the rugged Ouachita Mountains were first explored in 1541 by Hernando De Soto's party of Spainards. French explorers followed, flavoring the region with names like Fourche la Fave River. "Ouachita" is the French spelling of the Indian word Washita which means "good hunting grounds".
Stretching from near the center of Arkansas to southeast Oklahoma, the Ouachita Mountains are generously endowed with a multitude of recreational opportunities. Sightseeing is a popular way to view changing landscapes throughout the year. travel the Talimena Scenic Byway or Highway 7 National Scenic Byway for great photo opportunities at each breathtaking vista.
Top-notch trails cut through these mountains for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. One of the most popular is the Ouachita National Recreation Trail, which traverses 192 miles across the rugged, scenic peaks of the Ouachita Mountains.
Watersport enthusiast's can canoe the scenic Caddo River and float or fish the Little Missouri and Ouachita Rivers. Most major recreation areas are located near a freeflowing creek, stream, or river so campers can enjoy swimming, boating, or fishing. The Ouachitas also provide some of the best hunting for wild turkey, deer, and other game in-season.
Besides outdoor fun, the forest provides timber and other forest products for the nation. The forest's ecosystem management policy guarantees both healthy land now and careful use of the forest for the future.
Wilderness areas are special areas designated by Congress and managed to preserve the natural conditions and processes, keeping human influence to a minimum. These areas are protected from developement- from construction of roads or other permanent structures; from timber cutting and the operation of motor and mechanized equipment including bicycles and hang gliders; and since 1984, from new mining claims. Wilderness visitors may travel through these rugged areas by foot, horseback, canoe or raft. Visitors are exposed to a variety of settings where they can explore, discover or simply enjoy the solitude, scenic beauty, primitive recreation and natural ecosystems found within each of these areas.
220002OUAR - c Glenn Luttrell
Shady Lake is one of the Ouachita's many scenic recreation areas providing a multitude of outdoor activities for the whole family.
220007OUAR - c. Glenn Luttrell
The Cossatot River flows placidly through the Ouachita Natl. Forest of western Arkansas. . .
220014OUAR - c. Glenn Luttrell
. . .until it gets here, the Cossatot Falls, where it earns its reputation. "Cossatot" is an indian word meaning "skull-crusher". The upper reaches of the Cossatot are designated as a National "Wild and Scenic River".