Jump to content

Issue 55 has been released! Download your own high definition PDF copy with a TrailGroove Premium Subscription or read online in standard definition here.

ozark highlands trail


Recommended Posts

ya that's what i am thinking, our weather is so crazy in this part of the country it could be in triple digits still in sept but always the last week of sept -first week of oct we get a cold rain that signifies summer is basically over. our local state fair is that week and it always ruins a few days for fair goers. honestly it's possible i could push it out to nov and still have some warm days. guess we will see what it will do. regardless weather will make for an interesting hike.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 11 months later...

Heidi. Oct is easily the best month on the OHT. Best colors are usually the 3rd week in October. Weather will be fantastic. Avg date for first frost is mid-Oct.

The OHTA just produced 2 new maps of the OHT that are beautiful. I think Backwoods? In Tulsa carries them. If not, drive over to Pack Rat in Fayetteville. If you have trouble finding them, I can get them to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Old thread but I'll reply. Just completed a OHT thru-hike from June 1 - June 23 - 271 miles on the OHT as it currently stands proper. That included the Sylamore  and most recently added sections - in anticipation of connecting the OHT to  Missouri's Ozark Tr making for a  more than 900 mile romp from St Louis to almost Oklahoma -YIPPEE! -  as well as the bushwack along the Buffalo River. It was a poison ivy, tick, and sweat fest. Lots of spider webs as well with some ginormous spidies. Be glad your going in Oct. For all my trials I knew all of this but it was the only available time. Besides,  I got some sweat fest backpacking in which I needed to reacquaint myself.  Water wasn't flowing at it's greatest in the hollows but still no dire water issues. I rarely saw another hiker and no other thru-hikers. This is a trail worth exploring some side waterways to caves, overlooks, waterfalls, pour offs, natural bridges(arches), etc. Take the high route over White Rock Mt for its many spectacular overlooks!

Watch for widow makers.

I'd  strongly suggest getting the Ozark Highlands Trail Guide by local Tim Ernst and, even though there're free downloadable OHT topo maps, get Underwood Geographics OHT West( Lake Ft Smith - Ozone THs) and OHT East(Ozone - Woolum Ford-Buffalo River) maps. These contain a larger picture appreciated for the "outs" in this sometimes rather remote(hard to sometimes get a hitch) trail and for the designated on the maps CS's.

I really liked the OHT and Buffalo River hikes despite my mid June experience. I liked all the deep hollows with rock strewn streams, bluffs,  rock overhangs, and lack of any people. Expect sometimes rocky narrow roller coasting single track still hemmed in with brush and more than a few blow downs to navigate even in Oct.  There are some tricky turns also that aren't well marked. Don't expect consist AT like blazing or signage either. I would say this isn't a turn your mind off and follow the beaten trail as mayb e the AT !~ 

This is a trail I'd say has a wide thru-hiking window with hiking from mid Oct into mid April  certainly agreeable for one prepared. From Tim Ernst book regarding Oct: " This is the other best month of the yr. The first part of it is still quite warm, dry, and buggy. But, towards the middle the nights get cooler, down into the 50's, 40's, and even 30's, and then it frosts. Yet the days are in the 70's and some 80's. By the end of the month it is crisp, clear days and nights and the forest transforms from a dull(I'd say DEEP green) that you've gotten used to since may into one of the most incredible displays of color anywhere.(Yet the trees will be loosing their leaves opening up views and access to sunshine).  *The last week of the month is always the best. The bugs are pretty much gone too. Great hiking weather." The last week or next of last week in Oct into Nov hiking during the start of leaf off through the first hard frost,  to decrease the abundant poison ivy, sounds best to me.

Expect to arrange for a shuttle to/from  Lake Ft Smith and from/to Woolum Ford or otherwise make arrangements to do some extra hiking. Don't miss the Sylamore section and some extra National Scenic River Buffalo River overlooks! 

This is a trail that I'd say

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...