I’ve returned from a 4 day trip to hike section 5 of the Ozark Highlands Trail – between the Big Piney and Ozone trail heads. Continue reading
I spent another weekend in the Kaintuck Hollow area – this time with a small group from the local Sierra Club’s semi-annual “Backpacking 101″ class.
We hiked-in to the natural bridge Friday, set up camp, and explored the watershed feeding the creek flowing through the natural bridge. There are at least three springs. Saturday we hiked the long way to Wilkin’s Spring and then hung-out there watching the geese and muskrats. Wildflowers were abundant – violets, bluets, spring beauty, but also henbit and chickweed, which are just weeds when they’re in my lawn.
Temperatures Saturday AM were pretty brisk but the afternoons were warm and sunny. We saw surprisingly few people.
I spent the weekend in the Hercules Glades Wilderness with a small group from the Sierra Club. It was my third visit but the first in the spring. I was hoping there would be a lot more water in Long’s Creek to provide a good show at “the falls” but it was not to be. Still, there was more water than in previous visits. Continue reading
St Patrick’s weekend found me visiting the Irish Wilderness for the third time. It was essentially a repeat of the second trip with a different group and different weather.
It was the first backpacking trip for the GoLite Jam 70, a new mattress, and new rain gear (which saw action). It was the second trip for the ZPacks quilt. Continue reading
The Kaintuck Hollow Trail is actually a system of trails in the Mill Creek Recreation area southwest of Rolla MO. It was the site of my first backpacking trip almost two years ago, and where I spent this past weekend with 3 friends. Continue reading
There is a 15000 acre piece of the Mark Twain National Forest southeast of Columbia MO that features the Pine Ridge and Dry Fork Recreation Areas (with decent-looking campgrounds), 22-mile Cedar Creek trail, 5-mile Smith Creek loop, and about 5 miles of other trails, all connected, with access from at least a dozen parking areas. Places where I can go backpacking within 3 hours of home are very rare so I’ve been pretty interested in checking this place out.
Work on the “red” trail at Shawnee Mission Park has resumed and for the first time in a long time, my schedule permitted me to participate. There’s one final piece about a mile long to build and it’s mostly going across a slope so it will require a lot of bench cutting. We got about 100 yards done this morning so it will take a while!
The winter storm on Christmas left a lot of snow over northern and central Arkansas and vetoed my original plan for a 5-day New Year’s weekend trip in the Ouachita Mountains. One of several “Plan B” trips was the Irish Wilderness in SE MO. I was there once before.
The Shores Lake & White Rock trail is a bit east of Ft Smith AR and connects Shores Lake and White Rock Mountain in a 13-mile loop. The northern part of the loop is shared with the Ozark Highlands Trail. A friend and I spent the weekend there seeing what there was to see.
On the agenda for Saturday was the Wilderness Trail at Meramec State Park – a 9-mile loop. This trail has 8 sites where backpackers can camp – rather unusual among Missouri State Parks. The camps were a fair distance off the trail and had iron fire rings. It looked like the park was preparing for a controlled burn as there were fire breaks criss-crossing much of the northern half, so the area might soon look quite a bit different.