Hot Springs, AR / Ouachita Trail

For over 200 years, people have come to Hot Springs, AR to bathe in its legendary healing waters to relax and treat illnesses. Many people still drink the hot waters, believing them to be theraputic and delicious. (Note: the Hot Springs no longer run wild and we will soak in them in one of the local bathhouses. What to expect at the bathhouse)

We will hike almost 50 miles along the Ouachita National Recreation Trail, beautiful and seldom hiked trail that goes between Little Rock, AR and Oklahoma. The trail is inhabited by deer, wild turkeys, barred owls, hummingbirds, and if we're lucky, bald eagles and bears.

It's still fall in Arkansas and there are remnants of foliage, so why not join us, soak in the hot springs, see a part of the country few ever see, and get in shape ahead of the holidays?

Itinerary

The Hot Spring Fitpacking Trip will be from Nov 2-10, 2013. Here is the proposed itinerary.

Our journey will begin at Lake Sylvia in the Ouachita National Forest. We’ll ascend the Flatside Pinnacle which gives striking views of the Flatside Wilderness that we'll traverse for the next days. From there, we'll keep hiking Westbound to the Hunt's Loop with views of Hot Springs, on to Ouachita Pinnacle and out to get shuttled to the Hot Springs.

Difficulty

Much of the terrain on the Ouachita Trail is mellow or flat, but there are sections where contours can be steep. The most dramatic ascents are about 500'. The daily mileage is under 8 miles, so that will help mitigate some of the difficulties.

Weather

Weather is always an important concern when hiking. Expect daytime hiking temperatures to be ideal -- in the 60s and nighttime temperatures in the 30s and 40s. However, be prepared for the possibility of overnight temperatures as low as the 20s and the possibility or rain or even snow.

View the historic weather

Trip Leaders

Todd Soprych, trail name HalfBrew, lives in Savannah, GA and hiked the 2175 mile Appalachian Trail in 2008 and the 2650 Pacific Crest Trail in 2010. He is an avid outdoorsman who spent several seasons mushing dogs at the Oregon Trail of Dreams during the winter. He is a WMA certified Wilderness First Responder and guided Fitpacking trips to Shenandoah, Redwood, Great Smoky Mountains, Cumberland Island, Big Bend, and Hot Springs. He is co-owner of Roam the Woods.

Rosie Enos lives in Savannah, GA and is a Wilderness Medicine Associates certified Wilderness First Responder. For several years, she guided 13-17 year olds with emotional, behavioral, and substance abuse history through various wilderness therapy experiences. She is also a licensed massage therapist and co-owns Roam the Woods.

Equipment List

Here is a list of equipment we suggest you bring. The list is extensive and can seem daunting, but please don't let this deter you from the trip. You can rent top notch quality gear for reasonable prices from Lower Gear or Outdoors Geek. It may also be possible for us to provide some gear for you at a nominal fee if you let us know far ahead of the trip. Unfortunately, we're not in the gear business so the selection of our available inventory is unpredictable. Please feel free to discuss any gear with us before the trip.

Menus

We don't believe in austere eating regimens. Backpacking is a rigorous, rewarding activity. You must feed your body in order for it perform. Your body will dictate that you eat often, so it's important to have fuel to feed it. Please check out the sample menus. This list is not comprehensive and may be altered or augmented. If you want to bring personal food, say a 5 pound chocolate cake, go for it. You'll not only hate carrying it over 40 miles through the wilderness, your body will reject the empty calories and prefer nutritious food.

Cost

$1050 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a room with another participant during the 2 hotel nights. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Little Rock, AR (LIT), personal equipment and any restaurant meals eaten off the trail.

Covered expenses include 2 hotel nights, 7 days of trail meals, ground transportation, fees, permits, hot springs mineral bath, insurance, satellite phone, and 2 awesome guides.