Trail Heads

A discussion group just for equestrians

Trail Heads

Postby laforbes » Thu Apr 05, 2007 9:01 am

Being an equestrian using the OT, I have "special" parking needs at the trailheads. I am familiar with the parking situations at Berryman, Hwy 8 trailhead (the white house with the lot) and the Hazel Creek Campground.

Can someone give me some information regarding the size of the trailheads of each section? I usually ride with a group, and we normally have two trailers. I like to avoid parking on the sides of these gravel roads as much as possible.

My goal is to ride the entirety of the approved sections of the OT on horseback.

Will you please take into consideration the needs of equestrians when constructing the new trailhead two miles east of the Courtois?

Linda Forbes
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:25 am
Location: Steelville, Alton,IL

Postby John » Thu Apr 05, 2007 4:37 pm

Official Ozark Trail trail heads along equestrian-usable sections:

Harmon Spring - too small for trailers
Berryman - equestrian-friendly
Highway 8 - room for trailers but the surface is not rocked or paved (mostly grassy area)

Trace Creek:
Hazel Creek - a popular equestrian trail head
Highway A - somewhat small, but you can get a couple of trailers in here
Unofficial DD access (just south of Council Bluff) - plenty of room for trailers; not officially marked and a little muddy in rainy seasons

Middle Fork:
Highway DD - medium-sized lot; room for a couple of trailers

Highway J - there is room in the field for trailers but you have to make a gravel crossing at Brushy Creek to get there. Not a lot of people park on the other side of the creek
Brushy Creek Lodge - an equestrian outfitter with stables and a spur trail to the Ozark Trail (not an official OT trail head, but a great place to stay and has good access to the OT)
Sutton Bluff - the official trail head is pretty small, but most people park at the campground or down by the river

Highway 72/P - enough room for maybe two trailers
Midridge - well, this is the end of the line for the Blair Creek section. No trailhead, so you'd have to park along the gravel road.

Between the Rivers:
Highway 60 - this trail head is being rebuilt due to a MODOT highway widening project. I haven't seen the plans. I'm assuming it will have room for trailers.. contact Scotty in Winona USFS office for details
FS-3152 - loop trail head parking area, plenty of room for trailers

Eleven Point:
Greer Recreation Area - lots of room and a campground
McCormack Lake - lots of room, popular equestrian spot
FS-4155 - not a great parking area, sort of a pull-off on the grass down a seldom-used gravel road. You can get trailers there but the ride is a little bumpy

All trail heads set up for equestrian use

I think all the trail heads are fine with the exception of Hendrickson, and that trail head may have gone missing.

Marble Creek:
Marble Creek campground - generally alright, I suppose
Crane Lake - you can get trailers in here pretty well; they may be discontinuing some services

NOTE: there are other trail access points which aren't considered "official trail heads" and some of these may or may not be easily accessible by trailers. Some of the parking lots can accommodate short trailers but not long trailers (or trailer/camper combos).

Another note: trail heads are constructed and maintained by the land owner agency, NOT the Ozark Trail Association! If you have any questions about specific trail head access, requests for improvements, complaints or suggestions-- contact the agency that manages the trail head. We have a list of all names, addresses and phone numbers on the OTA contact page.

Final note: My proposal to the Forest Service for the two trail head parking areas along the Courtois expansion does include construction of parking lots that will be easily accessed by equestrian trailers. If you have any specific suggestions on design/amenities, please email me.
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 5:11 pm
Location: Berryman


Postby laforbes » Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:45 am

Thanks for the detailed info regarding the trailheads. Driving a trailer on narrow gravel roads can be a stressful situation, especially driving around in unknown territory looking for appropriate parking. And finding an appropriate place to turn around is always an interesting challenge!
I am thrilled the two trail heads along the Courtois section will accomodate trailers.
Thanks again.
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:25 am
Location: Steelville, Alton,IL

Equestrian Access

Postby gechele » Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:00 am

Hi, Linda: It is good to have you and your horse people connected to the OTA. One way to strenghten that connection would be to join us at our trailbuild/maintenance events. Just having everyone in your riding group participate once or twice a year would add some great manpower ... and friendships in support of a common cause. We don't push people. They work at their own pace. We have a lot of fun: good food, talks and singing around the evening campfire, sometimes fiddle and guitar music, often free camping at a great location. All this strengthens our outdoors network of friends ... and gives us the manpower to make the Ozark Trail a constantly improving long trail for all of us ... hikers, horse people and bikers alike. As coordinator of OTA's Mega events (those designed to coordinate large work parties of 50 to 150 people), I want to extend my invitation to all your members to join us once or twice each year. Jeff will keep you posted about upcoming events on the OTA website. Thanks, for anything you can do. Greg.
Greg E.
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:26 am

Postby laforbes » Sat Apr 14, 2007 10:30 am

I do plan on attending more trail building events. So far I've only attended one, at Brushy Creek. I was with a small group of five trail riders. I do plan to attend more events and to bring along as many helpers as I can gather. I will be volunterring regularly in the building of the new section at Courtois. I realize I should attend more work parties. Okay. Now I"m feeling guilty. I'm going to try to make the event in June at the Hwy. 8 entrance site.
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:25 am
Location: Steelville, Alton,IL

Postby campdoctor » Sat Apr 14, 2007 1:42 pm

Hooray! Linda, we will be so happy to have you join well as other equestrian folks. The more the merrier, without a doubt...and us usually outnumbered women would always enjoy having more of "us" along.

Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 8:06 pm
Location: Farmington

Return to Equestrian Talk

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest