Eleven Point Loop_9/09

Post a narrative about your trip on the Ozark Trail

Eleven Point Loop_9/09

Postby paul barbercheck » Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:35 pm

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This was my first trip to the Eleven Point River...what a treat! I hiked the eastern loop of this section on 9/29-9/30. Had perfect hiking weather both days, blue skies and high temperatures in the mid 60’s.

Parked at the Greer TH at about 2:30 where I pulled my gear together before walking down beneath the Hwy 19 bridge. Talked to a fisherman there who said he’d caught an 18” rainbow trout from the deep pool under the bridge––he claimed the spot has always been a good place to fish. For a fisherman, he seemed like an honest guy. Next time I‘m bringing my rod and reel.

I turned back from the bridge heading east through the picnic area at Greer Recreation Area, then headed back into the woods at the campgrounds. The trail was clear from Greer Campground to where the trail divides the upper and lower routes. In fact, it looks like someone has mowed or trimmed along the trail's edge in some spots.

At the wooden directional sign I turned left to start the loop on the upper route. I walked for about an hour on a pretty clean path. About 1-1/2 miles from the divide, the trail begins to look pretty neglected, and remains that way until you reach the long switchbacks close to the eastern side of the loop, where the upper and lower trails unite again. Lots of downed trees laying on the trail along the uppermost section, I counted over fifty before I lost count. Most were easy to walk around. The good news is, nearly all were smaller trees and would not be very difficult to remove. I pulled over 100 branches off the trail but there were still plenty left there, too. I noticed two larger trees down, one of which snapped off about 3-4’ above the ground and lays angled downward across the trail. This is a nice section of trail but it needs some attention to really show it off. I’d estimate a sawyer/swamper team could clear the whole upper section in 5-6 hours.

By having my map buried in my backpack I missed the turn to the lower route at Hurricane Creek and kept walking toward the eastern TH at FR 3152. I realized I’d overshot my turn after hiking about a 1/2 mile beyond the creek. It was dust at this point and I needed to find a quick flat spot to pitch my tent, so I kept hiking east in hopes of finding one––I quickly learned there isn’t a flat spot along this section, so I eventually trekked up the very steep hill close to the trailhead and camped on the hilltop on a semi-flat spot no bigger then my tent. I scared a buzzard or hawk out of the treetops on the way up...not to mention how much it scared the crap out of me as its huge wingspan crashed through the canopy. Had to pitch my tent in the dark, then laid down and studies the topo map to determine where exactly I’d landed, and vowed to keep the map a little closer at hand the next day.

That night I was awakened by several deer huffing around my tent and the owls had a hoot fest in the early morning before sunrise.

I hit the trail again by 8:30 the next morning. The lower route is in much better shape and flat, making the trail much easier to travel. It appears it’s been tended to more regularly and remains reasonably clear the entire way back to Greer Recreation Area, except for a few smaller downed trees and some overgrown weeds and brushy spots in a few areas.

There are plenty of wonderful views of the Eleven Point River as the trail meanders back and forth from the rivers edge to the woods, and back to the river again. I saw two deer swimming in the river before they noticed me and scrambled back to the safety of the woods. Dark blue lobelia was in full bloom all along the river and creeks, with patches of brown-eyed susan sprinkled in between. River cane also thrives in pockets close to the river and trail.

I made it back to the Greer TH by 1:00. Overall, the trail was easy to navigate other then the missed turn I noted at Hurricane Creek. I was looking for a posted directional sign similar to the one located at the western divide, which does not exist on the eastern divide. Never the less, I made it and would recommend you hike this section soon.

Get out there if you can, it’s the perfect time.

I took a few pics along the way, check ‘em out.
paul barbercheck
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:28 pm

Re: Eleven Point Loop_9/09

Postby hesstonj » Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:35 pm

awesome info and pics! thanks for sharing!
-get out and experience something
hesstonj
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon May 25, 2009 6:46 pm
Location: Springfield, MO


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