Mountain Bike! Ozarks
by Steve Henry (Menasha Ridge Press)
© Steve Henry/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.
A great trip for a winter hike and camp. Beginning with the long uphill climb, we experienced a vigorating first day. It had snowed about 4 inches and my hiking partner and I were trying out new gear we had recieved for Christmas. We unfortunately did not have maps, so we had limited knowledge of where the numerous marked trails led. After hiking a long ridge intersected by a couple of other trails we descended into a valley where we found the spring that is the main source for Mill Creek. We lunched and explored the site and found it is also one of the few native trout streams in Missouri. My companion is an avid fly fisherman and intends to return to combine some fishing, hiking and winter camping. We camped near a lily pond that evening and although the temperature was in the low teens, our new gear exceeded our expectations. We both were testing equipment and pack weight consistent with much longer hikes than the two day trip we were on, so we needed limbering up in the morning after a hot breakfast.We took a brisk 3 hour hike through dense timber, open meadows, pine covered hills and great views of the Missouri Ozarks winter scenery. The hike would have been much more enjoyable with maps, however I had dreamed of winter camping for over 40 years. I could not have had a better time for my maiden winter hike.
The trail report is very accurate. The trails are all loops with a variety of levels from easy double wide log roads on top to steep technical narrow rocky down hills that were fast and fun. Trails include mud,sand,rocks,creeks to cross,deep mud holes. As beginners we found the hill climbs were mostly un-ridable but more experienced riders might conquer them. Several springs to cool off in and get cleaned up, nearby campgrounds w/tables, grill pits, porta-pots if needed. The Natural Bridge is an added bonus.
Good set of trails that allow anything from hard climbs and technical downhills to relaxing peacful biking. Much of the trail is on top of a set of hills and there are many trails branching off of ths main one, the main trail is wide enough for atvs but the other trails are single track. There are a couple springs and a river near by along with camping and picnic areas. This is a great trail through some beautiful forest.
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