Press Releases

From time-to-time, the Ozark Trail Association issues press releases to inform the public of its special events, meetings, outings and noteworthy news.

OZARK TRAIL ASSOCIATION NAMES MATT ATNIP EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The Ozark Trail Association (OTA), the volunteer organization that builds and maintains Missouri's Ozark Trail, is pleased to announce that Matt Atnip has been named its new Executive Director.

Atnip, who had been a Senior Claim Examiner at Reinsurance Group of America (RGA), will be in charge of managing the programs and operations of the OTA, as well as fundraising for the organization. The OTA will be focusing initially on programs and operations, but wishes to expand its mission to a wider range of trail enthusiasts and potential donors. Atnip will lead this effort.

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THE OZARK NATIONAL RECREATION TRAIL: A SECRET WORTH SHARING

Deep in the Missouri Ozarks, thousands of volunteers have teamed with public land management agencies and landowners to create one of the nation's newest and longest National Recreation Trails. The Ozark Trail comprises approximately 360 scenic miles with approximately 240 miles of thru-trail, stretching from Crawford County, near Steelville to Howell County, near the Eleven Point River. When completed as anticipated, the trail will wind through 550 miles of Ozark mountains, valleys and foothills, from St. Louis to the Arkansas border, eventually connecting to the Ozark Highlands Trail (which is planned to extend from the Missouri border to Fort Smith, Arkansas.)

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MISSOURI'S OZARK TRAIL DESIGNATED AS A NATIONAL RECREATION TRAIL

In an announcement this month, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior designated 262 miles of the Ozark Trail as a National Recreation Trail . The 360 total miles of the Ozark Trail pass through some of the most scenic areas in the Ozarks and include 225 miles of contiguous thru-trail. The trail stretches from Crawford County, near Steeleville to Howell County, near West Plains, Missouri. When completed Ozark Trail is anticipated to begin in St. Louis and connect with the Ozark Highlands Trail at Fort Smith, Arkansas, for an estimated 700 total miles.

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JOHN ROTH: OZARK TRAIL ASSOCIATION FOUNDER, LEADER AND FRIEND

The Ozark Trail Association was founded on constructive criticism. In 1997, John Roth called the U.S. Forest Service to complain about the poor condition of this trail in Missouri's Ozarks. Paul Nazarenko of the Forest Service suggested that Roth come and help to repair the trail. In this often-told story, Nazarenko remembers that Roth showed up a day later, wearing loafers, looking like a "computer geek", but ready to work. This was the first indicator that Roth, a lifelong outdoorsman who died in an accident in July 2009, had both the energy and vision to make a difference in yet another endeavor in his life.

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OZARK TRAIL ASSOCIATION SPONSORS 15TH MEGA-EVENT SEPTEMBER 26th

The Ozark Trail Association (OTA) sponsored its 15th Mega Event on September 26, 2009 which also coincided with National Public Lands Day 2009 as 154 volunteers turned out to build trail. Despite a thunderstorm that cut the workday short, the crews combined to produce just over half a mile of beautiful new Ozark Trail.

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