Ozark Trail - Current River Section is a hiking trail in Carter County and Shannon County, Missouri. It is 30.7 miles long and begins at 610 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 59.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 8,321 feet. Near the trailhead there is parking. The Owls Bend School (elevation 581 feet) school can be seen along the trail.
Ozark Trail - Current River Section Professional Reviews and Guides
"This hike begins at the same trailhead as the Stegall Mountain Trail, but the similarities fade after the first 0.5 mile. Water is abundant on this trail that loosely follows Rocky Creek, arriving at Klepzig Mill, a must-see little turbine mill built in 1928. Elevation changes are not extreme, but prepare to have your breath taken away by Rocky Creek’s beauty.The trail begins at a kiosk at Rocky Falls. Be sure to go past the kiosk and see Rocky Falls before returning and beginning your hike. The trail takes you down from the kiosk to cross Rocky Creek. It then goes past a small campsite on your right. At about 0.5 mile, you come to an intersection with the Ozark Trail (OT). Turn left and head north on the OT toward Klepzig Mill. If you hike in the morning, watch for wildlife. I startled a rafter (flock) of seven turkeys on my first hike of this trail. This section of the OT is open to horses, so watch for evidence of their presence in the middle of the trail. You might want to step around such evidence."
--Jim Warnock, Five-Star Trails The Ozarks (Menasha Ridge Press).
"You’ll enjoy the expansive views from the glade top of Stegall Mountain. Some of the forests in this area were cut in the early 1900s to provide fuel for a company that smelted low-grade iron ore near Stegall Mountain. Much of the forest has recovered, and controlled burns have helped reestablish the glade areas on and around the mountain. Keep an eye peeled for the collared lizard, a protected species referred to by locals as mountain boomers. Begin at Rocky Falls, a shut-in (a narrow area surrounded by hard rock) with beautifully cascading water when the creeks are running. Step back from the falls and begin walking east at the kiosk. You’ll quickly cross Rocky Creek. Rocky Falls might be covered up with people, depending on the weather and day of the week. The trail comes pretty quickly to a great location for camping on your right after crossing the creek."
"The Osage Indians were said to have called it Spring of the Summer Sky. Dissolved limestone and dolomite, combined with the 310 foot depth of the spring, gives it that sky-blue hue. The National Park Service brochure illustrates the depth of the spring by saying you could put the Statue of Liberty down into Blue Spring and the torch would be 5 feet below the surface. Blue Spring delivers 90 million gallons of water into the Current River each day. The aquatic plants in the branch just below the surface of the spring impart a rich, green color, and leaves seem to float above the surface due to the clarity of the water. Visiting Blue Spring by trail is the best way to absorb and appreciate its beauty."
"This 3.1-mile section of the Ozark Trail begins at beautiful Klepzig Mill and shut-ins and ends at the equally impressive Rocky Falls."
--JD Tanner and Emily Ressler Tanner, Best Easy Day Hikes: Missouri Ozarks (Falcon Guides).
"This route takes you to a special view of the Current River and Owls Bend from high on a bluﬀ . Several nice viewing spots are along the bluﬀ with a campsite close by. This hike also gives you a chance to visit the Ozark Trail Research Center at the trailhead."
"This interesting and beautiful section of the Ozark Trail begins at the historic Klepzig Mill and shut-ins and ends at the equally impressive Rocky Falls. Hikers taking on this journey should be prepared to take a dip and cool off at the Rocky Falls, a popular place for tourists and locals to relax during the hot summer months.This section of the Ozark Trail makes an excellent day hike for those looking to explore the exceptional beauty of the Ozarks. The trail begins near Klepzig Mill and shut-ins. On the National Register of Historic Places, the small turbine mill was constructed in 1928 by Walter Klepzig. There is also a series of small shut-ins in this area. Although smaller in size than other shut-ins found in the region, such as Johnson’s Shut-Ins, the area is well worth a visit any time of year. At the southern end of this trail, where you will leave your vehicle, lies Rocky Falls, an impressive 40-foot waterfall that cascades over a series of rhyolite steps. During hot weather you will likely find the area crowded with swimmers. While it is an excellent swimming hole, if you are looking for solitude, visit during cooler weather."
--JD Tanner and Emily Ressler-Tanner, Hiking Ozarks (Falcon Guides).
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