Bell Mountain to Barton Fen (3 day, 2 nights, 31 miles)

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Bell Mountain to Barton Fen (3 day, 2 nights, 31 miles)

Postby n3870v » Sun Jun 02, 2013 4:09 pm

Spent 3 days and 2 nights backpacking these trails. Started at North Bell Trailhead, taking the trail that leads to the top of Bell Mountain. Then north to Hwy A Trailhead, continuing on to Hwy DD and heading West to Barton Fen, total 31 miles. I found this to be a very solitude hike, only passed one hiker in 3 days. Brushy Creek Lodge provided shuttle service for a modest price!

The trail was full of wild flowers, turtles and SNAKES, including a rattler. Lots of ticks, but this is Missouri! Scenery was nice, and the hike was enjoyable. Great views from Bell Mountain. Plenty of water the whole way once you are down the mountain. Limited camp sites. If you take this route, the first established place to camp is peter Cave Hollow Creek, 10.6 miles. This campsite is right next to the creek so you get a good babbling brook sound al night, In addition to the babbling brook sound, there were very noisy Whipperwills in close proximity to the campsite. They went at it from 8:45 pm till 5:15 am.

The next available place to camp for the second night is Wolfpen Hollow Waterfall, and it is at mile 24.7. So you are putting in a serious 14 mile hike the second day. But that means you can sleep in the next morning with only about 6.5 miles left. This is a very nice place to spend the night, and with this 12 foot waterfall, you get to hear the water all night.

When you finish at Barton Fen, be sure to stop in for a meal at the Bixby Country Store at the north end of CR79 at hwy 32. They serve breakfast and lunch. The store was built in 1906, and has a real caboose attached to the store where you can eat your meal if you like. They open at 4:00 am so dont worry about getting there to early.

One thing I noticed about the trip description details is that whenever they refer to a gravel road, there is no gravel road!! It appears that there used to be gravel roads, but they are all grown over and there is not any gravel to be seen. You can tell it used to be a gravl road because it is wider then the normal trail. The only roads that you will cross that are gravel are the county roads usually labeled with the letter CR. I dont use a GPS when I hike, but I did find the trail points on the description very accurate as far as distance and description. The topo maps and detail maps are a great value of thei website, make sure you copy and take them along.

I didnt check for cell service all the time, but I did notice service at the top of Bell Mountain, when you cross hwy 32 at mile 15, and at the top of the hill after leaving Henderson Creek, about mile 28. (these mile locations are from the detailed description once you plan you trip, not from the topo maps)

It was a very enjoyable trip and hopefully you wll enjoy the attached photos. I have nice snake photos, but 3 pictures is the limit here on this website - N3870V
bell mountain2.jpg
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Bell mountain.jpg
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Bell Mountail view.jpg
Bell Mountail view.jpg (50.98 KiB) Viewed 3630 times
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Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 1:26 pm

Re: Bell Mountain to Barton Fen (3 day, 2 nights, 31 miles)

Postby mike » Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:37 am

Thanks for the report and pics! Sounds like you had a great hike except for the whippoorwills. I was fortunate enough on a late spring hike a few years ago to camp between a pair that went at it all night. After that whenever I hear one I cringe.

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Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 3:37 pm
Location: Paragould, AR

Re: Bell Mountain to Barton Fen (3 day, 2 nights, 31 miles)

Postby n3870v » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:53 pm


Here are a couple snakes that made their presence known and a pileated baby woodpecker. I have never seen so many snakes on one hiking trip. Maybe just a matater of timing with weather and temps but I saw about a dozen. Black and coachwhips were the most common. I did come accross one I still havent identified yet - N3870V
Pileated baby woodpecker.jpg
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spotted kingsnake.jpg
spotted kingsnake.jpg (107.41 KiB) Viewed 3603 times
green snake.JPG
green snake.JPG (76.18 KiB) Viewed 3603 times
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Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 1:26 pm

Re: Bell Mountain to Barton Fen (3 day, 2 nights, 31 miles)

Postby bikehikefish » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:02 pm

Great pictures! The woodpecker looks confused.
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Location: Richmond Heights MO

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