Irish Wilderness 2/15-16/2014

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Irish Wilderness 2/15-16/2014

Postby mike » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:33 pm

This really should be connected to the OT.

Spot and I enjoying the cool weather in one of our magnificent wilderness areas.

http://mikevaughnsadventures.blogspot.com/2014/02/irish-wilderness-215-162014.html

Mike
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Re: Irish Wilderness 2/15-16/2014

Postby aroth87 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:48 am

Great report (as usual!) Mike. I really, really need to get down to the Irish Wilderness. My Adopt-a-Trail section is just north of there on the Between the Rivers section but I've never made time to swing by the wilderness area. I really like you're picture looking down the Eleven Point, a view of the rolling Ozark hills with a light cover of snow is one of my favorite things.

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Re: Irish Wilderness 2/15-16/2014

Postby DirtRoadRunner » Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:55 am

Great pics and writeup. The Irish Wilderness is a hidden treasure. I also found it hard to navigate due to little use in the trail, and lost the trail several times along White's Creek when I hiked it in September 2011. The northern portions of the trail seems to get more use.
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Re: Irish Wilderness 2/15-16/2014

Postby jyancey » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:26 pm

I love the Irish wilderness. I have found the best way to enjoy it is to combine hiking the Whites Creek trail with a float on the Eleven Point river. When Whites Creek cave is open (probably not for the foreseeable future due to WNS, sad) one can even add a fun caving trip into the mix. I like to camp on a gravel bar in Horseshoe Bend, which puts me at Whites Creek in mid morning. I typically camp at Fiddler spring, then make the rest of the loop in time to get back on the river to spend one more night out, usually around Greenbrier float camp. I have made this trip several times, and in late fall or winter one can have the whole river and trail to one's self! It really has a true wilderness feel. It is a BIG place and because the whole trail is in forest with limited views it is easy to get "lost." Thus it is imperative to have a good map and compass, and maybe gps, and pay attention!
There are outfitters around Alton where you can rent boats or get a shuttle. I lock my boat at Whites creek and bear bag extra food there while on the trail, just as an extra safety measure, although I have never had any issues. There are wild hogs in the area and probably bears and maybe even cats. Again, it's wilderness, and we are fortunate to have it in Missouri!
It would be great to have it connected to the OT, but I'm not sure that is doable. I'm not sure there is contiguous public land along the whole river corridor, but I may very well be wrong.
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Re: Irish Wilderness 2/15-16/2014

Postby jyancey » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:43 pm

Mike, after re-reading my post I'm afraid it may have sounded a little snarky with my "pay attention" admonition. That was not directed at you for your depiction of having to backtrack to find the trail, but from my own hard-knock experience! I have gotten confused at some point on every hike I have taken in the Irish! I have done way more than my share of backtracking to find a trail I have lost.
I really enjoy your trip reports, and I think we probably have very similar tastes and experiences in hiking, even though I seldom take my dog. I usually just go solo.
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Re: Irish Wilderness 2/15-16/2014

Postby mike » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:01 am

Thanks for the comments folks.
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Re: Irish Wilderness 2/15-16/2014

Postby Big Jim Mac » Fri Apr 04, 2014 10:37 pm

jyancy, that sounds like a great combo trip. Have you had any issues leaving the canoe? Would be a bad day to come back and find it missing…:-)
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Re: Irish Wilderness 2/15-16/2014

Postby jyancey » Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:38 pm

I've never had any problems leaving a boat at the White's creek float camp. I have gone to the trouble of pulling it way up the creek, beyond the pool at its mouth and into the woods out of sight of the landing. I pull it up above the high water line in case of flash flooding and lock it to a tree with chain and cable. I also bear bag my extra food, mostly to keep mice and racoons out, but with Missouri's increasing bear population, it makes sense from an actual bear deterrence perspective. We don't want to develop habituated bears! I would not really expect any problems from people, mostly due to the remoteness of the location. Vistors will be on foot or traveling in their own boats, so they are not very likely to have any means of breaching locked chains/cables, nor would they have the means to transport something as large as a canoe or kayak. I don't worry too much about it.
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Re: Irish Wilderness 2/15-16/2014

Postby Big Jim Mac » Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:17 am

I may give this a try this summer. Its been awhile since I hit the Irish Wilderness. I'm a big fan of Father Hogan and the Eleven Point!
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