Are you ready to hit the trail? Before you go, here are a few reminders:
The Ozark trail is a multi-use trail system, allowing hikers, bikers and equestrians on most sections. However , many sections do limit trail usage to certain user groups and no motorized vehicle traffic is allowed. Please be sure to check the printed OT flyers available from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources/ Ozark Trail Coordinator (1-800-334-6946). We also list restrictions for each section in our online trail guide.
The Ozark Trail travels over land owned by different organizations and government agencies and may be marked with different signs. There are three common markings that are widely used throughout the trail system: a silver diamond, a white and brown sign with a hiker symbol (used in state forests) and the most common are the white and green OT assurance markers. You may encounter these signs posted at an angle, this marks a curve in the trail in the direction of the marker's angle. Double-markers indicate a switchback.
Leave No Trace is a national education program to avoid or
minimize impacts to natural area resources. Its principles
are: plan ahead & prepare, travel and camp on durable surfaces,
dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, minimize
campfire impacts, respect wildlife, and be considerate of other
Find out more by visiting the Leave No Trace website.
Keep groups small to limit your impact on the trail.
Always pack out what you pack in.
Travel on designated trails, do not cut switchbacks.
Camp at least 100' from the trail, water and scenic areas. Please leave your campsite so others won't be able to tell that you had been there.
Build a fire only if necessary, do not encircle fires with rocks and do not build fires on the edges of bluffs, on glades or in caves. Be sure to clear the area of combustible material and make sure you drown the fire out when finished with plenty of water before leaving the site.
Bury all human waste at least 100 feet from the trail and any water. Dig a hole 6-8 inches deep, and cover, the top layer of soil is alive with biological decomposers, they will do the rest of the work.
Hikers should yield to bikers and horses; bikers yield to horses.