FATMAP difficulty grade
The LOViT IMBA Epic trail is an out-and-back, so you may want to break it up into segments and spend the night at an area cabin or campground.
But if you want to do the entire trail at once, you can setup a shuttle with Ouachita Rides & Guides (facebook.com/ridesandguides/). I prefer riding west to east, but there is no best direction.
When you start at Denby Point the first few miles are nice and flowy, easy-peasy, with smooth trails and views of Lake Ouachita.
There isn't much elevation until after mile 11, when you start climbing Hickory Mountain.
With the steep grade—about 10% at times—and rocky trail, it is a challenge for anyone.
But once you reach the top, your efforts are rewarded with a great open view, followed by a long descent.
Enjoy! After about 10 more miles there is another long, steep climb, but you’re riding in the Ouachita Mountains—there are going to be some climbs. The entire trail is classic singletrack, with roots, rocks, dense pine forests, and creek crossings.
And none of these rocks were hauled in like some of the other trails in the region—Mother Nature put these rocks there just for our riding pleasure. The easternmost end of the trail drops you down a pretty sweet descent to the base of the dam that formed the lake.
Once you reach the dam you can check another IMBA Epic trail off your list of mountain biking accomplishments. There are plenty of trailheads and gravel road crossings to help you break the trail up.
If a cabin and camping is not your thing, the exciting city of Hot Springs is not far away.
You can get a room at the Arlington Hotel and soak those aching muscles to get you ready to go back and finish your LOViT adventure.