Onondaga Trailhead to Bass River Resort

Post a narrative about your trip on the Ozark Trail

Onondaga Trailhead to Bass River Resort

Postby yankandlimey » Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:02 pm

Well its been a month since I did this hike (Sep 12th) but I get a sense the trail stays in great condition all year round. I set out on this solo 12.4 mile hike early on a Friday morning, one of the days in September that were cool, most of the day I had upper 50's and 60's temperatures with cloud cover and misting to light rain, perfect hiking weather! I was staying at Bass River for the weekend, as my buddies were arriving later that day I took advantage of the trail.

I arrived at Bass RIver around 8am driving from St Louis, I had arranged a shuttle which cost around $28 plus a $10 tip. Bass River are awesome, great guys and they will shuttle as far south as Council Bluff. I was dropped off at 8:30am and hit the trail.

I had estimated 6hrs for the hike which included stops. I'm a fairly fast walker, typically 4 miles an hour, on trails I will average 3.5. This hike took 4.5hrs total walking time, plus stops, and I had quite a few taking pics and chilling out, which took the hike to a total of 7hrs.

The first 3 miles are very well marked, with several benches along the way. I had only been on the OT one time before in Taum Sauk so was unaware to the direction pointing of the OT signs. Just after mile 2 I encountered my first T intersection, I have the OT official maps which are fairly detailed and the left turn was obvious. Just after mile 3 there was another T intersection, this is where I started to ponder the OT signs and how it was turned. The stem of the T does NOT point the way, the 'O' does! At this point the OT signs get few and far between but I knew I had to head south so ventured on, sure enough I came across the signs again. I was using a combo of map, compass and phone GPS. For reference, as you get to around mile 3.25 and turn left, you will find a small camping area.

Around mile 5 you descend to the river, at this point the rain was getting heavy. I passed through the campground which you can get to by road, its primitive but nicely laid out with easy to find plots. As I approached the river the rain was coming down. I had packed some flip flops so I quickly changed and waded through, the water coming up to mid shin height, pretty easy. Upon reaching the other side I found a tree to sit on so I could put my boots back on, I did not know if I had gone another 30 yards or so I'd I have found the nice large cave to change in out of the rain!

Mile 5 - 6.5 is a good incline, irritated by the rain I pushed hard and steamed up and was now on the bluffs, this continues from mile 6.5 - 8. Consulting my map and knowing I was on bluffs I knew there must be a good lunch spot, just after mile 8 there is a wonderful bluff overlooking the Huzzah Creek and valley, this is where I had my lunch. 8 miles in and only 4.3 to go I had a leisurely lunch and enjoyed the view, this is where I saw my first people, two canoeists on the Huzzah.

From the bluff you descend, generally under the cover of trees, wanting to prolong my hike I took my time, took pictures and enjoyed the peacefulness. Around mile 10.75 I arrived at the 'small pool', one of two water sources. I did not need to fill up but checked it out, its a decent size, I was tempted to purify some but given I was going to be on a float trip the next day played it safe.

Between mile 11 and 12 I came across a nice fire pit and open area for camping, this would be great for trail camping, and its not far from Bass River in case of an emergency. I hiked along the road for a short while and knew I was at the end of my trip, as I came off the trail into the Bass River entrance one of my buddies pulled up, great timing, and time for a beer!

Overall, an easy hike, typical MO climbs, nothing too strenuous, a very well maintained trail and well marked of the most part. I had read on previous trail reports of downed tress, those are still there and are in the first 2 miles or so, super easy to get around in fact a trail has been established through or around them so no issue at all.

We're restricted to 3 images uploads, I have more, but figured people would like to see the river crossing and bluff!

As I plan to section hike the OT, my next adventure will be from Bass to Harmon Spring.
Fire pit and camp spot, between mile 11 & 12.
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Lunch spot, mile 8.25
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River crossing, around mile 5.3
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Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:44 am

Re: Onondaga Trailhead to Bass River Resort

Postby mike » Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:55 am

Nice report, thanks for sharing.

Posts: 215
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 3:37 pm
Location: Paragould, AR

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