|Ozark Trail Team|
Join and help maintain Missouri's Ozark Trail--an outstanding source of recreation for hikers, backpackers, mountain bikers and equestrian users. In 1977, a group of people comprised of land managers, trail users and private landowners envisioned a long distance trail--beginning at Castlewood State Park (near St. Louis), traversing southwestward through Missouri's most scenic areas and connecting with the Ozark Highlands Trail at the Arkansas border.
Today, the Ozark Trail is close to a reality, and 307 miles of the proposed 500 miles are complete. Due to limited government budgets, agencies no longer have the resources for basic maintenance on the existing trail sections or for further trail construction on new sections. Volunteers are needed to help protect our investment in the Ozark Trail and Missouri's natural heritage. For additional information and to see pictures of the trail, please click here .
Today 300 miles of the Ozark Trail are completed including an eastern loop that traverses through the scenic St. Francois Mountain region (the oldest mountain range on the North American continent). Most of the trail development thus far has taken place on public land. Future development is dependent on the ability to negotiate trail easements with private land owners. The Ozark Trail is for families, groups and individuals of all ages. It can be walked for as little as an hour with no specialized equipment or for several days with sophisticated backpacking gear. Historically, the trail was developed for hikers, backpackers and horseback riders, but now there are also sections open for mountain bike use.
The beauty of the Ozark trail makes a visit worthwhile and rewarding. It crosses numerous mountains, including Bell Mountain, Goggins Mountain, Proffit Mountain and Taum Sauk Mountain (Missouri's highest peak), just to name a few. These mountaintops and associated valleys contain outstanding scenic attributes ranging from panoramic glade vistas to rock strewn streams to a cascading waterfall; the state's highest at Mina Sauk Falls. The trail crosses several significant drainages - some with footbridges. These streams can usually be crossed without much difficulty. A significant portion of the Ozark Trial traverses through two major ecological land types; the Ozark Natural Division, which covers almost 40 percent of the state and the Ozark Border Natural Division, which covers about 13 percent of the state. Elevation ranges from 400 feet to almost 1800 feet, and local relief of 300 feet or more is common.
At the first Ozark Trail Team workshop, attendees learned how to maintain the Ozark Trail. Information provided at the workshops include: fundamentals on trail maintenance, trail and tool safety, and trail sharing and ethics. The public land manager across whose land the trail passes is responsible for building and maintaining the trail. In the case of private property, the agency or organization having the trail easement is responsible for the construction and maintenance. Due to limited budgets, agencies no longer have the resources for the basic maintenance on the existing trail sections. This is where Trail Teams come in. Volunteers are needed to help maintain sections of the Ozark Trail and to save the precious public investment and Missouri's natural Ozark heritage.To visit an additional site on the Ozark Trail, click here.