Black Fork Mountain Wilderness

The Basics

Black Fork Mountain Wilderness
Ouachita National Forest
Arkansas and Oklahoma

Phone: (479) 394-2382 (Mena District Office)

Closest Towns: Heavener, OK; Mena, AR

Directions: From Mena, head North on US Highway 59/71 for 5 miles to the junction with US Highway 270, and Turn Left. Travel West on US 270 for approx. 7.5 miles to the parking area (sign) on your right.

About Black Fork Mountain

Spanning nearly 13 miles across the top of Black Fork Mountain, this wilderness area stradles the Arkansas-Oklahoma border. With 8,300 acres in Arkansas and 4,700 acres in Oklahoma, the Black Fork Mountain Wilderness protects more than 13,000 acres of pristine and very rugged terrain in the Ouachita National Forest.

This seldom visited wilderness offers stunning panoramic views and much solitude. Only one trail accesses the interior of the area, on the Arkansas side, and there are no trails on the Oklahoma side. Beginning from the Ouachita National Recreation Trail near US Hwy 270, the rugged Black Fork Mountain Trail travels nearly 6 miles up the eastern side of Black Fork Mountain, and climbs to one of the highest points on the mountain, at just over 2,600 feet. This trail passes by old homesites and offers many ridgetop views over towards Rich Mountain to the south.

This wilderness area holds thousands of acres of unlogged, old-growth forest. Steep cliffsides, especially near vertical ones on the Oklahoma side, provide a sanctuary for many groves of serviceberry, granddaddy graybeard, and numerous dwarf oaks. Some of these oaks are over 100 years old, yet they are only 6-8 feet tall. Aside from two small springs atop the mountain, the area holds no water, but is bordered by the Ouachita River and Big Creek, both at the base of the mountain.

Black bears do inhabit the wilderness area, as well as deer, bobcat, and skunk.

Black Fork Mountain was also the site of a plane crash on September 27, 1973. Texas International Airlines Flight 655.


Black Fork Mountain Trail

What's Nearby

Parks & Nature




Local Eateries

Gear & Supplies

Other Attractions
Shut-In Mountain Walk-In Turkey Hunting Area

Towns & Cities