Middle Fork / John Roth Memorial Section
Introduction

The newest section of the Ozark Trail was completed in November of 2005. It connects with the Trace Creek section just northeast of Highway 32 and runs about 24 miles to the Karkaghne section at Highway J.

Downloads:    For Your GPS (gpx)      Google Earth (kml)
Overview

This trail crosses many brooks and streams in the upper basin of the Middle Fork of the Black River: Neals Creek, Strother Creek, Henderson Creek, Little Creek, Brooks Creek, as well as the headwaters of the Middle Fork. The trail passes near fens, seeps, and small springs-- you won't run out of water here! In between the many water crossings the trail travels over and around the many fingered ridges found in this area of the Ozarks. You'll pass through oak and hickory hardwoods, short-leaf pine stands, and small savannahs. The northern trailhead is at Highway DD. A 200' gravel path connects to the main trail. The Middle Fork section continues 1.5 miles north before connecting with the Trace Creek section. If you're just planning a trip on the Middle Fork, you'll go south from the DD trailhead to the Highway J trailhead, a distance of about 23 miles.

Bike/Horse Bypass Around Barton Fen

Southeast of Bixby, Missouri on County Road 79 is a sensitive wetland known as Barton Fen. The endangered Hines Emerald dragonfly breeds and lives in Barton Fen, and special care was taken when building the trail through this area to insure our trail users don't pose any habitat threats.

A foot-only trail has been built on the southwest side of the fen. Bicycle and equestrian traffic bypass the fen area by taking County Road 79 for about a mile. Be sure to follow the marked signs to insure you're taking the correct route through this area.

Current Trail Conditions

As of 05/10/2017, the condition is:
Open.

This section gets pretty good use and is in great shape.

Mostly tree-free and seasonal growth, especially in areas that have been clear cut or had timber stand improvement a few years ago. This should be an excellent destination and you can extend your trip up through the Trace Creek section, over to Council Bluff Lake, or south to Brushy Creek Lodge.

Use caution after periods of rain as the creek crossings can be hazardous.

Trail Statistics


Hiking

Biking

Equestrian
Distance:24 miles
Difficulty:Moderate to easy
Camping:

Primitive camping is allowed in the Mark Twain forest (100' from trail)

Total Ascent:not available (refers to total gain of all climbs on trail)
Topo Quads:Johnson Mountain, Viburnum E, Oates
Restrictions:

none

Trailheads and Directions
Hwy DD / 32 Trailhead

From Bixby, MO...
Head east on MO-32 10.5 mi.
Turn left on MO-DD
The trailhead is 280 ft from MO-32/MO-DD intersection.

From Caledonia, MO...
Head south on MO-21 for 4.1 mi.
Turn right at MO-32 and follow for 14.4 mi.
Turn right at MO-DD trail head 280 ft from MO-32/MO-DD intersection.

From Lesterville, MO...
Head west on MO-21 for 3.7 mi.
Take a slight right at MO-49 and continue 19.3 mi.
Turn right at MO-32 and continue for 5.1 mi.
Turn left at MO-DD Trailhead is 280 ft MO-32/MO-DD intersection.

From Ironton, MO...
Head northwest on MO-21 for 3.6 mi.
Turn left to stay on MO-21 and continue for 6.8 mi.
Turn left at MO-32 and follow for 14.4 mi.
Turn right at MO-DD Trailhead is 280 ft MO-32/MO-DD intersection.

Barton Fen Trailhead

From Bixby, MO...
Starting at MO-49 / MO-32, head east on MO-32 .1 mi.
Turn right on CR-79 / Neals Creek Rd and follow for 3.8 mi.
Turn right on CR-78 / Happy Hollow and cross the low water bridge. The trailhead and parking area is on the right.

From Caledonia, MO...
Head south on MO-21 for 4.1 mi.
Turn right at MO-32 W and follow for 19.5 mi.
Turn left at MO-49 S and follow for .8 mi
Turn right at MO-74 / Ray Barton Rd and follow for 1.5 mi
Turn right on CR-79 / Neals Creek Rd and follow for 1 mi.
Turn left on CR-78 / Happy Hollow and cross the low water bridge. The trailhead and parking area is on the right.

From Lesterville, MO...
Head west on MO-21 for 3.7 mi.
Turn right at MO-49 N and continue 18.5 mi.
Turn left at MO-74 / Ray Barton Rd and follow for 1.5 mi
Turn right on CR-79 / Neals Creek Rd and follow for 1 mi.
Turn left on CR-78 / Happy Hollow and cross the low water bridge. The trailhead and parking area is on the right.

From Ironton, MO...
Head northwest on MO-21 for 3.6 mi.
Turn left to stay on MO-21 and continue for 6.8 mi.
Turn left at MO-32 W and follow for 19.5 mi.
Turn left at MO-49 S and follow for .8 mi
Turn right at MO-74 / Ray Barton Rd and follow for 1.5 mi
Turn right on CR-79 / Neals Creek Rd and follow for 1 mi.
Turn left on CR-78 / Happy Hollow and cross the low water bridge. The trailhead and parking area is on the right.

Highway J Trailhead

From Bixby, MO...
Head west on MO-32 2.4 mi.
Turn left at MO-KK follow for 7.4 mi.
Turn left at MO-J continue for 3.8 mi.
Turn right on gravel road, small hand lettered sign indicates Ozark Trail Parking.

From Caledonia, MO...
Head south on MO-21 for 4.1 mi.
Turn right at MO-32 and continue for 7.2 mi.
Turn left at MO-A and follow for 8.4 mi.
Turn left at MO-49 and follow for 4.8 mi.
Turn right at MO-J and continue for 7.8 mi.
Turn left on gravel road, small hand lettered sign indicates Ozark Trail Parking.

From Lesterville, MO...
Head west on MO-21 for 3.7 mi.
Take a slight right at MO-49 and continue 4.7 mi.
Continue onto MO-J for 7.8 mi.
Turn left on gravel road, small hand lettered sign indicates Ozark Trail Parking.

From Ironton, MO...
Head southeast on MO-21 for 10.8 mi.
Slight right at MO-21 Veterans Memorial Hwy and follow for 13.3 mi.
Slight right at MO-49 and follow for 4.7 mi.
Continue on MO-J for 7.8 mi.
Turn left on gravel road, small hand lettered sign indicates Ozark Trail Parking.

Maps
Middle Fork 1
Miles 0 to 14

Middle Fork 2
Miles 13 to 24

Photos
Summer Flowers along the trail

Butterfly weed along the trail

Brook along the Middle Fork

Pool and riffles near Henderson Creek

Summer flowers along the trail

Barton Fen in summer

Neals Creek

Pleasant summertime trail

Dusting of snow on the Middle Fork

Wolfpen Hollow falls

Biking on the Middle Fork

Horse/bike bypass near Barton Fen

Contacts
US Forest Service
Mark Twain National Forest
Potosi District

Potosi District Office
Hwy 8 West
Potosi, MO 63664
(573) 438-5427