Between the Rivers, Eleven Point, North Fork??

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Between the Rivers, Eleven Point, North Fork??

Postby hoosiermtbiker » Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:44 pm

Hi,

I am from Indiana and my wife and I are heading to Missouri next week. I am going to MTB some while there. I wanted to get some opinions on the southern sections of the Ozark for riding (Between the Rivers, Eleven Point, North Fork, Victory, Wappappello). I was thinking of riding 2 or 3 of the southern sections since we will be staying closer to those and then driving up to Berryman one day. But I wasn't sure if the northern sections were much better for riding? Is there a difference in equestrian traffic between the northern versus southern sections? Any thing else I should know?

Thanks.

Bryon
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Re: Between the Rivers, Eleven Point, North Fork??

Postby mao » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:13 am

I normally hit the Middle Fork, Trace, Council Bluff, Berryman due to my location. I would love to hear a report on the southern end when you finish.

Thanks,

Matt
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Re: Between the Rivers, Eleven Point, North Fork??

Postby Coldspring » Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:20 pm

I'm pretty sure the Victory Section isn't really a "trail" these days. Somebody, please correct me if I'm wrong.

Are you saying that you want to do 2-3 entire sections, or just take rides in 2-3 areas? I don't ride, but I could give you some more specifics on areas that would be more biker friendly than others, although my knowledge of what is considered ridable trail doesn't amount to much.
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Re: Between the Rivers, Eleven Point, North Fork??

Postby John » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:13 pm

Ride the Middle Fork! It's probably the best single-track destination on the Ozark Trail. Check the main website for details, or better yet, visit the Trip Planner.

If you're riding Berryman, you can experience similar trail by tackling the south Courtois section, Trace Creek and the nearby (and connected) Council Bluff Loop. All are good trails for mountain biking.

The Eleven Point and Between the Rivers? Not so much. They're considered too rocky, and most bikers I know ride it perhaps once and then cross it off their list. The Wappapello and Victory sections are good equestrian destinations, but hikers and bikers generally give them marginal reviews at best. If you're hot to try the southern sections of the OT, you'll find better luck on the North Fork / Ridge Runner trail systems. Mountain bikers in the West Plains area have quite a few trails they ride in this area, most of them connected to, but often not officially part of, the Ozark Trail.

The best biking is on the northern portions of the OT. Again, the Middle Fork is positively the best. Hit the Ridge Runner and connecting trails if you want to bike the southern sections. Wherever you go, be sure to post a review afterward!
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Re: Between the Rivers, Eleven Point, North Fork??

Postby hoosiermtbiker » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:14 pm

Thanks for the responses.

Coldspring - I was thinking of riding 2-3 entire sections (one section or maybe 2 per day) but not necessarily locked in to that plan. I like to do long epic rides and am training for a big race in May. However, I would certainly alter my plan if it would mean getting to ride more of the best stuff.

John - thanks for the tip on the Ridge Runner. That looks very promising and I didn't know it was in the area.

I will post a "review" of whatever I ride - including any of the southern stuff I originally mentioned if I do it.

Ride On.
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Re: Between the Rivers

Postby hoosiermtbiker » Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:38 am

I am back from my trip and ready to report on my ride in the Between the Rivers section. I started from near the north end of the section and rode south. From where I started down to Hwy C was pretty good - enough rocks to be a technical and aerobic challenge but not overwhelming. Once I got south of Hwy C the ride changed - between the large rocks in creek crossings, several trees down and having to get off the bike to figure out where the trail went - I ended up having to get off the bike every few minutes. And I also got a flat and my pump was not working well. So, it was definately an adventurous ride.

NOTE: I am making the following comments merely to try to give a MTB perspective, not as criticism. I have done lots of trailwork on my local trail so I would not bash someone else's trail. I am merely trying to help improve the information that is out there for someone considering a ride on this section.

If the trail was better established or marked at a few spots and the trees were cleared and some small bridges put in at a few dry creek crossings this section would be much more bike friendly. I realize there is plenty of stuff more bike friendly in other sections but we were staying close to this section so I gave it a shot knowing it may not be the best for riding. Overall, unless the above changes are made I would not recommend this section for riding - and I realize that the main goal of the Ozark trail may not be to provide a great MTB experience so these changes may not even be considered or make sense. However, this section does have great potential for MTB riding if that was a direction the forest service wanted to go. This section would be a very good hike though. There were plenty of small creeks to filter or boil water from. The Ozark trail planner does not recommend this section for MTB and that is good. However, the fact that this section is listed as open to bikes may mislead someone to think it is a good choice for riding. So, it might be helpful to put a little note in the current trail conditions section or somewhere else letting people know that although open to riding it is going to involve significant hiking once you get past HWY C.

I continued south to just past the cemetary which I believe was on forest road 4006 (appears on national geographic topo map) then took gravel and finally paved roads back to our cabin at Big Spring State Park. So, I got a big ride in just not in the way I planned. Big Spring is a beautiful park and there are at least 20 miles of trail there open to mountain biking. I hiked a couple of them but the larger loops I didn't get to check out.

Overall our trip was very relaxing with very few people and very little civilation which was a nice break. This was my first time in the Ozarks and it is definately a huge area with so much forest land and so little civilization. I hope I can get back to exlpore more of it soon.
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