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By: Matt Atnip, Executive Director
01/28/15 04:23:52 PM

Meet Michael Burke – marathoner, triathlete and now thru-hiker – taking to the Ozark Trail this September to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis (CF). When diagnosed with CF at 14 months of age, doctors only hoped he could live 5 years. Now, at 45, Mike will attempt to thru-hike the spine of the OT in about 18 days in an effort to raise $10,000 for CF. Please take the time to read this article written by Wes Johnson of the Springfield News Leader. Mike has taken control of his life through determination and wants to share his message of success and of leading a full life. His message is valid for not only CF victims, but for everyone. Visit Michael's Website -


By: Matt Atnip, Executive Director
01/19/15 03:04:35 PM

We would like to announce some leadership changes made at the OTA Board meeting held last Saturday in Potosi, MO. Officers and Board members are elected at the January meeting each year. Here are this year's changes.

First, we would like to thank a couple loyal and talented people whose roles will be changing but who will continue as strong OTA supporters. Lisa Hollenbeck is a long standing Board member.  While she is not coming back this term as a Board member, we are confident that she will continue to help us reach new heights through our partnership with the Alpine Shop. Steve Coates is stepping back from the role as President of the OTA but will remain as a Board member. Steve took over the President’s role some nine years ago and his steady, common-sense approach has helped the OTA get through some tough times. The OTA has grown tremendously under his guidance.

Filling the President’s role is Roger Allison. Roger has held many duties with the OTA including Board member, Crew Leader, Sawyer Coordinator and Treasurer. He will retain his duties as OTA Treasurer temporarily. Roger will be retiring from his duties as a civil engineer with the City of St. Louis in early February. We are looking forward to having Roger’s talents focused on the OTA as he transitions into “retirement”.

We are pleased to announce the addition of Steve Myers of Pacific, Missouri to the OTA Board. Through his membership in Boy Scouting, Steve developed a healthy respect for the environment at a very young age as well as an appreciation for the many benefits outdoor recreational programs can bring to a community. He earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 1981 and hiked more than 300 miles of trail in the St. Louis region both as a scout and an adult leader. This year marks the 6th consecutive year Steve has served as a volunteer Trip Leader for the Open Space Council’s Operation Clean Stream program removing trash and debris from the Meramec River. Steve also serves as the director of the River Walk Trail Project Committee that has been building momentum in an effort to facilitate the connection of the Ozark Trail to the Great Rivers Greenway Trail system at the St. Louis/ Franklin County line at Pacific. Steve received an A.A. degree in Business Management from East Central College and a B.S. in Business Administration / Marketing from Webster University.  He is also an alderman for the City of Pacific.

By: Matt Atnip, Executive Director
12/26/14 12:11:32 PM

Please consider making a tax deductible donation by year end to support the trail and beat the taxman! It is as easy as following this link to make a donation or to become a member -

It has been a great year for the Ozark Trail!! Grants, special events, donations and membership supported lots of work on the trail this year – 1.5 miles of new trail built, 4 miles of re-routes approved for construction, heavy maintenance performed on 12 miles of the East Berryman Trail, 28 scheduled outings, 180+ miles of trail brushed/mowed, hundreds of fallen trees removed and 325 miles now under adoption!!  Thank You, Volunteers and supporters!

These accomplishments surpassed our stellar 2013 year in which the OTA was named the National Volunteer Trail Group by the US Forest Service! This type of national recognition assures you that your contribution will go to support passionate and effective volunteers – best in the Land!

We are also working with the City of Pacific regarding expansion opportunities into St. Louis County along the Meramec River and have met with the three towns in the Arcadia Valley regarding connections from Russell Mountain to Shepherd Mountain and the cities of Ironton, Pilot Knob and Arcadia. Developing “Trail Towns” will be key to building services for trail enthusiasts and to support the local economies in these towns filled with rich history, interesting shops, good food and places to lay your trail weary head.

In addition, we will be building new trail in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways in 2015. Grant money is in place and as soon as we receive the environmental approvals from the National Park Service, we will hold several outings in one of the most beautiful areas in the state! You won’t want to miss it! Your donation will help us organize the outings and ensure the safety of volunteers in the field.

Thank you for your financial support and we hope to see you on the trail in 2015!!

By: Matt Atnip, Executive Director
11/24/14 08:19:35 AM

Thanks to the L-A-D Foundation / Pioneer Forest for supporting the creation of full trail maps of the OT! A grant of $4,400 was awarded to produce companion maps to our section maps. The new maps will display the entire trail in a large format; suitable for hanging on the wall or keeping in the glove box.

The Mapping Team will be fired up once again to design and create the maps. Todd Horn, our volunteer map guru, and Communications Chair, Kathy Atnip, will work with the OTA's Office Manager and Graphic Arts Coordinator Abi Jackson to create what I expect to be another beautiful and informative map set. It is an honor for me to work with such a talented group!

We are shooting to have these ready for sale in the spring.