Built by the United States Army in 1832, Old Military Road was used to relocate Choctaw Indians, move troops, and by settlers headed west. You'll use this historic route as part of a 22.1-mile loop through the rugged Ouachita Mountains.
Go north from the trailhead on the Ouachita Trail and turn left onto Old Military Road for a steep climb up Winding Stair Mountain. Cross Talimena Scenic Drive to an overlook, then begin a long descent into wooded Holson Valley. Turn right onto the white-blazed Boardstand Trail at 7.5 miles, veer right at 12.6 miles, then right again at 13.6 miles back onto the Ouachita Trail. Ascend to Deadman Gap, then descend to a creekside campsite. Climb to Panorama Vista at 17.2 miles, where there's another campsite, then head downhill to the intersection with Old Military Trail.
Info: Overnight parking fee ($5); fs.fed.us/r8/ouachita
-Hike provided by Charlie Williams, BACKPACKER map correspondent
- Distance: 35.6
Location: 34.7720052, -94.8718786