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Spooky run best suited for speed work.”
— S V
This little loop conjures childhood nightmares of being chased through the woods, chills and increased cadences.
The foot that hangs outside the covers. Closed eyes in front of bathroom mirrors in the dark. The hair that stands up on the back of your neck. This is that trail. Technical? Yes. Beauty? Sure, it’s definitely there. But there is something else too. You'll notice the creepiness nearing as the blaze seemingly zigs and zags back and forth through the pines for no reason, like the trail is purposely trying to shake you off. The feeling heightens as you pass the fallen ice trees and the tiny wood bridge at the moist bottom of the slope. Off in the distance you'll spy a short tin roof shack. DO NOT STEP OFF TRAIL TO INVESTIGATE. You've seen the movie. Best to pick up your pace as it is mostly uphill from here. Do not be alarmed when you hear crashing in the woods, or when random rocks rebound off the trees behind you. Simply pick up the pace and you'll be fine. DO NOT TURN AROUND. Keep running. After you cross the scenic byway for the second time you have a choice: abort the run and sprint on the road half a mile to your parked car at the visitor center or continue the trail on the other side. Hint: There have been no sightings of the North American Yeti east of Ward Lake. Note: Do not run this on Friday the 13th, or during the deer rut. The bucks on this loop get rather aggressive. Just run long and run wild.
Flora & Fauna
Buck and Doe during rut season. No Yeti have been spotted on this section of trail.
History & Background
This section of trail passes the National Forrest Service road and heads toward Ward Lake Dam and the police shooting range. The water treatment building is abandoned. Further up on the dam wall, you get a wonderful 360 view of the Ouachitas and a sense that you are in a valley.