Trails Illustrated map #233 shows the area from about mile 154 of the Boston Mountains segment east to the Sylamore area but none of the “new” trail – between US-65 and AR-14 – is shown. Dylan had troubles of his own. Knowing that we can push our bodies to their physical limits and then push them even farther. States: Illinois. I thought it a relatively short distance, over gradually sloped mountains, and I was not prepared for the obstacles that were to come my way. The river level here can be too high to cross after big rains. When complete, the OHT will run about 320 miles across northern Arkansas with the west end at Lake Fort Smith and the east end at the Missouri border north of Lake Norfork where it will someday connect to the Ozark Trail near Tecumseh MO. An old timer was making trail name tags with wood alphabet beads for hikers. Much of the trail from the Richland Creek crossing to just past the Old Arnold Cemetery is shared with equestrians and blazed both white and yellow. White Rock Mountain, Little Mulberry Creek, Haw Creek Falls, Ozone Camp, Salt Fork and Potato Knob are some of the intriguing places on the route. One crisp night, bedded down in a small clearing, we looked up and saw an unbelievable display of stars. It passes through some of the highest, most rugged, and scenic parts of the Ozarks. I was running ten miles at a stretch, four times a week and I’d just done an endurance challenge where I ran nearly fifty continuous miles in nine and a half hours. Dylan assured me he’d be right there, every step of the way, and I welcomed the company but was sure he didn’t understand what he was getting in to. It wasn’t worth the grueling pain or mental burden that comes with thru­-hiking the trail at the pace we had. Season: Spring through fall. These shaded relief, 1:35,000 scale topographic maps are up to date with correct mile marker labels and locations, scenic area icons, road names and numbers, and feature 50 ft contour intervals, UTM 1,000 meter labeled grid lines, interpretive and map use information and more, all presented on rugged, waterproof stock folded to 4 3/8 x 9 3/8. The trail alternates between low creek crossings and bluff tops with some great views and historical artifacts (leave them!) His feet were a breeding ground for blisters and I still don’t think his pinkie toe looks human. Crossing creeks, climbing mountains, and traversing ridges, the trail winds through some of Arkansas’ most remote wilderness. Shakedown. NoBo Start: Nov 20th Entries; Distance; Info; OHT Day 1 Nov 20, 2020 Nov 20th, 2020. $19.99 all guides 4 … Hiker-only trail is blazed white, equestrian trail is blazed yellow. We’re here to encourage you to see the world, chase adventure, live fearlessly, and embrace “the in-between.”. USFS details. I started to worry that we wouldn’t find a good water source and that completing the hike would be impossible. I had given it a good beating on my thru­-hike of the Appalachian Trail and it hadn’t quite healed. The OHT generally parallels scenic Arkansas Highway 341, also known as Push Mountain Road. Just e-mail our Maintenance Coordinator. Jackson moves so quickly, especially when he’s on a mission! Was the record worth the agony? Between the beautiful waterfalls and natural springs, this hike offers shady walk at an intermediate level of hiking to be enjoyed over a 10-12 day backpacking trip Fall through Spring are the peak seasons for this trail. Please report trees across the trail that you cannot step over by describing the situation, the mile marker number of the next marker you come to and the date you saw it. Because every step we took, every mile we walked, every night we spent in the dirt got us closer to the end. There are errors as well: the map depicts part of the OHT crossing and running along the north side of the river. My thru-­hike of the Ozark Highlands Trail (OHT) was no exception. He cycles quite a bit and is in great shape but he’d never done anything like this before. The elevation wasn't terrible, but … May 14 2020: The USFS has reported another landslide east of the Richland Creek Wilderness. The campground at Blanchard Springs closes if there’s any hint of heavy rain in the forecast. Located in the middle-South, it is well-known for its winter hiking opportunities when many other trails are impassable. Besides his feet, his knee started acting up on the downhills and his legs were really feeling it. Trails Appalachian Trail Pacific Crest Trail Continental Divide Trail Long Trail Colorado Trail. The idea of this hike began with a recurring and nagging thought over a period of months… “I want to hike the Ozark Highlands Trail (OHT) end to end.” I had hiked most of the trail in pieces and random order but never in sequence from beginning to end. An Interview with Soon-to-Be World Traveler and Southeast Asia Backpacker: Naomi Tate. This 164-mile segment between Lake Fort Smith and the Buffalo River, completed in 1989, was once regarded as the whole trail. Spring Creek: 36.05301,-92.44501  (Sylamore area – don’t confuse with Spring Creek Road trail head above). See below. I had been conditioning my mind and my body to thru-­hike the OHT in record time and I wasn’t sure he could keep up. Join me as I thru-hike the magnificent 165 mile Ozark Highlands Trail. This trip was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. The more information you provide the better the results. Cherry Bend (mile 35.3): Park at 35.743316,-93.811553. Injuries also plagued our trip. Beating the record was wonderful but it offered only bragging rights. Spring Creek (mile 0) 36.05301,-92.44501  (don’t confuse with the Spring Creek Rd trail head in the Buffalo River area), Moccasin Springs (mile 9) 36.02983,-92.35291, Cripple Turkey (mile 14.4) 36.05655, -92.31844  (this is also the west end of the North Sylamore Creek Trail), Brush Creek (mile 18.1) 36.10046,-92.32681, Matney Knob (mile 31.6) 36.21423,-92.30819, Dam: trail head @ 36.25725, -92.24115  with day-use parking @ 36.25645, -92.24052, Lake Road / Briarcliff: approximately 36.2739,-92.2638, Tracy Park: trail crossing @ 36.29850, -92.27125,  parking @ 36.29910, -92.26894, Panther Bay: 36.37832, -92.24935  (there may be a day-use fee here), Bidwell Point Rec Area: approximately 36.3877, -92.2434. I had to make frequent stops, stretch it out and continue limping. The first night I had us camping eight miles from any potential water source and that wasn’t going to work. Located in the middle-South, it is well-known for its winter hiking opportunities when many other trails are impassable. Ozark Highlands Trail is a 156.7 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Winslow, Arkansas that features a lake and is rated as moderate. In the mean time, be prepared to detour. Half of them were trail maintainers. A thru­-hike of any trail presents many challenges that most are unaware of. Honestly, I thought it would be a cake walk. A limited reopening of the parks begins May 6th. Join the Ozark Highlands Trail Association, and bring some friends out hiking with you. USFS: Many campgrounds and Recreation Areas are closed or have reduced services. << does v6 have more? Your email address will not be published. No one forced us to be there, we were electing to put ourselves through hell. So far, it might seem like the entire hike was a complete and miserable suck fest…and it kind of was. A proper map of the area is in the works. Tracy Arm section (aka Lake Norfork Trail), about 13 miles. Dylan is an avid hiker, he has been through Colorado, the Smokey Mountains, and all over Arkansas; including some sections of the OHT. Tim Ernst’s Ozark Highlands Trail Guide contains some information for the area between the Woolum ford and Tyler Bend. I saw her smooth and well blazed, I saw her rough and overgrown. The path is marked with white, rectangular pieces of metal called blazes. I’m pleased to share an inspiring accounting of an Ozark Highlands Trail thru-hike. If you prefer maps that you can use on a mobile device or print yourself, download this 6-page PDF. So we changed the schedule, accepted that fact that we’d have to carry extra water, relied on some luck and the expedition pressed on. They are responsible for building and maintaining the trail and do a wonderful job with the resources they have, however, there were sections that needed attention (We started at the beginning of their maintenance season so by the time Spring rolls around the obstacles we encountered will be cleaned up). The area is between mile 140.8 and 141.5. Wearing blaze orange visible from front and back is a wise precaution. Ozark Highlands Trail (OHT) Sylamore Section is a 32 mile linear thru-trail, a link in the 800-mile Trans Ozark Trail, under construction and 80% complete. The most exhausting, grueling, and wearisome aspect of this brand of adventure is the mental perseverance it takes to complete such a daunting task. The trail runs 165 miles, from Lake Ft. Smith to the Woolum Campground on the Buffalo River. For the hiker, a great way to explore the Ozarks is on the Ozark Highland Trail, often rated one of the top 10 trails in America by hiking experts. I set out, not to simply hike the distance of the OHT but to set the unsupported speed record. The OHT is a very unique corridor through the Ozark Mountains. Ken Smith’s Buffalo River Handbook is the definitive source of information for the river, trails, and surrounding area. You don’t always climb a mountain for the sake of the climb, but rather to stand on top to prove that you can. Dylan wasn’t as prepared for this hike as I was, but once he made up his mind he stayed with me every step of the way. This 136-page guide has information on scenic spots, historical features, campgrounds, shuttle services, a complete history of the trail and a monthly weather guide. Typically you’d cross several running creeks a day but we hadn’t seen much rain that month and everywhere we stopped was either dry or stagnate. Even the new 2019 edition of this map is incorrect. Tales of the Trail: Thru-Hiking the Ozark Highlands Trail A thru­-hike of any trail presents many challenges that most are unaware of. "Located in the middle-South, it is well-known for its winter hiking opportunities when many other trails are impassable,” according to the Ozark Highlands Trail … Sep 8 2020-Oct 2020:  Falling Water Road (FR 1205) – south of the Richland Creek Wilderness – will be closed during the week but open and accessible on the weekends. If you’re confused, lost, wandering, skeptical, adventurous; keep reading, there are lots of us out there. The Ozark Highlands Trail is a 164-mile, long distance point-to-point hiking trail running through Arkansas’s Ozark Mountains. Things seem easier and goals become more attainable. Sometimes knowing that I could be at home in bed watching Russian YouTube videos instead of slugging through the wilderness made it near impossible to take another step. Call the visitor information center at 870-757-2211 if that might impact your plans. The folks at Richard's Canoe have been shuttling Ozark Trail hikers for years and they know the trailheads well. We met exactly one backpacker over those two days, but he was a special encounter. This 43-mile segment follows the Buffalo River from near the mouth of Richland Creek to the Dillard’s Ferry area at AR-14. The first 5 miles or so just get you around the lake then you start some light climbing towards the East. I looked at my watch; 6:08 p.m. As I said before, we were attempting an unsupported speed record and time meant everything. USFS will be working to repair and stabilize the road and hillside while OHTA crews will assess the trail condition and carry out any repairs/reroutes necessary. Dehydration is easy to come by and can hit you before you know it, the lack of water makes you sluggish and prone to injury. It helps the OHTA and land managers to know the number of people using a section, and it gives search and rescue crews a clue where to find you if the unexpected happens. Trip description: Thru hike of the OHT Thanksgiving week, expecting night lows in the 30s. Fall through Spring are the peak seasons for this trail. The OHTA recalculated the locations for mile markers and replaced all of them between April ’16 and August ’17. At one of the hardest sections of the trail we found a few cans of food, either left intentionally for us or by a previous hiker who’d decided to lighten their load. Our Ozark Highlands Trail guide helps you navigate the length of the 164-mile trail. Tim Ernst’s Ozark Highlands Trail Guide contains information for this segment. Congratulations. We assumed someone had left it for hikers because that section of the trail was particularly dry. With some planning and advanced route-planning, some hikers have connected the Ouachita Trail with the ~170-mile long Ozark Highlands Trail to create a longer thru-hike. Tue - Sat, 10am - 5:30pm Closed Sun & Mon (870) 726-4845 Before I left for the trail, my roommate Dylan decided he wanted to join me. Knowing that we can withstand the pain and suffering all day, then wake up, and do it again. The first realization that this would be more difficult than expected came when we tried to find water. Tim Ernst’s Ozark Highlands Trail Guide has long been the definitive source of information for this segment. There is no report of damage to the trail itself but this could affect access to the trail near mile 21. The OHTA web store has a map that covers the Richland Valley east through the Sylamore area (miles 164 to 253). A blog about adventure, life, travel, and finding your place in the world. Our hiking guides are perfect for a day-hike, section-hike, or thru-hike. Required fields are marked *. Dogs, where permitted at all, need to be leashed. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. This is south of the landslide of 10 years ago and north of the Keefe Falls area. Eastbound vs Westbound The Ouachita Trail is traditionally a west-to-east hike, though it can be hiked in either direction. The pine forests and birch groves give way to spectacular waterfalls and unbelievable rock formations. The road (FR1205) is affected but the status of the trail is currently unknown. Sometimes blazes were missing, some far apart, making it difficult to find the way. But the most taxing challenge of all was keeping our spirits up. mattrobinson. About 270 miles of the OHT have been built with 50 miles to do across the Lower Buffalo Wilderness and 3 gaps near Lake Norfork. thanks, we all have mountains to climb and stories like yours says, “just stop with the analysis and do it!”, Your email address will not be published. ... hikers from Nob Hill, explore the trail on … Hike Ratings Guidelines & Liability Waiver, Even the new 2019 edition of this map is incorrect, limited reopening of the parks begins May 6th, map that covers the Richland Valley east through the Sylamore area, Copyright © 2020 Ozark Highlands Trail Association - All Rights Reserved | Customized by, Lake Ft Smith (mile 0): 35.694624, -94.11849, White Rock Mountain (mile 17.4): Parking area at 35.68953, -93.95447. I saw her in dark and in light, I saw her hot and cold, dry and wet. Ozark Highlands Trail, Summer 2004 Thru-hike From dawn on Monday, 28Jun04, until 8am on Wednesday, 7Jul04, I solo backpacked the Ozark Highlands Trail. May 26 update: USFS announced that sites will begin reopening. That is not the BRT. November 19, 2020 Nov 19th, 2020. River to River Trail. It coexists with part of the Buffalo River Trail here so is commonly called the BRT/OHT. There are no water faucets along the trail so you have to rely on Mother Nature to provide. This shaded relief, 1:37,500 scale topographic map is up to date with scenic area icons, road names and numbers, and features 50 ft contour intervals, UTM 1,000 meter labeled grid lines, interpretive and map use information and more, all presented on rugged, waterproof stock folded to 4 3/8 x 9 3/8. We placed our trust in the goodness of others and drank the entire jug! The trail is blazed with 2″x6″ white markers oriented vertically and typically nailed to a tree near eye level. I welcome the hardships that I face with open arms because without them, I wouldn’t grow as a person. I thoroughly enjoyed the Ouachita as I only saw people during 3 of the 17 days I was on trail. May 28 2020: White Rock Mtn Road (FR1003) is closed between Ragtown Rd (FR1509) and Potato Knob Rd (FR1510) due to a landslide. Watch carefully for areas where shared trail splits so you don’t miss a turn (or take one you shouldn’t). in abundance. We were trying to navigate all these obstacle with just the beam from our headlamps, and it was easy to get lost. Lick Branch (mile 55.1): 35.71000, -93.66157, Arbaugh Road (mile 69.9): 35.75765,-93.52795, Ozone Campground (mile 84.7):  35.672979,-93.450776, Fort Douglas, aka Big Piney Creek (mile 103.8):  35.677945,-93.238073, Fairview Campground (mile 123.8): 35.73875, -93.09376, Richland Creek Campground (mile 143.2): 35.7964,-92.9303, Woolum ford (mile 164): Parking at 35.971941,-92.886213, Woolum ford: Parking at 35.97194,-92.88621. The Hiker’s Guide, Ozark Highlands Trail Route, Lower Buffalo Wilderness (available at Pack Rat and the OHTA web store) has topo maps and GPS waypoints for this route. Accurate and detailed reports save our sawyers time and are much appreciated. Welcome to the Ozark Highlands Trail Fan Page. Also, the map shows a part of the BRT on the north side of the river from US-65 to Gilbert. Trails Illustrated map #233 shows the trail to the point where it crosses AR-341 (about mile marker 23). It passes through some of the most beautiful and remote parts of the Ozark National Forest. But you know what is worth it? Please sign in (and out) at trail head register boxes on the cards or in the notebook provided. State Parks: The west end of the OHT in Lake Fort Smith State Park is open. Ozark Highlands Trail's 2020 OHT Thru-Hike. Most have moved east at least a mile. 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