Highway N to Brushy Lodge

A discussion group just for hikers

Highway N to Brushy Lodge

Postby bleucube » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:16 am

Hello everyone!

A friend an I will be traveling down from Michigan in early March to hike from Highway N to the Brushy Lodge.

We will be tent camping - was wondering if you have any recommendations for areas to stay in at night?

I assume being early spring that there should be plenty of water available and bugs should be a minimal issue.

I have the maps - any other trail recommendations?

Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:26 am

Re: Highway N to Brushy Lodge

Postby Jim » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:42 pm

Trail Mileage per day? Lets start with a 10 miles per day. Sure you can do more...but after day one you may think twice....the Taum Sauk section is rocky and tough on the ankles. Trace Creek has some big ups and downs, Middle Fork is smooth with mile long switch backed ridge climbs and decents.

Camp - Map Point of Interest (POI) "A" on the map
Just a tad over 10 miles - There are a couple of campsites with Western views from a glade. This is the intersection with Goggins mountain trail. Stay left on OT going north bound.

@intersection of Bell mtn trail Stay left and follow OT 2 miles down to Hwy A. Cross the highway. The TH parking is on the left the trail is on the right and crosses Ottery creek. (Great spot to cache a gallon of water...or a couple cold beers under a rock in the creek....?)
Hike 2 miles to Peter Cave Hollow area. There are a couple campsites in this area near the trail.

You are now entering Trace Creek Section. http://ozarktrail.com/maps/detailed/TraceCreek3.jpg

Note - I would avoid camping near Hwy 32 crossing. Big trucks, noisy rumble strips and "jake Braking" occurs. ...not good for sleeping.


Short distance to a great campsite. only 7 miles to the intersection of Middle Fork Trail and Trace Creek. ~400 feet further north on Trace Creek is a great site along the headwaters of the Big River....(Note this is a 2 foot wide creek at this location)

Day 3 or 4 http://ozarktrail.com/maps/detailed/MiddleFork1.jpg
From Middle Fork and Trace Creek intersection - hike 7.5 southbound on Middle Fork to Wolf Pen Falls - Great site on left above 12-15' waterfall - typically a trickle but still nice.

Note - Hwy 32@DD crossing is another great food/water cache location, just not good for camping.

Gunstock Hollow - A quiet hollow. There is a campsite here somewhere near the trail... exact location I cannot remember today.
Little Creek - There maybe a campsite trail side near here. Ridgetops are warmer...
http://ozarktrail.com/maps/detailed/MiddleFork2.jpg Strother CREEK - DO NOT FILTER OR DRINK - Creek comes from Mine Tailings ponds.

http://ozarktrail.com/maps/detailed/Karkaghne1.jpg - The finish to Brushy Creek Lodge - I am not sure what the signage looks like at this intersection. If you are using Brush Creek as a shuttle service you should inquire about the signage for the turnoff.

Note - These little creek crossings can be flash flood hazzards. Check the maps attached for possible water sources.
When in doubt cache 2 beers at each highway crossing. Pack out Everything you Pack in.
Ticks and Skeeters will most likely be alert and active. Ticks more than anything. DEET!

Oh and we have a growing population of Black Bears and Mountain Lions, however, not as many as we have Wild Hogs! Bag your food, carry a big stick, and enjoy the free bacon.

Hope this helped. PS. Cell coverage is very low in these areas, resupply options nearly non-existant. Want a good craft beer? Get it before you leave the interstate. ;)
Caledonia BBQ is the best in the area, if your travels pass through. https://goo.gl/maps/3J3NFzJVNHk

Council Bluff Lake makes for a great next trip.
Posts: 436
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:07 pm
Location: O'Fallon, MO

Re: Highway N to Brushy Lodge

Postby bleucube » Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:02 pm

First off. Thank you sooo much for all the information.

Here is our preliminary itinerary:
Saturday - Day 1 - Take shuttle (brushy lodge) to trail head, get 3.5 miles in and camp
Sunday - Day 2 - Hike 14.1 miles
Monday - Day 3 - Hike 14.3 miles
Tuesday - Day 4 - Hike 14.2 miles
Wednesday - Day 5 - Hike 9.2 miles

We are in pretty good shape. Run marathons and have done a couple hikes that involve lots of swearing.
But like you said. We will have to see the terrain for ourselves and take it as it goes.

I appreciate the input - will help toward making this a great adventure!
Especially if we can find this magical beer :)
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:26 am

Re: Highway N to Brushy Lodge

Postby Ataklife » Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:12 pm

Jim you are not kidding about the feral hogs. Last weekend I parked at the HWY DD\32 TH and hiked to the camp site at the middle fork near the creek and saw maybe 30-40 feral hogs in a very large group. Many young ones. I always camp high on ridges and this was one of my few camps in a ravine or valley near a creek. Coyotes definitely echoed much louder in the low areas, and the animal activity was constant throughout the night, maybe because of the creek. No moon so I couldn't see my hand in front of my face. And yes the HWY 32 traffic, mainly trucks with loud exhaust took away a bit from the exp even though I was a couple miles away.
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2015 5:39 pm

Return to Hiker Talk

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot] and 2 guests