Page 14 - 2013MagFINAL for web 7-14-14

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As we finish up the Trace Creek section re-route, some
of you may be wondering, “What’s next for the Ozark
Trail?” Well, we have two very significant projects just
about ready for our volunteers to jump on. One will be
the continuation of a longstanding project and the other
offers a chance to return to our favorite Mega home.
Back in 2007, John Roth and Greg Iffrig of the Pioneer
Forest proposed a trail to the Ozark National Scenic
Riverways (ONSR) to connect the Brushy Creek Trail
system to Round Spring. ONSR was on board with
the Current River Trail proposal since, unlike other
nationally-designated recreation areas, there is very
little hiking trail in this park. The layout John and Greg
proposed meanders through some of the most spec-
tacular topography in Missouri. This would be a trail
worthy of a National Park.
Once environmental assessments are completed and
the area is cleared for construction, the OTA will begin
to make that vision a reality. A Recreational Trails
Program (RTP) grant will support a portion of the
construction while the remainder will likely be built by
a youth organization such as AmeriCorps. All the work
will follow the great plan that John and Greg laid out
for us.
Between Round Spring and Current River State Park
lies the Camp Zoe property, recently acquired by
the state. The OTA plans to assist in the design and
construction of trail from Round Spring, through Camp
Zoe and on to Current River State Park. This will add
about 10 miles to the 12-mile Current River Trail.
The completed project will offer a total of 30 miles of
trail from Current River State Park to the Blair Creek
section of the OT. The OTA has proposed to the Ozark
Trail Council that, once completed, this stretch become
the newest section of the Ozark Trail. This yet-to-be-
named 14th section will create several hike-and-float
options on top of long distance backpacking and day
hiking opportunities in the National and State Parks.
Moving about 100 trail miles north, we continue to re-
habilitate the Berryman Trail. Portions of this 25-mile
loop were built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conser-
vation Corps (CCC). The western Berryman, part of
the Courtois section of the trail, has been improved
with more than five miles of re-routes completed from
2010-2012. Since then, we have adopted the eastern leg
and have started major rehabilitation work on existing
parts of the trail. We are also proposing re-routes over
the next few years. These will address issues similar
to those we found on the western side, stemming from
the original trail design and many years of use. Our
partners at the Forest Service are in full support and are
already performing environmental clearances. Short
story: we may be enjoying Mega Events at Bass’ River
Resort again very soon!
Membership continues to rise and a new membership
program rolls out in 2014 to bolster donations. We
are excited for a new fund raiser in September 2014
headed up by former OTA Board member Jim Davis;
the OT100MTB, a 100-mile mountain bike race on the
Ozark Trail. It is sure to be an epic event!
Our vision remains to connect the OT from St. Louis
to the Ozark Highlands Trail in Arkansas. There are
many obstacles to be knocked down as we proceed in
that direction. While we continue that work, improving
the existing Ozark Trail system will increase awareness
and usage while keeping the trail building volunteers
both busy and proud of their National Recreation Trail.
Matt Atnip
OTA Executive Director
New Initiatives. New Section.
“Best Trails
State” for
MO at the
Trails Sympo-
sium, April. L
to R: Kelley
Brent; Kristen
Schulte, OTA
Board; Terry
Whaley; Bill Bryan; Jeff Goetter, OTA Board; Tammie
Martin; Russell Martin, OTA Board; Kathie Brennan,
OTA Board; Matt Atnip, OTA Executive Director.
Volunteers at the first event of the 2013
trail building year, “SuperBowl Sunday:
Kicking It in the Woods,” Feb. 3.
Despite the cold and wet, 97 volunteers
turned out to build trail on the Trace
Creek section for the Apr. 27 Mega Event.
The 2013 Ozark Trail