Zoie Clift, travel writer
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
The 8.5 mile Rabbit Tail Water Trail is a new water trail available for paddlers to experience on the north shore of Lake Ouachita. The newly opened route is part of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s (AGFC) Arkansas Water Trail program and is the first virtual water trail in the mix.
To access the geo-referenced map of the trail, users download a free app onto their phone. A blue dot marks their location on the map as they paddle along.
The route is situated on a more remote part of the lake and the many quiet coves available offer plentiful fishing and wildlife watching opportunities such as keeping an eye out for wading birds and waterfowl. According to the AGFC website, wind can create waves and rough water so it is best to avoid open water and stick to the coves when paddling. Motorboat traffic on the lake also increases on both weekends and holidays. Ouachita Kayak Tours, which is owned by Lisa Logan, is AGFC’s partner in the trail and the outfitting service offers tours and also kayaks for rent.
Randy Zellers, assistant chief of communications for AGFC, recently wrote a news release on the trail, which celebrated a dedication earlier this month. “It’s an open lake instead of a stream, so users can shorten the mileage as they paddle along using the map on their phone,” said Kirsten Bartlow, watchable wildlife program coordinator for the AGFC, via the news release. “But don’t let it fool you, much of the shoreline of Lake Ouachita is similar, so it’s easy to get turned around. Some fantastic islands along the route also are open for camping, so someone can plan a multiple day trip and an overnight campout during their float.”
To get to the access launch point, travel to the community of Avant. From there, turn left on Rabbit Trail Road and travel 0.8 miles to the Rabbit Tail Access. For more details on Ouachita Kayak Tours, visit ouachitakayaktours.com or call 501-725-2925. For more details on the Arkansas Water Trails program, visit here. For more details on how to download the app onto your phone, click here.