West Kelly (A45)

Total Miles
3.4

Elevation

234.61 ft

Duration

0.75 Hours

Technical Rating

2

Easy

Best Time

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Trail Overview

Forest Service Trail A45, affectionately known as West Kelly Trail, is a captivating journey through the dense, lush forests of the Ouachita National Forest in southeastern Oklahoma. Situated just north of the majestic Winding Stair Mountains, the trail is primarily a gravel road, accessible to most vehicles. The dense canopy overhead and the surrounding verdant undergrowth create a serene atmosphere, perfect for nature lovers and adventurers alike. A unique feature of this trail is a concrete low-water crossing, which adds a slight challenge, rating it a "2" on the difficulty scale. A notable amenity along the route is a well-equipped gun range, offering covered benches for rifle and pistol shooting. While the trail itself does not host designated campsites, it serves as a gateway to a network of other National Forest trails and is a stone's throw away from several Forest Service campgrounds, offering ample opportunities for extended stays and exploration. Just about 6 miles north of the trail is the small town of Heavner, Oklahoma, a convenient spot to replenish supplies, grab groceries, or fuel up. However, travelers should be mindful of the strictly enforced speed limits while passing through to maintain the town's safety and tranquility. The area is steeped in history, with the Ouachita Mountains being an ancient range, older than even the Rockies. The forests here have been a witness to centuries of natural history and human interaction, from early Native American inhabitants to European settlers and loggers who utilized the rich timber resources. The name "Ouachita" is derived from the Choctaw words for "good hunting grounds," reflecting the area's abundant wildlife and its importance to those who have called it home. As you traverse the West Kelly Trail, you're not just journeying through a natural landscape, but through time and history, surrounded by the beauty and the stories of Southeast Oklahoma's Ouachita National Forest. Whether you're there for the day's adventure on the trail or exploring the nearby campgrounds and communities, it promises a rich and rewarding experience.

Difficulty

A unique feature of this trail is a concrete low water crossing, which adds a slight challenge, rating it a "2" on the difficulty scale. The water is no more than an inch or two in depth.

Technical Rating

2

Status Reports

There are no status reports yet for this trail.

Access Description

To reach the scenic Forest Service Trail A45, also known as West Kelly Trail, travelers will want to navigate to its starting point just off Highway 59. The trailhead is conveniently situated across from the Choctaw Work Center and the Wildlife Department, prominent landmarks that make locating the beginning of your adventure easy. This area is located within Le Flore County, Oklahoma, known for its beautiful landscapes and rich history. From the north or south, take Highway 59 towards the vicinity of the trail. As you approach, look for signage indicating the Choctaw Work Center and the Wildlife Department, which are directly adjacent to the trail's entrance. This area is well-known amongst local and visiting outdoor enthusiasts, so local residents and businesses are generally helpful if you need additional directions. Once you turn off from Highway 59, you'll find yourself at the gateway to the West Kelly Trail. Here, the journey into the dense forests and the beauty of the Ouachita National Forest begins. Ensure your vehicle is well-prepared for the gravel road ahead, and consider stopping in nearby Heavener for any last-minute supplies or fuel. Remember to respect all posted speed limits and enjoy the natural splendor of Southeast Oklahoma as you embark on your adventure along Forest Service Trail A45.

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