Council Bluffs Sept. 2009

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Council Bluffs Sept. 2009

Postby ImWithSadie » Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:06 pm

I went on my first multi-day hiking trip in mid-September. I was accompanied by my dog, Sadie. We had a great time.

Council Bluffs is a fantastic trail for the beginning hiker. But, you need to be in moderately good shape, because of the rolling terrain. There's plenty of creek water along the way, and of course you can fill up at the lake. The trail is in great condition, but I was a little confused by the creek crossing east of Chapel Hill Beach. For some reason I tried to wander up the dry creek bed. As you stand at the end of the path, the path continues at a place within your vision range, so don't wander too far.

Along the trail, I did encounter at least a couple of downed trees. Unfortunately I didn't think to note their position. If I return to Council Bluffs, I'll try to remember to do that.

I didn't encounter any ticks, but I did get chewed up pretty good by some blood suckers. I don't think it was mosquitoes, because the bites are smaller than mosquito bites, and itch more.

The only disappointment was with camping. I hiked clockwise around the lake (most people go counterclockwise, I think), and camped around mile marker 3 on the GORC map (see below for link). Unfortunately that area has a lot of bluffs. I was tired and after scrambling up a hillside, decided to set up camp over slightly uneven ground. That turned out to be a mistake. Perhaps I could have done better, if I had not waited so late in the day to camp. Once night fell, I heard a lot of dogs barking, and at least a couple of times, heard dogs, wolves, or drunks howling at the moon. Someone walked right by my tent at 5:30 AM, which was creepy.

I parked at the NW boat launch, and left my vehicle there overnight. I'm not sure if you're allowed to do that or not. There is a $3/day parking fee, so bring along some bills if you park there. If you look around you can probably find places to park for free.

GORC map:
http://www.gorctrails.com/images/maps/council_bluff.pdf
ImWithSadie
 
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Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 6:16 pm

Re: Council Bluffs Sept. 2009

Postby Jim » Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:25 pm

Maybe camping in the campground would have been a little better option. The mile marker 3 you refer to on the map has a connector trail up the ridge to the campground with fire rings, and campsites, also a much better location to park overnight. However the fee is a bit more than the Daily parking fee at the boat launch.

Dog's howling and an occassional drunk howling at a moon could be considered normal activities in those parts of the backwoods, although gun fire is probably more common. I always wonder what could be out in the dark that requires a gunfire at 2 am.... Berryman is worse that CB in this case.

The connector over to the Trace creek and Middlefork sections offer much better remote camping locations as well hiking destinations.

Ps.. the blood suckers would more than likely be Chiggars. not fun.... http://mdc.mo.gov/nathis/arthopo/chiggers/
Jim
 
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Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:07 pm
Location: O'Fallon, MO

Re: Council Bluffs Sept. 2009

Postby ImWithSadie » Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:38 pm

My Dad thought it was chiggers too. I'm still itching, but fortunately they spared the crotch. And now that you mention it, I did hear a gunshot.

I look forward to Barryman, Middlefork, and lots of other Ozark Trail goodness once I get a little more experienced.
ImWithSadie
 
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Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 6:16 pm

Re: Council Bluffs Sept. 2009

Postby hesstonj » Thu Dec 10, 2009 9:39 am

I biked this trail last week. The trees have been cut...and really, I do not recall any trees in the way anywhere. Other than the occasional deep creek mud-hole, this trail is in excellent shape. The trail was full of wildlife too. Lots of deer, turkeys, beavers, may have seen an otter - not sure, seen several eagles and some squirrels... a few spots that looked like possibly some recent (same day) bear foraging, but not positive of that either...just a couple tracks. Seen some bobcat tracks as well. It was nice...I think I was the only one on the trail. Probably the only one crazy enough to be...it was sleeting and 29 degrees when I started. A couple duck hunters on the lake. All around a great ride...took me about 2.5 hours with stopping to take all the photos and stuff.
-get out and experience something
hesstonj
 
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