Three Reasons to Hike the Ozark Highlands Trail

Ozark-Highlands-Trail-by- OaklyOriginalsThe Ozark Highlands Trail is 180 miles long and is one heck of a hike. It runs from Lake Fort Smith to Tyler Bend on the Buffalo River, meaning you traverse some pretty diverse Arkansas landscape and encounter some beautiful Arkansas natural sights. But it’s a long adventure, taking roughly 10-14 days for even the best of hikers. The shortest time anyone’s ever clocked hiking it was 62 hours and 25 minutes by a trail runner named Jenny Foster in 2009. But whether you’re a slow hiker or a fast one, there are some huge rewards for hiking the whole OHT.

Find Your Independence

There’s nothing quite as freeing as completing the OHT. Hiking for hours every day is hard work, and it’s a challenge to spend a couple of weeks away from the comforts of civilization. You’re bound to encounter some rough patches, but even the unexpected gives you a chance to bond with your companions or to think deeply about your life. Finishing the trail is a hugely rewarding feeling that makes you feel like you could do anything.

Find Arkansas’ Roots

If you’ve ever wanted to know what it’s like to live in Arkansas’ backwoods before it became more populated and farmland took over a lot of the state, hiking the OHT will give you a sense of what it was like to be a settler traveling on foot through Arkansas to claim a homestead. You’ll also become familiar with what makes the Arkansas hills so distinctly Arkansan.

Find a Community

Finishing the hike is a badge of honor (and they actually have badges you can buy for completing it). The community of OHT veterans runs strong in the Arkansan hiking community and can bring you closer to people than you ever thought possible. It’s a group of people who struggled through tough days, in a group or alone, on the same trail.

 

You’ll need the right equipment and preparation to take on the trail and we can help you come home successful. Come by and see us and we’ll get you set up with all the gear and knowledge you need to set the trail behind you.

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