Trail Sections
The Rugged, Natural Beauty of the Ozark Trail

How many ways can we describe the Ozarks in Missouri? It has mountains, hills and knobs, valleys filled with springs, crystal-clear streams, shut-ins and waterfalls, trimmed by bluffs and riddled with caves. It has hardwood forests, stands of pines, savannas filled with black-eyed susans and glades dotted by purple coneflowers. It's home to deer, turkey, bobcat, bear, songbirds and bald eagles. It is one of the most diverse places on the planet.

The Ozarks, in a word, are splendid.

Experience this national treasure yourself on the Ozark Trail. Bring your boots, bike or horse to one of the sections listed below. The trail offers trips from just a few miles to 140 miles, so spend a lazy afternoon at Taum Sauk visiting Mina Sauk Falls or a week backpacking along the Current and Eleven Point Rivers. It's guaranteed to take away the stress and leave a smile on your face.

We have over 390 miles of trail, divided into (mostly) linked sections. Plus a number of spur trails have been added to the Ozark Trail system for extra opportunities to hike, cycle and ride on horseback. Click on a section name below for information, maps, trail conditions and more.


Section Summary
Section Name Approx.
Miles
Summary
Courtois 48

Includes Huzzah Conservation, a 1 mile road walk through Bass River Resort, the west half of Berryman Trail, and continues south to Hazel Creek.

Trace Creek 26

Runs from Hazel Creek Camp to Highway A at Bell Mountain, with a connection to Council Bluff Lake and the Middle Fork / John Roth Memorial Section.

Middle Fork / John Roth Memorial 24

Connects to the Trace Creek section on the north (but easiest access is the Highway DD trailhead) and runs southwest to Highway J.

Karkaghne 29

Runs from Oates at Highway J to Highway 72 near Reynolds.

Blair Creek 27

Starts at Reynolds, runs through the Roger Pryor Backcountry for 10 miles and ends at Owl's Bend.

Current River 30

Runs from Powder Mill Campground at Owl's Bend on the Current River south past Klepzig Mill, close to Rocky Falls, up Stegall Mountain, through Peck Ranch to near Van Buren. Fabulous!

Between The Rivers 29

From Highway 60 near Van Buren, this section bridges the gap between the Current River and the Eleven Point. Skirts the Irish Wilderness.

Eleven Point 29

Starts in the middle of nowhere, ends in the middle of nowhere... but in between has fantastic views of the Eleven Point River. Side trail to McCormick Lake.

North Fork 27

12 miles of trail from Pomona tacked on to the existing Ridge Runner Trail and Devil's Backbone Wilderness.

Taum Sauk 35

One of the best trails in the state. Can be divided into 15-, 12- and 6-mile subsections. Goes through Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park.

Marble Creek 9

Runs from Marble Creek campground to Crane Lake. Does not connect to any other section.

Victory 19

An old horse trail system, some of which now is officially a part of the Ozark Trail. Will connect to the Wappapello section.

Wappapello 35

Starts at Sam A. Baker state park and past Wappapello Lake.


Section Naming

The Colorado Trail has section numbers and the Appalachian Trail uses point-to-point place names. So why did the Ozark Trail give each section its own name?

You have to go back to the origins of the Ozark Trail Council for the answer. The Council was formed by multiple land managers, each working on their own sections of trail. In some cases, they used existing trails.

Thus, the existing Taum Sauk trail become known as the "Taum Sauk section of the Ozark Trail." The same for the Trace Creek and Victory trails. As new sections were added, they were given their own names.

The most intriguing section name is the Karkaghne, which runs past the Karkaghne Scenic Drive near Sutton Bluff. By one account, the name comes from a mythical creature in forest folklore!

Our Cousin - The OHT

The Ozark Highlands Trail is in Arkansas and runs from near Fort Smith to the Buffalo River, with more trail being added to reach to the Missouri border.

They have a strong volunteer group that has built over 200 miles of trail. You can visit the Ozark Highlands Trail Association website by clicking here. Their website has general information about the OHT, a map covering the 165 miles from Lake Fort Smith to Woolum (Buffalo National River), links to sources of guide books, maps, and other outdoor publications.

It is hoped that one day the two trails will link, creating a 700-mile Trans-Ozark trail system.