Trail Conditions

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With hundreds of miles of trail in heavily wooded area, frequent storms and other weather events in Missouri, we are always trying to keep up with damage. If you've encountered downed trees, overgrown brush, tread issues, or other any problems on your trip, please Submit a Trip Report.

We have a forum for trail users to post existing trail conditions: ozarktrail.com/forum . The forum is a good place to see what recent reports have been filed. If you've been on the trail recently, please consider posting conditions in the forum for other trail users to see.

Seasonal Mowing – 2014 is proving to be a wonderful growing year for vegetation along the trail! But not good for trail users. The OTA has obtained funding from the US Forest Service to brush back the growth on trail within the Mark Twain National Forest. The L-A-D Foundation has also contributed funding to mow areas within the Pioneer Forest on the Blair Creek section. Mower crews are out working predominantly from the north to the south along the spine of the trail. In order to open as much trail as possible, we are selectively brushing known problem areas. If you encounter some nasty growth that we may have skipped over, please Submit a Trip Report and note the approximate location. Example – Briars leaning into the trail between miles 2 and 4 on the Trace Creek section. Map miles can be found on the Detailed Maps. Thanks for your help in reporting issues! Watch our Events page for volunteer mowing outings to be scheduled later this summer.

General trail conditions summarized below:
Section Name Notes Posted
Courtois Open.

Overall this section is in nice shape. There may be a tree down here and there and some seasonal growth. 


Watch for traffic along the 1 mile of road to walk from the entrance to Bass', but after you cross the the low-water bridge stay to the right side of the road and look for the trail entrance, also on the right.

The Berryman portion of the trail was showing its age (70+ years!) and improvements and a renovation project have been completed. The sourthern, middle, northern, and Brazil Creek reroutes were completed last year and getting some good use.  2 re-routes on the east side are now complete as well. Look for another 2 miles of re-routes on the east side in the next year or so.  The east side of Berryman has also had recent maintenance and sawing and is mostly clear.

Courtois Creek in the Huzzah Conservation Area can be subject to flooding. Consider calling Bass' River Resort, 800-392-3700 or Ozark Outdoors, 800-888-0023 for a river update. Portions of the trail in bottomlands or open areas can be weedy in the summer, especially near Harmon Spring.

10/31/2016
Trace Creek Open. Seasonal Growth.

The northern Trace Creek section of trail (north of 32) is in very good shape for a hike/ride. You can extend your hike or bike ride by connecting into the Council Bluff Loop at Telleck Branch. There is a tree down here and there south Hwy C, but mostly clear.  

Council Bluff Lake loop is all clear and it is in almost perfect condition.

Watch for a few trees down south of the Middle Fork connector before Hwy 32.

South of Highway 32 to A -  This section is mostly tree free except for a few between Panther Branch and Peter Cave Hollow (mi 20-22), and in pretty good shape. Signage should be pretty good, but wath out for a few root balls and holes still left over from the derecho a few years back. Expect some seasonal growth and a few trees down, but this section has some very dedicated adopters, so it should not be a problem.

There is a little illegal ATV activity in the Hazel Creek area, so watch for the OT signs.

10/23/2015
Middle Fork / John Roth Memorial Open.

This section gets pretty good use and is in great shape.

Mostly tree-free and seasonal growth, especially in areas that have been clear cut or had timber stand improvement a few years ago. This should be an excellent destination and you can extend your trip up through the Trace Creek section, over to Council Bluff Lake, or south to Brushy Creek Lodge.

Use caution after periods of rain as the creek crossings can be hazardous.

10/23/2015
Karkaghne Open.

This section is in nice shape considering the abuse it took from the derecho a few years ago.  Expect some season growth, but should be mostly tree free.

Watch closely for signs around the spur to Brushy Creek lodge to make sure are heading the right direction.

The crossing at Bee Fork is flood prone and can be hard to follow, so keep an eye out for signs.

Storm damage repairs have been completed from the Sutton Bluff area through Hwy TT.

10/23/2015
Blair Creek Open. Seasonal Growth.

Seasonal Mowing – On National Trails Day, volunteers mowed the large fields between miles 13.5 and 19.5 within the Pioneer Forest.

Expect some seasonal growth in low lands and near the creeks, but otherwise in good shape. Make sure to double check your map along roads and road crossings, as sometimes the OT markers disappear without notice. Red Trail markers and paint on trees do not designate the Ozark Trail. There is a new equestrian trail that runs concurrent with the OT on some of the gravel road stretches near Blair Creek that uses red blazes.

Please send us a report if you know of any other issues. Keep a look out for trail signs.

10/23/2015
Current River Open. Seasonal Growth. Seasonal Closures. Use by-pass.

The refuge area (fenced area) at Peck Ranch will be closed 4/1 -7/1, 10/1-2, 10/22-24, 11/12-22, and 12/3-4 in 2016.

Expect season closures in the fenced area around deer season and elk calving season. This means that trail users will not be able to access the trail in fenced area. You CAN still access the The Peck Ranch Trailhead, down the service road to the OT going north. To the south, an alternative by-pass is now available using road P-159 south for 4.6 mi and then a 3 mi bushwack along the south fence. Our online maps have been updated and a new by-pass map added. We will be signing the alternate route the weekend of Apr 2-3. Our gps files will be updated within the next week or so.

There will be seasonal growth in the bottomland areas of the trail, but the corridor should be generally free of downfall. If you enjoy hiking/backpacking in the summer, this is a good destination. It has a lot of good swimming holes to cool down from the heat.

Trail is in good shape from Powder Mill to Stegall Mountain. The brush can be a little high in the open field along Indian Creek, but is easy to follow. The spur to Rocky Falls is in excellent condition. The glade on Stegall is overgrown and it is very difficult to find the trail or follow cairns/markers, so make sure you have a map and compass or gps.

Mile 14 - 20 through Peck Ranch can be difficult to follow at times because of limited access for maintenance. A good map and compass, or preferably a GPS is recommended. A road walk can be a good alternative.

Once through Midco Hollow, the trail is much kinder. The area around Pike Creek can also get weedy and hard to follow, so keep an eye out for signs and check your map.

In dry spells, water can be limited between Rocky Creek and Pritchard Hollow Pond and then again over to Mint Spring. Plan accordingly.

03/30/2016
Between The Rivers Open. Seasonal Growth.

This section is in pretty good shape. Controlled burns have made some places hard to follow, so make sure you have a good map or GPS.

There is normally occurring deadfall on this section and seasonal growth. Adopt-A-Trail activity is high in select areas, but some of the bottomlands can quickly become overgrown. The Current River and Eleven Point sections may be better destinations if you enjoy summer trips on the Ozark Trail.

10/23/2015
Eleven Point Open.

This section is in great shape, but expect some seasonal growth especially on the river route east of Greer.

The trail from Hurricane Creek west to Greer Recreation Area along the "lower route" has heavy stinging nettle growth in the summer, so be prepared. This can be a beautiful area to travel in the summer, but summer growth combined with heat, humidity and insects can detract from its beauty. There are some tread issues on the lower route just east of Greer Recreation Area plus some erosion issues near Bockman Spring.

This trail can be a great adventure in the summer with swimming and fishing opportunities along the Eleven Point River, but it's not a "walk in the park."

10/23/2015
North Fork Open and in great shape.

Overall, the North Fork section is clear and in good shape. Some areas have been recently leaf blown and there is minimal scattered dead fall here and there. Trail is well marked with the exception of Devil's Backbone Wilderness Area. Wilderness Areas do not have markers so be sure to have good maps and compass or gps. Children's Forest at Blue Hole Trail Head recently received new interpretative signs and new bench. A picnic table also located at the trail head. The View from Lover's Leap is great any time of year. Expect seasonal growth.

10/23/2015
Taum Sauk Open. Seasonal Growth.

Generally in good shape, mostly tree free, but expect some seasonal growth.

Hwy 21 to Taum Sauk to JSI should be mostly clear, with a tree down here and there and some seasonal growth.

Hwy A to Johnson's Shut-Ins Scour Area is reported as mostly clear. Otherwise expect seasonal growth in the storm damaged and bottomland areas of the trail, but the corridor should be generally free of downfall.

10/23/2015
Marble Creek Open. Seasonal Growth.

Crane Lake is undergoing a partial (12 foot) drawdown that will result in a lake that is approximately 40-50 acres in size. This is being done to complete maintenance and engineering studies.

Make sure you have a good map and compass or GPS if you are planning a through-hike on this section.  It is generally clear near Marble Creek Campground and around the Crane Lake loop, but has a lot of seaonal growth and some downed trees otherwise. There are still some large root balls from previous storms, so be careful and keep a look out for them.

Portions that were subject to logging may be difficult to follow at times. If you are unfamiliar with the trail, you should bring a topo map and compass or GPS.

10/23/2015
Victory Open. Seasonal Growth.

Watch for the tornado damage between Hwy A and FR3551. It has been cleared and signed but isn't in the best shape. Expect seasonal growth. A re-route is currently being worked on and should be open later this year.

The rest of the trail, including the VHT, there is a tree down here and there and some seasonal growth. We have several really dedicated adopters that have signed up for this section and it is getting some extra love that was missing in the past. This section should stay in pretty good shape. 

Expect a tree down here and there, and some left over seasonal growth from last year.

10/23/2015
Wappapello Open. Watch for Flooding when the lake is up.

From Sam A Baker to #53 parking area the trail is well used and easy to follow. Watch closely for markers just north of mile 7 where the trail runs close to private land.

#53 parking to #55 parking is all cear and in pretty good shape.  Keep a lookout for a re-route around some tornado damage at mi 9.5. Recent work has left it clear and well signed, but expect some seasonal growth.

#55 to #58 to Hwy 67 - expect some seasonal growth, but mostly clear. We cleared all the trees we knew about recently, but there may be a new tree down here and there.

The loop between Hwy 67 and Hwy F was cleared on Jan 17th, except for the north east side between the flooded areas. Watch for flooding on the east side when the lake is up.

Hwy F parking to 546 should be in pretty good shape as it was cleared last spring, but watch for growth on the pipeline crossings.

The trail is difficult to follow in the pipeline crossings at mi 26 due to seasonal growth. Keep a look out for signs.

South of mi 28 is all clear. The trail just north of the 172 trailhead is pretty washed out and rutted, but passable.

Popular with equestrians, Sam A Baker to Hwy 34 and the loop see the most activity. Seasonal growth can be expected. Some parts subject to flooding. If you have been on this section recently send us a report.

01/18/2016

Who's Responsible?

You've just hiked a trail section where a few trees are down and some signs are missing. You wonder-- who's supposed to fix it?

Ultimate responsibility for the trail lies in the hands of the land stewards who own/manage the trail-- and are there are a lot of them. We list land steward contact information on each section overview on this website, plus have a complete list in on the Contact page.

However, it's volunteers that do most of the maintenance. We have established a network of volunteers through our Adopt-A-Trail program that will perform periodic maintenance and assist with clean-up. Please fill out a trip report to let us know about any issues on the OT.

To report a problem, contact the appropriate land steward, and please Submit a Trip Report.

How to Help

You can attend an outing or event, adopt a trail segment, become a trail monitor (Submit a Trip Report)-- and of course you can take a pair of hand shears and trim back small limbs and brush as you travel the trail.  Also, don't step over those small limbs-- toss them to the side or push them away with your walking stick!