|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – March 2014
The go-now guide for the central region.
Beech Creek Blue Bouncer Trail, Ouachita NF, OK
“Head into a 1.8-million-acre forest, seek out what local scouts consider the most isolated trail, and what do you get? Silence. Find it on this 9.9-mile overnight in southeastern Oklahoma’s Ouachita National Forest via the Beech Creek Blue Bouncer Trail. Because the path isn’t maintained by the Forest Service, many sections require bushwhacking, which deters visitors. Brave the brush-narrowed trail (the entire loop is blazed), and you can expect 360-degree, clifftop views over a lush valley carpeted in budding, yellow American beeches (peaking in April). From the Beech Creek trailhead (90 miles southeast of McAlester), descend .9 mile south to an intersection with the Blue Bouncer Trail. Turn right to tackle its white-blazed north end, and climb to a pine-filled plateau with views across the narrow valley to the opposing cliffs. At mile 7.5, cross a Beech Creek tributary and enjoy a secluded camp (with reliable water) atop pillow-like grass. Next morning, follow the trail 1.5 miles to a .9-mile spur back to the trailhead. Contact (479) 394-2382 Trip data