Trail Shelter Information

There are 12 existing shelters in the area between Arkansas Hwy 7 and Hwy 9, trail miles 70-119. FoOT has been working on a project to add additional shelters in Oklahoma and western Arkansas for several years. The first new shelter was completed in 2013. This page will summarize the locations of the existing shelters and keep you updated on the new shelter projects.
FoOT SHELTERS are presenetd in mileage order:

ROCK GARDEN – MM  9.4 Completed November 2013

After the Holson Valley adventure (see below), and a 2-3 day break, the FoOT team and the Americorps Team started the Rock Garden shelter. It presented its own challenges. The site was 3 miles off Holson Valley Road on a single track dirt road with a very steep climb the last 3/10 of a mile.  Wet & cold weather made the work site and access a muddy mess.  The work team completed the shelter at 2 pm Sunday afternoon but before all the equipment was off the mountain, heavy sleet blanketed the area.

A big thanks to each volunteer.  We appreciate Sarah Jones coordinating the Americorps Team. Norm Brumm continues his excellent work as our construction lead.  On the Rock Garden, we would like to thank Ron Mayfield for bringing his 4 wheel drive tractor to deliver material to and from the work site.  If you could see the steep grade and mud, you could appreciate how important that was.

HOLSON VALLEY VISTA – MM 16.8   Completed November 2013

This fourth new shelter was completed November 17, 2013 with the help of an Americorps Team. We could not have done it without them since we had to manually prep the site and then haul all the materials and tools down a 120 foot bluff! Thanks to all the youngsters! Decent weather.


This second new shelter was completed April 20, 2013. It is located at the old fire tower site near mile marker 25. Perfect weather!


The first new shelter was completed March 4, 2013. It is located just east of the Hwy 71-Foran Gap trail head. The shelter was dedicated to Arthur Paul Cowley, a former Public Information Officer of the Ouachita National Forest. From 1965 to 1979, he was instrumental in developing the trail, which included trail planning, coordination and construction. Art retired from the Forest Service in 1988 and passed away in 2010. His family donated funds to build the shelter in honor of his time and effort on our trail.

We almost froze!


This third new shelter was constructed in the Oklahoma section of the trail in June of 2013. We burned up!

STATE LINE  - MM 46.4 Planned



This shelter was completed March 29, 2014.

SUCK MOUNTAIN – MM 108.6 Planned

STORY CREEK – MM 116.7 Planned


The nine existing shelters are all in the area between Highway 27 and Highway 9:

John Archer Shelter at MM 122.6

Bill Potter Shelter at MM 127.5

Big Branch Shelter at MM 134.0

Blue Mountain Shelter at MM 143.2

Big Bear Shelter at MM 150.8

Moonshine Shelter at MM 158.4

Oak Mountain Shelter at MM 167.4

Brown Creek Shelter at MM 182.5

Nancy Mountain Shelter at  MM 189.5

These nine shelters average 7.4 miles apart.  The largest gap of 15.1 miles is due to the Flatside Wilderness.

One ‘complaint’ of the existing shelters is a lack of water sources nearby. Dependable water sources away from major roads are scarce on the ONRT as a whole. These shelter sites were chosen more for ease of access for construction purposes.