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Backpacking the Ozark Highlands Trail

Aaron Zagrodnick

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Aaron Zagrodnick

Nights are long on the trail in late October. The sun sets early and there we are in camp, 13 hours of darkness ahead. The camp fire – if we build one – provides amusement for only so long, and after hiking together all day there is little left for the four of us to talk about. We try to stretch the evening all the way to 8 o'clock but typically give up and retire to our tents by 7:30. Once inside my MSR Hubba, I use the light of my headlamp to review what the trail guide says about the miles we did today, and read ahead for what tomorrow will bring. A few minutes looking at photos on my camera's small screen and a couple of pages on the Kindle app of my iPhone, and that’s all the battery life I dare use on this week-long backpack...

@Susan Dragoo heads to the Ozark Highlands Trail - check out the full article below in Issue 29:

Waiting for Daylight

Hiking the Ozark Highlands Trail.jpg

Issue 29 Page 1

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On Saturday, August 06, 2016 at 9:42 AM, HappyHour said:

Nice story and pix from a part of the country I've never had the pleasure to visit. Any pictures of the rock recliners you can share?

No pics HappyHour but the stone seats are a hallmark of the OHT included at every designated  CS on the two double sided fold out Underwood Geographics OHT maps. These CS's aren't all detailed on the free topo maps or in the Ernst OHT Guidebook. These maps are what I eventually winded up using as they provided OHT details like overlooks, outs, TH access, National Forest CGs and the big picture that these other two named sources did not. Glad I had taken the Ernst Guide on trail though for trail intersection and other info found worthy. For example, UG maps would have show Ozone TH parking on the west as well as the east side with the easy access to the Ozone Nat Forest CG and short connecting trails. It came in handy as this forest service ($3) fee CG had a largeneral roofed picnic Pavillion I was able to wait out a strong rain front under, charge electronics, and obtain clean drinking water from at a pump. It also had pit toilets and CCC camp history. 

BTW lots of rock shelters and several other built shelters like the ones on the the White Rock Mt Rim to duck under.

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Bill Hensley

This is a great article!  I love the OHT, and have hiked some of the parts described here.  I've also been two sections to the east of Ozone, there are a number of amazing waterfalls along that section.

Cheers, Bill

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