Big Brushy Trail- Ouachita Trail

Nearest Towns:

Mena, Arkansas
Mt. Ida, Arkansas
Waldron, Arkansas


Ouachita National Forest

Trail Highlights
Easy access trailhead is located on Highway 270 between Y City and Pencil Bluff at the Big Brushy Campground.  Picnic Tables, fire rings, children's playground, pit toilet, no water or electricity.  There is a small fee for overnight camping. The trails in the Big Brushy Trails Complex, combined with the Ouachita National Recreation trail, allow many opportunities for loops, ranging from 6-12 miles or more. Riders will see flowing streams, water falls, wildlife and quiet woodlands along the trail. The trails are located near parking and camping areas at the Big Brushy Campground.
The Big Brush Trail Serves as part of the Ouachita Challenge.

Trail description.
Mostly single track, with some occasional logging road. This is a well maintained area with the trails being clear of brush year round thanks to the Adopt-A-Trail Program.  Some steep climbs that most average riders will be able to ride.  May be some short sections of hike-a-bike. Some sections can have heavy growth of grass during the spring.  The trail holds up well to wet weather.  Marked with Blue Blazes and carsonite signs. 

Suggested Rides
Westward In and Out-  An in and out ride heading west works real well utilizing the Ouachita Trail. About 6 miles in you will end up on a dirt road for a while. Follow the blue markings on the trees for about three miles and watch for the singletrack ducking into the woods to the right. Go in as far as you can stand.  When you are not having any more fun, turn around and head back.

Eastward In and Out- Heading east provides a little more challenging trail, and can be a great in and out or there are two loops that can be accomplished by returning back by way of Hwy 270 after exciting the trail at Fiddler Creek or at Rainy Creek. 

To Highway 27- Take the trail eastward 28 miles to Hwy 27.  About a six hour ride for a very fit rider.

To Highway 71-  28 miles point to point.  Set up your shuttle at the Highway 71 Trailhead.  Look forward to approximately 7 to 8 hours for a very strong and experienced rider.  Intermediate and beginner riders should not attempt to ride this full section of trail.  Not enough hours in a day and very few places to bail out.  This section of trail clear to highway 71 will give very technical trail with steep ascents and descents, and a couple hike-a-bike sections.  Only for the very experienced rider.   Ride from Big Brushy to Highway 71 or Highway 71 to Big Brushy.  Best direction is from Highway 27 to Big Brushy.  Either way it is a very challenging ride.  Access the trail from Big Brushy by turning right on Forest Route 6 out of the campground, cross the bridge and go past the stairs leading to the hiking only trail section.

Rockhouse Loop-  Take the Ouachita Trail approximately 4 miles to the Rockhouse Trail. Take the Rockhouse Trail descent to Forest Route 6. A short distance to Forest Route E16B, and ascend back by way of the Mountain Top Trail. Some light duty clean up has already been performed by biking crews, and should provide an enjoyable ride on this technical section, mixed with some logging roads.  2-4 hours depending on skill level.   Many other loop options available.  Be sure to take a map.

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