onondaga to western trail head?

A discussion group just for hikers

onondaga to western trail head?

Postby forestpath » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:45 pm

Planning on hiking Onondaga to Western Trailhead, beginning next week. I'm an experienced backpacker, old and slow so may take 3 weeks or so. If I get tired I'll quit and finish later. Any advice or tips appreciated.... I have read recent posts here and sounds like all is in good shape. Trail is easily discernible the whole way? Even the south / west end? I was planning north to south. Any thoughts on direction? Expecting one resupply at Brushy Creek. Another at Hwy 60? I have the OTA maps and looks like water will be mostly easy.... Thanks!
forestpath
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:40 pm

Re: onondaga to western trail head?

Postby Homespun » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:16 am

I have wanted to hike this hike, maybe taking the branch over to Taum Sauk out and back,(these days resupply might be possible in towns just north on HWY21). Have tried posts to stir up interest, this website, the past two years. Instantly in mind is poison ivy. Crawford county is over run with poison ivy,(onondaga), after getting very exposed my first day out, I saw plants every 100 yards, or at least often. Six days later I was glad to call it quits in Bixby. This was in August, I'd guess the worse month for this would be September. I look to a March-April frame as being most positive, and also Peck Ranch doesn't close up til May. I am also older and slower, just throw that in.
Homespun
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:36 am

Re: onondaga to western trail head?

Postby runners_low » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:29 am

forestpath,

The weather looks beautiful for your hike. I will be on the trail for a part of your time as I will be leaving Hazel Creek TH on Wednesday AM Oct 25th and going south to Owls Bend. I too am a first time OT hiker and have received help from many here. The northern half of the trail is most used part and I am told in great shape. The southern half is less used.

The northern trail has been prepped for a 100 mile endurance race on November 4 starting around trail mile 115 going north. They had 45 finishers in 2016 who were on the trail for parts of 3 days. You might check out the race information at ozarktrail100.com.

The trail goes through Peck Ranch at mile 158 which is closed for elk related activity for periods of the year including some of November. The closure requires a redirect around the fenced section. From their website "The Refuge (fenced portion of the area) will be closed 10/14-15, 10/21-23, 11/11-21, and 12/9-10. This includes the elk viewing route."

In case you want to get off trail along the way, Brushy Creek Resort is a mile plus hike off the trail at mile 91. There are a number of other resorts in the Black, MO area and some may pick you up and drop you back for a nights rental, especially midweek.

Be sure to check out the thru-hike reports on the forum and watch some YouTube video for more information. A hiker known as spiffyguy has some excellent sectional video on most of the trail.

Good luck and have a great hike.

Joe
runners_low
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:03 pm

Re: onondaga to western trail head?

Postby forestpath » Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:36 pm

Thank you! Looks like I may hit Peck Ranch about right... Maybe see you out there.
I would love to hear from someone that's done the south end lately, saying its all good.... It has all been built and marked? I look forward to when it connects to the Ozark Highland Trail!
forestpath
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:40 pm

Re: onondaga to western trail head?

Postby CST » Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:46 am

II am in the beginning stages of planning a solo thru hike from south to north for the first part of May 2018. I chose this way because I want to leave my car in a safer place and have a family member drop me off for day one at the south end. I plan on hiding a resupply around Peck Ranch and leaving another at Brushy Creek. Looks like plenty of water along the way. With that being said, one of my concerns is high water crossings. Looking for any advice / direction that could help me with this trip.
CST
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:20 pm

Re: onondaga to western trail head?

Postby runners_low » Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:03 pm

forestpath,

Check the thur-hike report of twentybelow in the trip report section. There is a link to a trip report blog which is very informative.

Another member, huzzah hiker, recently completed a 200 mile hike southbound. I sent him an email and he sent his phone number. We talked for quite a while and he was very helpful. He posted his email here so I believe ok to pass along it along. It is pjbstl at yahoo. Send him an email explaining your plans and I'm sure he will contact you.

I have been told the southern trail is good but some markers are missing or confusing. There has been vandalism in some areas and some markers repeatedly disappear. Some section may be overgrown. You will need GPS capabilities. A hiker here recommended Backcountry Navigator. which has a free version you can download. The GPS data from the OT site can be loaded and a map created. The software is confusing but with the help of some YouTube video I got it to work. My main problem was the zip files I downloaded from OT were not recognized until I unzipped them. Check it out.

There are sections of the trail where multiple trails converge and it is easy to indavertently get off trail. If you do, GPS can remedy you situation quickly.

Hope to see you out there or contact you during the hike. Send me an email at beesink at a o l if you would like to communicate via texting while hiking.

Joe
runners_low
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:03 pm

Re: onondaga to western trail head?

Postby Jbf » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:23 am

Late November early December 2016, I covered eleven point thru blair creek northbound. The previous February I covered trace creek and courtois sections. The northern sections are definitely easier to follow during leaf dropping season. Bikes and more foot traffic make the tread more distinct. Heading southbound for three weeks you may be hiking during heavy leaf dropping season by the southern sections. By changing your hike to northbound, you may be to the more heavily used sections by the time the leaves really start dropping. That being said, even though I walked off the trail many times and actually lost the trail for periods of time, I made my 115 mile hike safely without using a GPS. Enjoy your hike.
Jbf
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:05 am

Re: onondaga to western trail head?

Postby Huzzah Hiker » Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:45 am

Forestpath,

I just finished the northern 200 miles of the trial from Onondaga to Sinking Creek Lookout Tower TH. Free feel to send me an email at pjbstl at yahoo and I'll call you back. Its just easier than posting on this forum.

Huzzah Hiker
Huzzah Hiker
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 2:12 pm

Re: onondaga to western trail head?

Postby Jim » Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:48 am

Note Trail maintenance crews were out on the Elevenpoint and some other southern sections last weekend(10/21/17). I would hike it South to North to enjoy that fresh leaf blown trail...it won't last long.
Jim
 
Posts: 425
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:07 pm
Location: O'Fallon, MO

Re: onondaga to western trail head?

Postby bikehikefish » Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:11 pm

Forestpath,

Good luck on your hike, and it would be great to see a trip report when you return, so we can all learn from your experience. I was considering the same hike starting the beginning of December, but decided to postpone it until the daylight is longer. It would be interesting to hear how many miles you did each day and what challenges you encountered.
bikehikefish
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:12 pm
Location: Richmond Heights MO

Re: onondaga to western trail head?

Postby forestpath » Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:14 pm

First things first: All blessings from all Gods to all those who maintain and support this trail!
Additionally thank you to all who replied. I completed my hike a couple of weeks ago, sorry to take so long in getting back to reply. The hike was great. I took 19 days to do it, so average just over twelve miles per day, probably carrying 30-25 lbs. North half was easy, and the trail was in good shape, south half was slightly rougher terrain and some sections of trail were pretty over grown, but passable. Biggest trouble were some sections that were not well marked, mostly within Current River section and south, in scattered places. More "confirming" trail markers are needed. When marking trail I recommend you think of not the conditions of the day you are marking, but imagine some poor guy or gal on a cloudy, foggy, evening trying to hurry and find their way before darkness, then thrown in a raging thunderstorm..... Use some extra signs so they don't have to fret that they have missed a turn and so when a sign or two is lost to tree fall or other there are enough to cover. Especially when the trail is on a ATV or logging road. Yes we can clearly see the road, but we need confirmation that the OT is still following that road. I was caught in a thunderstorm and had to repeatedly go back and forth across a ridge top to search for and verify the trail as lightning crashed. I am experienced and it was not a big deal for me but I wouldn't recommend inexperienced hit those places without a GPS. I prefer to not use GPS or compass.
And again for emphasis I am so appreciative of all who work hard building and maintaining this trail!! So grateful for all the vast majority that was well marked and in great shape!!
I liked the south half better as more secluded, wilder woods and better scenery. Favorite part was the Eleven Point Section. The current end point is kind of a joke too. It took my pickup driver four hours of driving around to find me. The road in to the spot is not well designated or well shown on the maps and apps we used. My driver was eventually tipped off to a certain app that showed the correct route. She had to drive to somewhere with cell service, download the new app before she could then find me. Thank goodness she kept trying! There is only one small sign at the terminus.
I am more familiar with the Ozark Highland Trail which is more difficult, more elevation change, tougher terrain and surface, but does have more and more dramatic scenery and the Ouachita Trail which is also tougher terrain and surface and more remote.
But again I loved hiking the OT, hope to do it again. Thank you OTA and all volunteers!
forestpath
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:40 pm

Re: onondaga to western trail head?

Postby bikehikefish » Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:25 pm

Thanks for the report, it is good to hear that your hike went well. Your comment about the Ozark Highland Trail being remote and scenic has started me thinking about hiking it sometime next year.
bikehikefish
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:12 pm
Location: Richmond Heights MO


Return to Hiker Talk

Who is online

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

cron