<< Overview Selected Trip Details
Courtois, Track Creek, and Taum Sauk Sections
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MILE MARKER: DESCRIPTION:
0 Start at Onondaga Trailhead. (directions)
The Onondaga trailhead has room for 1-2 vehicles. An alternate trailhead is at Ozark Outdoors; please register at the office to see if parking is available.
Onondaga Trailhead to Little St Louis Campground - 5 miles
0.6 Road crossing - Cave Rd.  
1.8 Road crossing - Scotia Ranch Rd 
2.6 Social trail turn-off the Ozark Trail to the southwest for visiting the ruins of the old Scotia Ironworks smelter, built in 1870. Smelter is 500' or so south of trail. 
3.3 Sharp turn to the right from trail to double-track.
4.8 The trail passes at the bottom of limestone bluffs and next to the crystal-clear Courtois Creek. Lots of nooks to explore, too. 
5 As you enter the campground, head towards the kiosk. Continue down the road closest to the creek through the campground. The trail will enter the woods on the left about 100 yards down the road.
Little St Louis Campground to Lower Narrows Trailhead - 2.7 miles
5.2 Courtois Creek crossing. This is a 'wet crossing' with water depth normally 6 inches to 2 feet deep. This area is prone to flash flooding. During spring rains the creek may not be passable for days. 
5.3 Large opening at the gated Bat Cave. There was a shooting here in the 1870s over a disagreement at a poker game. 
6.5 Sharp turn to the right from trail to double-track road.
7.2 Start of multi-use trail. Bike and horse travel allowed to the south.
7.7 Look for the Trailhead kiosk on your right, then then take the single-track trail into the woods.
Lower Narrows Trailhead to Lower Narrows Rd Crossing - 3.6 miles
8.2 Great bluff top overlooking the Huzzah valley 
9.5 Road crossing - Barn Rd 
10.4 Pipeline road 
10.8 Small wet-season waterfall with many mossy rocks 
11 Pool of water below riffles. Fairly reliable water source. 
Lower Narrows Rd Crossing to Bass River Resort Trailhead - 1.3 miles
11.3 Road crossing - Lower Narrows Rd 
12.5 Bass River Resort. Canoe outfitter with campground, cabins, store, parking. 
12.6 As you exit the woods, continue down the road (Butts Rd.) that runs behind the cabins for 1 mile.
Bass River Resort Trailhead to Courtois Bluffs - 1 miles
13.1 Bridge and take-out / put-in spot for Bass Resort canoes. Subject to flash flooding. 
13.3 Traveling west-to-east, go straight at this intersection and follow the road up to the right.
13.6 East end of 1 mile road walk at end of pasture and the road makes a sharp left turn. Watch for OT Markers on the right and follow the trail into the woods. This is private property for the next 1/2 mile, so NO CAMPING until you get to the top of the next ridge.
Courtois Bluffs to Forest Road 2265 - 5.8 miles
13.8 You will pass a cemetery and old road on the left. Continue straight and make a left a little farther down the hill. Trail goes to the south and to the east.
14.1 This is the eastern border of Bass' property (private). Turns from double-track and single track. Traveling to southeast, keep to the right.
14.2 Scenic views of Courtois Creek valley. 
15.6 Off-trail water in the Courtois Creek. 
15.6 Small slice of Forest Service land off the trail on the opposite side of the creek can make for a nice camping spot along Courtois Creek. A wet crossing would be required. 
15.7 To the southeast of the switchback is a short bluff directly over the Courtois Creek. 
16.4 Bluff overlooking the Courtois Creek and the creek valley. Located just off-trail at turn. 
16.9 A small pool of water is usually found at the base of a rock formation of the ravine. Last-resort water if needed. 
17.1 A lovely hollow with many seasonal wild flowers and pawpaw trees. 
18.6 Logging road crossing. Watch for OT markers and trail continues to the northeast. 
19.1 Forest Service road 2757. Gravel  
19.3 Road crossing - FS-2265 (also known by many other names: Berryman Trail Rd, Floyd Tower Rd, CC Camp Rd)
Forest Road 2265 to Harmon Spring Spur - 2.9 miles
19.9 Small creek bed that often has a trickle of water 
21.4 Road crossing - FS-2284 
22.2 Harmon Spring spur / OT intersection. Check your map or directions to make sure you head the right way. 
22.2 Continue straight and to the left past the spur to Harmon Spring.
Harmon Spring Spur to Berryman North Intersection - 0.4 miles
22.4 Several sources of water in the Harmon Spring general area, along with a nice rock ledge on the left. 
22.6 Take a right to head towards Berryman Campground using the west side of the BT.
Berryman North Intersection to Berryman South Intersection - 12 miles
22.6 Berryman / OT intersection. Look for the sign and check your map to make sure you are heading in the right direction. 
25.5 Vernal pond. Water may be muddy. Source of last resort. 
26.1 This is the easternmost crossing of FS-2265, located just west of the end of Highway W 
26.4 Road crossing - FS-2274. 
27.7 Artesian spring, camping area. ATV abuse in area has several double-track routes to this spot, so WATCH FOR SIGNS to keep on trail. 
27.7 Beecher spring. Lots of horse droppings in area, so water should be treated 
29.8 Forest Service road - 2608. Gravel.  
29.8 A popular camping spot next to a wildlife pond located just west of the trail crossing of FS-2608. 
33.2 Probable water source during most of the year in the valley down hill from the trail. 
34.6 At the Berryman OT intersection, make a right to continue on the Ozark Trail.
Berryman South Intersection to Highway 8 Trailhead - 1.3 miles
34.6 Forest Service road from Berryman campground. Gravel 
Highway 8 Trailhead to Hazel Creek Trailhead - 11.8 miles
35.9 Courtois Trailhead at Highway 8 
35.9 Road crossing at Highway 8. Paved. Watch for vehicles.  Trail on south side of road makes a quick jag to the west before heading south.
36.1 Lost Creek crossing. Water is typically 6-18 inches deep. May have swift high water during heavy rains. 
37 Powerline crossing. Can get brush in the summer. 
37.6 Road crossing - Gobblers Knob. Gravel 
38.8 Old logging road crossing. Dirt 
39.3 Intersection of double-track bottomland ATV road with trail.  If traveling southeast, make a right onto double-track.
39.5 Machell Hollow has a few pools of water except during very dry periods 
39.7 Pigeon Roost Road crossing - northern of two crossings. 
40.7 Pigeon Roost Road crossing - southern of two crossings. Gravel 
41.9 Forest Service road 2514. Gravel 
42.1 Forest Service road 2249. Gravel 
45 Snapps Branch. Reliable source of water. 
47 Forest Service road 2540 
47.3 County Road 657. Gravel 
47.5 The remnants of a Scotch Hearth lead smelter, built in the mid-1800s. 
Hazel Creek Trailhead to North DD Trailhead Connector - 13.1 miles
47.7 Hazel Creek Trailhead. 
47.7 Hazel Creek campground. No toilets, no trash pickup. Located south of trailhead. 
47.7 Water available from Hazel Creek. South of trailhead about 100 yards or so. 
48.3 6-12 inches deep, year-round water crossing 
49 The trail to the north is in the woods, connecting with an ATV/ORV road to the south. This turn can be easy to miss, so watch for signs. 
49 Hazel Creek crossing. Deep in spots. There is a shallow spot downstream that may be easier than here the current trail crossing is marked. 
49.1 Fork in illegal ATV road system. If traveling north-to-south, keep going straight. 
52 Piney Branch crossing. Very brook which often has water. 
52.7 Highway C. Paved  
54.3 County Road 646 (also known as the Delbridge cut-off). Gravel 
55.2 ATV usage is heavy in this area. Please consult your map and watch for signs. 
55.5 Trace Creek. Should always have water except in extreme drought. 
57.3 County Road 648. Gravel 
60.7 Unmarked parking area about 1/2 mile south of Council Bluff entrance. About 200' southeast of trail. 
North DD Trailhead Connector to Council Bluff Spur Trail (at OT) - 1.9 miles
61 Highway DD crossing. Watch for approaching vehicles. 
61.8 Nazarenko Spring. This lovely spring is just off-trail down the hill on the south side of Telleck. Easy to miss in leafy seasons, the spring forms a round pool next to white pines before emptying with a gurgle in to Telleck Branch. 
62.7 Make a right at the Council Bluff spur trail sign, going south on the Trace Creek trail.
Council Bluff Spur Trail (at OT) to Middle Fork / Trace Creek Intersection - 2 miles
64.7 Upper source of the Big River. Almost always has water 
64.8 Power line crossing- can be weedy late spring and summer. The trail continues directly on the opposite side of the opening
64.7 A short distance south of the creek crossing is the Middle Fork junction sign. Stay to the left, heading south on the Trace Creek section.
Middle Fork / Trace Creek Intersection to Highway A Trailhead Connector - 9.2 miles
67.2 Highway 32 crossing. Watch for approaching vehicles. 
68 Panther Branch. Often has water 
68.7 Trail goes on/off gravel road. Watch for signs and consult your map Left at gravel road. Take road for about 200 yards. (TC7)
68.8 Right onto trail. Watch for signs. (TC8)
69.7 You may notice hundreds of uprooted trees along this section of trail, the result of wind and ice storms in 2006 and the derecho in May 2009. 
69.8 Left at gravel road. (TC9)
70.2 Trail goes on/off gravel road. Watch for signs and consult your map Right onto trail. Keep an eye out for signs. (TC10)
70.7 The old topographic maps show two caves in this area. The maps are wrong, so don't waste your time hunting for caves here. 
71.6 Gravel road in Peter Cave Hollow. The trail zags a bit as it crosses the road. 
71.6 Peter Cave Hollow creek. Very reliable water. 
72.3 Trail goes on/off gravel road. Watch for signs and consult your map Left onto gravel road. (TC12)
73.2 Trail goes on/off gravel road. Watch for signs and consult your map. Left from gravel road onto trail. (TC13)
73.7 This crossing can be treacherous after a heavy rain. While water levels are only a few inches deep in the summer, you may have a shallow wade in other seasons. 
73.7 Located 200 feet south of main trail is Highway A TH and parking lot. 
73.8 Cross Highway A at the entrance sign to the Bell Mountain Wilderness.
Highway A Trailhead Connector to Bell Mountain Trail Turn-Off - 2.1 miles
74.4 This low glade is found at a switchback on the trail. If you have some time you can explore to the south for excellent views of Ottery Creek valley. 
74.4 Nice valley view, especially a bit off-trail to the south 
75.3 There is a small trickle of water here for most of the year that feeds a diverse growth of flowers and grasses. A good resting spot with scenic views of the valley. 
75.3 Occasional water. Dry much of the year. 
75.9 Bell Mountain turn-off sign. Do not take-- continue straight on Taum Sauk trail.
Bell Mountain Trail Turn-Off to Goggins Mountain Connector (west) - 7 miles
77.3 Beautiful view west from the glades along the southern tip of Bell Mountain. A nice spot for sunsets or to watch the morning mist rise from Ottery Creek and the Middle Fork headwaters. 
79.3 Dramatic view south across Padfield Branch valley to Goggins Mountain. A great spot for a break in this large glade complex. 
79.8 Padfield Branch crossing area. On the southeast side of the creek you'll find the remants of an old house and shed. If you wander past the shed you'll come to a nice spring. A lot of people camp in this area, so practive Leave No Trace. 
80.3 Turnoff from road. If traveling to the northeast along the double-track road, watch for signs! Easy to miss. Watch for markers as the trail takes a right turn off the old jeep road and up Goggins. (TS7)
80.8 2006 tornado damage. This area has been cleared but will prone to weediness for a few years until the canopy can regrow. 
82 The trail drops down through a steep boulder-strewn area that produces mini-waterfalls after a good rain. You can sometimes find pools of water for filtration, but it's not a reliable spot. 
82.9 Pass Goggins Mtn Trail turn-off. Continue straight on Taum Sauk trail.
Goggins Mountain Connector (west) to Highway N Crossing - 4.2 miles
83 One of many fine glades on Goggins. 
83.9 Nice glade with a west-facing view. 
84.3 Open glades with a southwest view. On a clear day you can see Stegall Mountain in the distance, which is on the Current River section. 
84.6 Another glade but this one has a great view to the southwest. Can you see Stegall Mountain from here? 
84.7 Illegal ATV activity abounds in this area. One of several ATV roads you'll cross on south Goggins 
85.4 Walker Branch. Rarely has water, but some people have had luck further to the southeast by the power line crossing of Walker Branch 
85.5 Power line crossing. Can be brushy in summer. Trail continues on opposite side of clearing. 
87 Highway N crossing. Watch for traffic.
Highway N Crossing to Black River Crossing - 2.3 miles
89.1 Trail to the east and southwest is the OT. Check your map if needed. If coming from Highway A, go right. Trail heading north goes to Johnson's Shutins.
89.3 As you approach the Black River follow the OT signs to the right. Watch your step-- it's rocky here. Subject to flooding. If the water is too fast or too deep, head north into Johnson's Shutins and pick up the trail again at the Scour or Highway N TH.
Black River Crossing to Scour Connector (north side) - 2.3 miles
89.5 Delightful bluff overlooking the Black River just north of the switchback.  
90.7 The trail weaves its way through numerous rock outcroppings 
91.5 Southwest side of scour crossing. The trail runs perpendicular to the scour. Look for signs and rock cairns to navigate. Watch your step through this rocky area. 
91.5 Good water source running through scour valley 
91.6 Limestone rock overlooking the scour valley with a view of the reservoir. The trail through this rocky area may require a little scrambling, so watch your step. 
91.6 Cross the scour and make a right, heading up the hill towards Proffit Mtn.
Scour Connector (north side) to Proffit Mountain Power Lines - 4.9 miles
96.5 Powerline area. Subject to seasonal growth. Continue across to trail on the other side.
Proffit Mountain Power Lines to Devils Tollgate - 4.7 miles
100.2 Taum Sauk Creek. Fairly reliable except perhaps in drought conditions.  
Devils Tollgate to Mina Sauk Falls - 1 miles
101.1 Devils Tollgate rock formation 
102 Mina Sauk Falls. Spectacular, especially after heavy rains. Intersection with Mina Sauk lower loop to the southwest. Consult a map to insure you're on the correct trail. 
102.2 At the top of Mina Sauk falls make a left to take the western loop to the top of Taum Sauk.
Mina Sauk Falls to Taum Sauk Mountain Trailhead Connector - 1.2 miles
102.7 Several glades in this area with great views of Taum Sauk Creek valley 
103.3 Taum Sauk Mountain trailhead is located 1/4 mile northeast of main trail. Stay to the right, heading towards Highway 21 on the main Ozark Trail.
Taum Sauk Mountain Trailhead Connector to Mina Sauk Loop Connector (east) - 0.3 miles
103.6 Mina Sauk lower loop trail is on your right. Continue straight towards Highway 21.
Mina Sauk Loop Connector (east) to Russell Mountain Trailhead Connector - 2.5 miles
Russell Mountain Trailhead Connector to Highway 21 Trailhead - 3.3 miles
106.1 Russell Mountain trailhead spur to the north. Consult a map to insure you're on the correct trail 
108.1 Eastern-most glades on Taum Sauk section. 
108.4 Sharp turn, but well-marked. Just keep an eye out for signs.
109.4 End at Highway 21 Trailhead. (directions)
Highway 21 Trailhead. Has Department of Conservation signage as Claybaugh Branch.
Select a Mile Marker link above to see this waypoint on a google map.