Through-Hiking the Ozark Trail

Here are a list of questions we get asked often about Through-Hiking the OT -- click on a link for an answer, or just scroll down the page.

 

What is an Ozark Trail through-hike?

For purposes of this section, a through-hike is defined as hiking the contiguous 230-mile backbone of the Ozark Trail in one trip. A through-hike can begin at the Onondaga State Park and proceed southward and to the Eleven Point Western trailhead, or move in the opposite direction from south to north. The Ozark Trail Association online Trip Planner contains information on a through-hike, including directions to Onondaga State Park and Eleven Point Western trailheads:

Through-Hike Overview
Details - North to South
Details - South to North

The Trip Planner Details pages may be printed out and used as a databook.

How can I discuss the OT with other trail users when planning a through-hike?

The OTA forum is a good way to discuss the trail with other users, and to inquire about particular aspects of the trail. There is a specific discussion for hikers along with other topics and uses. See our forum.

How can I find descriptions and other information about Ozark Trail sections?

Visit our trail page for an overview of the sections and follow the link to a particular section for more details.

The Ozark Trail Guidebook, independently published, is also available for purchase and provides section-by-section descriptions.

How can I hear "Tales from the Trail" and learn the stories of other through-hikers?

Try the following links for some real-life experiences distance hiking the OT:

Backpack Guy - 2013
OTA Connector Magazine 2012
Nimblewill Nomad - 2011
Missouri Conservationist Jun 2010
Danny's Missouri Backpacking & Hiking Trails Reviews

How can I learn about available shuttle services for through-hikers?

See our shuttle page.

Where can I find Ozark Trail maps?

Detailed maps, including topographical maps, may be viewed, downloaded and printed from our maps page.
An interactive online map of the trail showing trailheads and directions is available here.
Printed Ozark Trail section maps on water and tear-resistant paper can be purchased here. Or contact the OTA (by email or call the office at (573) 436-0540) for availability and pricing.

I use a GPS. Are waypoints available?

GPS data (gpx) is available for free download. Waypoints and gpx files may be accessed from our Trail page, then click on each respective trail section. Google Earth (kml) files for each section are also available..

What do I need to know about water sources on the OT?

Water is generally available along the trail. However, some sources may run dry during extended periods of drought. Plan accordingly and carry or cache water in case you are not able to find a source close by. Always treat any water for drinking and cooking along the trail. Specific water sources are indicated on Ozark Trail online and printed maps.

How can I learn about current conditions and any important notices about the Ozark Trail?

Current trail conditions including information about obstructions, planned burns and other possible issues may be accessed on our conditions page.

What are my options for resupply and services on an Ozark Trail through-hike?

While the Ozark Trail doesn't run directly through any towns, hikers may access options for resupply and services along the way, including the locales below. Please be aware that we make an effort to keep this information current. However, businesses and business conditions change, thus the information contained here is subject to change without the knowledge of the OTA. To be certain of availability, contact the resource provider directly to verify current hours and services.

Key ~ =approximately, TH = Trailhead

Mile From:
North/South
Name/Type Location & Contact Info Additional Info & Notes
0 / 230.5 Ozark Outdoors
Resort and Campground
200 Ozark Outdoor Lane
Leasburg, MO 65535
Phone: 800-888-0023
Hours: Open year-round for floating, camping, shuttle, cabins.
Nov - Feb: 8 am - 4:30 pm
Mar: 8 am - 5:30 pm
Apr: SU-TH: 8 am - 6pm F-SA: 8 am - 8 pm
Memorial Day to Labor Day: SU-TH: 8 am - 9 pm F: 8 am - 11 pm; SA: 7:30 am - 11 pm
website
shuttle information
Will accept packages - call to arrange.
12.5 / 218 Bass' River Resort
Resort and Campground
204 Butts Rd.
Steelville MO 65565
Phone: 800-392-3700
Hours: Open year-round for floating, camping, shuttle, cabins.
Nov - Apr: 8 am - 5 pm
May - Oct: M-TH: 7 am - 9 pm F-SU: 7 am - 11 pm
website
shuttle information
Will accept packages - call to arrange.
76.9 / 153.6 Bixby Country Store
Deli, Groceries, and Post Office
2.9 miles NW on County Road 79 to Highway 32 intersection, store directly across road
Phone: 473-626-4868
Hours: M-SA: 4 am - 6:30 pm SU: 10 am - 6 pm
Post Office hours: see here
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Sizable deli, breakfast options. P.O. accepts mail drops, call for mailing instructions (store will pick up and hold upon request).
90.6 / 140 Brushy Creek Lodge
Restaurant, Lodging, and Campground
5910 Highway J
Black, MO 65446
~.25 miles east on spur trail
Phone: 573-269-4743 or 573-269-4600
Hours: (Office) M-SU: 8 am - 5 pm; Open year-round.
website
shuttle information
Spur trail from the OT. Look for blue signs with "L". Contact lodge if arrival will be outside of office hours. Will accept packages - call first to arrange.
116.3 / 114.2 Bunker, MO
Restaurant
Post Office
Public Library
Wood's Dairette
1656 Highway 72
Bunker, MO 63629
3.1 miles N/NW on Highway 72.
Phone: 573-689-2033
Hours: TU-F: 9 am - 9 pm; SA: 12 noon - 9 pm
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Post Office
(from Wood's) ~.4 mile NW on Highway 72, then ~1 mile W on 4th Street, behind bank building.
Phone: 573-626-4669
Hours: see here

Public Library
(from Wood's) ~.5 miles NW on Highway 32, left on Highway A to Main Street (first intersection); library is on right.
Phone: 573-689-2718
Hours: M-F: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm; Closed at lunchtime
Wood's accepts mail drops, call to confirm and for mailing instructions. Public Library: Internet access.
143 / 87.5 Eminence, MO
Restaurants
Grocery
Post Office
Lodging
Campgrounds
Public Laundry
13.1 miles W on Highway 106. Main business district just south of intersection with Highway 19

Shady Lane Motel
509 N. Main Street
Eminence MO 65446
Located .3 mile N of intersection with 106, on Highway 19.
Phone: 573-226-3893
Hours: M-SU: 8 am - 9 pm; Nov-Apr: M-SU: 8 am - 6 pm

Restaurants
Main business district

Groceries
Store in main business district

Post Office
Located in main business district.
Phone: 573-226-5520
Hours: see here

Public Library
Basement of Court House, on Main Street
Hours: M-F: 1 - 4 pm
Restaurants: pizza, American, steak house, ice cream. Shady Lane will consider picking up hikers at Powder Mill TH free of charge with stay in Sept, and Oct 15-May 15. Call to inquire. Public Library: Internet access.
Eminence web site.
173 / 57.5 Van Buren, MO
Restaurant
Groceries
Lodging
Campground
Post Office
Public Library
Public Laundry
3.8 miles E on Highway 60 to Current River Bridge; main business district across bridge and N on James Street.

The Landing (motel)
Next to Current River Bridge
Phone: 573-323-8156
Hours: Motel open year-round
Blue Heron Restaurant (in motel):
Hours: Summer Hours: M-SU: 5 pm - 9 pm; closed SU and M during rest of Season
website

Post Office
Main business district
Phone: 573-323-4703
Hours: see here

Shawn's Fluff and Fold (laundry)
Main Street
Phone: 573-996-1829
Hours: M-SU: 8 am - 8 pm

Groceries
Two stores, main business district

Public Library
One block north of Main on Sycamore St.
Phone: 573-323-4315
Hours: M: 9 am - 6 pm; TU-F: 9 am - 5 pm; SA: 9 am - 12 Noon; SU: Closed
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The Landing will pick up hikers at Highway 60TH free of charge with overnight stay. Public Library: Internet access.
Van Buren website
211 / 19.5 Alton, MO
Lodging
Restaurants
Groceries
Post Office
Outfitter
9.3 miles S on Highway 19. Court (town) Square just S of Highway 19 and 160 intersection.

Alton Motel
East of Court Square.
Phone: 417-778-6208
Hours: Open year-round, call for service.
website

Grandma's Kitchen
14 Court Sq.
Phone: 417-778-7577
Hours: Open 7 days a week, 5:30 am - 9 pm

Chelsea Dale's Bakery & Cafe
4 Court Sq.
Phone: 417-778-7711
Hours: TU-TH: 7 am - 8 pm, F-SA: 7 am - 9 pm

Grocery
~.1 W from of Highway 19 and 160 intersection, on Highway 160
Phone: 417-778-6155
Hours: M-SA: 7 am - 9 pm, SU: 8 am - 8 pm

Dollar General
Across from grocery
Phone: 417-778-7070
Hours: M-SU: 8 am - 9 pm

Post Office
One block east of Court Square
Phone: 417-778-7270
Hours: see here

Public Library
20 Court Square
Phone: 417-778-6414
Hours: M-F: 8:30 am - 5 pm

Richard's Canoe Rental
Route 2, Box 2427
2.1 miles S of Greer Recreation Area on Highway 19.
Phone: 417-778-6186
Hours: Open year-round, reduced hours Nov-Mar
website
shuttle information
Alton Motel: call to schedule overnight stay. Public Library: Internet access.
Richard's: cabins, canoes, camping, showers (available without stay), snack items and shuttles, including pick up at Greer Recreation Area.

What options are there for caching supplies along the Ozark Trail?

There are many points along the trail to cache a resupply. The locations below represent some of the more accessible trailheads along the way. Be sure to cache your food away from the trailhead itself and protect from critters out to get your food.

For a complete listing of trailheads, including directions, go to our directions page.

Mile From:
North/South
Cache Location
35.9 / 194.6 Highway 8 Trailhead directions
65.6 / 164.9 Highway DD / 32 Trailhead directions
116.3 / 114.2 Highway P / 72 Trailhead directions
143 / 87.5 Powder Mill Trailhead directions
173 / 57.5 Highway 60 Trailhead directions
211 / 19.5 Greer Recreation Area and Trailhead directions

What campgrounds are available on or near the trail?

There are various campgrounds on or near the trail. While the campgrounds may be open year-round for camping, many of them have services that are only available seasonally. Additionally, there may be a fee for camping when the campground is open. Below is a list of the campgrounds along the trail.

Key ~ =approximately

Mile From:
North/South
Campground
0 / 230.5 Ozark Outdoors
200 Ozark Outdoor Lane
Leasburg, MO 65535
Phone: 800-888-0023
Hours: Open year-round for floating, camping, shuttle, cabins.
Nov - Feb: 8 am - 4:30 pm
Mar: 8 am - 5:30 pm
Apr: SU-TH: 8 am - 6pm F-SA: 8 am - 8 pm
Memorial Day to Labor Day: SU-TH: 8 am - 9 pm F: 8 am - 11 pm; SA: 7:30 am - 11 pm
website
5 / 225.5 Huzzah Conservation Area Campground
Hours: Primitive camping allowed September 15th through May 15th. Day use only through the remainder of the year.
Vault Toilet. No potable water or trash service.
website
12.5 / 218 Bass' Resort
204 Butts Rd.
Steelville MO 65565
On trail
Phone: 800-392-3700
Hours: Open year-round for floating, camping, shuttle, cabins.
Nov - Apr: 8 am - 5 pm
May - Oct: M-TH: 7 am - 9 pm; F-SU: 7 am - 11 pm
Offers year round camping and other services: see options for resupply, above.
website
34.6 / 195.9 Berryman Campground
~.25 miles E via Berryman Trail/gravel road.
Phone: N/A
Hours: Open year-round
No fee campground. Vault Toilets, picnic pavilion. No potable water or trash service.
website
47.7 / 182.8 Hazel Creek Campground
S of Hazel Creek Trailhead.
Phone: N/A
Hours: Open year-round
No fee primitive campground. No potable water or trash service. Tables and fire rings provided. Water from Hazel Creek.
website
62.2 / 168.3 Wild Boar Campground, Council Bluff Recreation Area
~.1 mile E via spur trail
Phone: 573-364-4621
Hours: Open year-round
Fee charged. Vault toilets, drinking water and trash service. Coin operated hot showers available at Chapel Hill Beach from late May through Labor Day
website
90.6 / 140 Brushy Creek Lodge
5910 Highway J
Black, MO 65446
~.25 miles E on spur trail
Look for blue signs with "L"
Phone: 573-269-4743 or 573-269-4600
Hours: (Office) M-SU: 8 am-5 pm; Open year-round
Camping and other services, see options for resupply, above. Contact lodge if arriving outside office hours.
website
98.6 / 131.9 Sutton Bluff Campground
On trail
Phone: 573-364-4621
Hours: Open late March - first week in November
Fee charged. Water and trash service. Flush toilets and showers available.
website
143 / 87.5 Powder Mill Campground
~.1 mile S to trailhead, then ~.5 miles SE on road to campground
Phone: 573-323-4236
Hours: Full services, including water, trash service and flush toilets available between April 15-Oct 15. Fee charged. Free camping off season.
website
156.5 / 74 Peck Ranch Campground
~1.25 miles S on service road, continue S past OT Trailhead to campgrounds
Phone: 417-256-7161
Hours: Open year-round
No fee campground. Closed from time to time for managed hunts and wildlife restoration. Vault toilets, picnic tables, trash service. No potable water, but Rogers Creek usually holds water.
website
211 / 19.5 Greer Crossing Recreation Area
On trail.
Phone: 573-364-4621
Hours: Open year-round
Fee charged. Vault toilets, picnic tables, water and trash service available May 1 - Oct 22. Water from Eleven Point River when potable water not available.
website
213.9 / 16.6 McCormack Lake
~1 mile N on spur trail
Phone: 573-364-4621
Hours: Open year-round
No fee campground. Vault toilet. No potable water or trash service. Water from McCormack Lake.
website

What other through-hike type trips on the Ozark Trail do you recommend?

Some hikers prefer to use the Hwy 21 Trailhead on the Taum Sauk section as a beginning / ending point:

Onondaga State Park to Hwy 21 - 109 mi
Hwy 21 to Eleven Point - 210 mi

I just through-hiked the Ozark Trail and would love to share my story. What now?

We would love to hear your story or suggestions that we can put on this page to make it better. Post your trip on our forum, send us a trip report, or contact Kathy Atnip, Communications committee. And maybe we can use your story in a newsletter or our magazine.