Destination Coyote Canyon
August 1, 2017
The breathtaking Ouachita National Forest covers over 1.8 million acres in a mountainous region that includes Hot Springs, Arkansas and points westward into Oklahoma. Coyote Canyon Campgrounds are located inside Ouachita land. The forest is an outdoorsman’s paradise and a popular vacation destination for millions of visitors a year from around the country. Lake Ouachita, in the heart of the national forest, is the largest lake in Arkansas and one of the cleanest in the United States. Regulations do not permit homes to be built along the 600-miles of shoreline – though you can make a temporary one and camp on one of the hundreds of islands that are peppered throughout the crystal clear waters.
While water enthusiasts flock to Lake Ouachita, it is the forest that brings out the 4-wheeler crowd. Near the town of Mena lie numerous campgrounds that offer trail riding in the world-famous Wolf Pen Gap trail system. Many campgrounds in the area cater to ATV riders and offer easy access to the trails and electrical hookups, places to purchase ATV tires and repair kits, as well as fuel, tools, and tiedowns. Many primitive campsites are also available for the hardcore outdoorsmen and women who are simply looking for nothing more than nature and riding.
The 31 miles of the Wolf Pen Gap trail system offer a wide variety of terrain. From steep mountain top crossings and vistas to flatter, easier terrain, the trail offers novices and highly-experienced riders alike a formidable challenge. The Hawks Overlook trail is one of the more difficult trails that skilled riders enjoy.
Due to environmental concerns, about 25% of the tails have been recently closed. There is a distinct possibility that all of the trails may close for good if an agreement cannot be reached between riders and the park system – so if you have the chance to go, do it soon!