Known locally as the Ozark Trail (OT), this network of hiking, backpacking and in some places biking and equestrian trails is one of America’s great natural treasures. Its 13 sections – with the longest “thru hike” stretching 230 miles – roam across a landscape of rugged, forested mountains, swollen rivers and soaring escarpments. Hikers and horseback riders will discover rocky streams, dolomite glades, plunge-pool-filled shut-ins and hidden caves.
Founded in 1913, the Ozark Trail Association has a long history of providing recreational opportunities to people from all over the country. This is an area where a hiker can truly escape from modern life and experience the wilderness in all its glory, with few distractions from the hum of cars or the buzz of cell phones.
The trail is well-marked, making navigation easy for hikers. Many hiking resources are available to help you plan your trip, such as trail maps and guidebooks. Moreover, there are numerous campgrounds located along the trail, which allow you to extend your hiking adventure into a multi-day expedition.
When you start your OT journey, make sure to bring a good map and plenty of water. You’ll also want to pack a few extra supplies in case you run into any unexpected conditions on your trek. For instance, you’ll need to bring wading shoes if there are any creeks or rivers you’re planning on crossing. In addition, you’ll want to pack a first aid kit in case of any injuries or illnesses that may occur on your hiking adventure.
A hiker can start their journey on the OT at any number of locations, with Sapulpa being an excellent choice for those looking to take advantage of Route 66. This town’s obelisk is a must-see landmark and a popular photo op for travelers, while it’s also home to the historic Rock Creek Bridge. For hikers who are ready for a more challenging hike, the OT continues south through Depew, Bristow, Stroud and beyond.
For more details about the OT, visit its official website. You can download a free trail map from the site, and you can even use HiiKER to navigate your way on the Ozark Trail. This trail has something for everyone, from beginner hikers to expert backpackers and everything in between! Just remember to be respectful of other hikers and abide by all the rules of the trail to have a safe and enjoyable hiking experience. Happy trails! 2018 Wikimedia Commons. Ozark Trail Customer Service