Marble Creek Section 10/25

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Marble Creek Section 10/25

Postby DirtRoadRunner » Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:13 am

I hiked this 9-mile standalone section yesterday. I parked at Marble Creek Campground, loaded my hiking gear into my panniers, threw them on my bike, and rode to Crane Lake using E Highway, CR 134, FR 2142, and FR 2142A (the latter of which is an ATV trail and fairly rough - I rode it on my cyclocross bike with 700x42c tires but at MTB would have been better). After arriving at Crane Lake, I stashed my bike in the woods and started the hike back to my car.

Crane Lake itself is gorgeous, and one of my favorite places in SE Missouri. The shut-ins below the dam are spectacular. The whole area seems to get very little use. Even the portions of the OT that overlap with the lake's loop trail were free of footprints or any other recent sign of use.

Past Crane Lake, it appears that the OT gets very, very little use, other than some use by ATVs. The trail markers were missing between miles 2.5 and 3.5 or so, and as a result I lost the trail in the labyrinth of ATV paths and old logging roads, but was able to find it again where it crossed CR 134. After that, it was pretty easy to follow other than one creek crossing at mile ~4.5 where I had to look for it a bit. I didn't see a single footprint, trekking pole divot, campfire ring, horseshoe print, MTB tire track, or any other sign of recent use. However, the trail was not overgrown and did not have many downed trees across it - it just looks like very few people hike it. A good map and compass are definitely needed on this trail. Some sections of the OT could easily be hiked without a map, since they are so well marked (not something I would recommend, though), but this one could not.

The scenery was very nice, with the fall colors just starting to turn, and huge frost flowers in the early morning due to the fall's first freeze. The woods are also pretty nice, with lots of large trees and some nice glades. Overall it was a great day to be in the woods and the section of trail is very nice and secluded. The hike took me about 3.5 hours. I will definitely hike this again since it is only 40 minutes from me and I'll likely never see anyone else on it.

After the hike, I drove to the end of FR 2120, which travels 13 miles one-way from CR 134 through some very scenic country. It feels like you are driving to the end of the earth going down this road. I plan to come back again and hike from the end of FR 2120 down to the St. Francis River.
DirtRoadRunner
 
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Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:38 am
Location: Farmington, MO

Re: Marble Creek Section 10/25

Postby n3870v » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:09 pm

Sounds interesting. Could not find any maps do download for this trail on this website. When selecting the topo maps, a page comes up that indicates it was moved or sonething and cannot get to it. Know where I can get a detailed trail map or topo map on this website?

When you say you "stashed" your bike, did you chain it down or camouflage it? I cant see leaving my trail bike alone!

Thanks - Sal
n3870v
 
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Re: Marble Creek Section 10/25

Postby DirtRoadRunner » Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:35 pm

Here is the map:
http://www.ozarktrail.com/maps/detailed ... le0to8.jpg

I usually walk my bike 100-200 ft into the woods, along the road leading into the trailhead, but not at the trailhead (say 1/8 mile or so before or after the parking area). Most of the trailheads are pretty remote, so there has never been anyone else around to see where I'm stashing my bike. Hiking out of DD/32, however, I stashed it along another USFS road about 1/2 a mile from the trailhead, because that area gets a lot of traffic and I figured there would be someone around to see me hide it.

I usually try to the bike behind a downed tree or something else so it can't be seen from the road. I lock it to a tree with a cable lock. I also plan to get some camo netting, to further obscure it. Since I usually dayhike, the bike is only in the woods for 4-5 hours, and I haven't had a problem doing this so far. That being said, I have been on the lookout for a cheap older rigid MTB or hybrid to use for this purpose, so it is no great loss if it does end up stolen.
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Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:38 am
Location: Farmington, MO


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