In the extreme eastern Ouachita Mountains is a Wilderness that takes its name from Flatside Pinnacle, a 1,550-foot rock outcropping just outside the northeast boundary. In 2019, the Wilderness was expanded and the added acres named the Bethune Woods-Flatside Wilderness addition in honor of former Representative Ed Bethune. Dominating the skyline are White Oak Mountain, the highest point in the Wilderness at 1,650 feet, and Forked Mountain, at 1,350 feet. From overlooks on the eastern and western sides, the forest below looks like an unbroken canopy of pines and hardwoods. Several small creeks flow through the area. Spanning the entire Ouachita National Forest from east to west, the Ouachita National Recreation Trail starts near Flatside Pinnacle and crosses the Wilderness for 10 miles of rugged hiking to White Oak Mountain. Off-trail hikers will encounter some of the remotest parts of Arkansas.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Flatside Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
Arkansas Wilderness Act of 1984 (Dale Bumpers Wilderness Resources Protection Act) - Public law 98-508 (10/19/1984) To designate certain national forest system lands in the State of Arkansas for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System, and for other purposes