Buffalo River Trail building – Fall 2016 kickoff

The Fall 2016 trail building session in the middle Buffalo River area is set for October 18-29 (maybe the 30th too?).  We will be camping at Tyler Bend (hot showers and flush toilets!).  Look for our headquarters – the big white wall tent – in either the main campground or the group campground.  I’m not sure precisely where we’ll be but that tent is hard to miss.  Our workday usually starts around 8:30 AM so be there before then.

The private property situation that has blocked us for a couple years is still not resolved so the focus will be on improving other parts of the trail.

The Park Service provides free camping, potable water, and tools.  Bring your own gloves, water containers, food, cooking and camping gear.  Whatever your abilities, we’ll find something for you to do – for a day, a weekend, or longer.

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Another wonderful week in the Winds

I thought last year’s trip to Wyoming’s Wind River Range was probably a once-in-a-lifetime thing but two of the participants wanted to go back this summer so RC, TC, and I did just that.

This year’s trip was mostly on the west side of the range and a bit further north than last year, mostly in the Bridger Wilderness but partially in the Popo Agie Wilderness.  The trip outline: from the Big Sandy Opening trail head go north past Dad’s, Marm’s, Skull, and Mae’s Lakes, then northeast over Hailey Pass and around Grave Lake, south to Washakie Lake, west over Washakie Pass (the high point at 11600′) and toward Skull Lake, then retrace our path south to the trail head.  This is described as the Baptiste Lake Loop in Backpacking Wyoming.  Part of this lollipop is on the Continental Divide Trail so I’ve knocked off a few more miles of that.

We had great weather, no camp fires due to a burn ban, and a new moon.  That all added up to excellent star gazing conditions.  I spotted 3 of the 4 constellations I can identify!

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Ouachita & Womble Trail maps

I have finally completed a major update of my maps for the Ouachita Trail.  All of the map data is now fresh and I’ve added many secondary trails like Black Fork Mountain, Queen Wilhelmena State Park, Big Brushy Recreation Area, and Lake Sylvia.  Still on the to-do list are more secondary trails and better marking of nearby roads.

8-12-16 update: I’ve also finally completed a big update for the Womble Trail maps.

I hope you find these useful.

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Ouachita Trail – AR298 to AR7 (section 7)

This was my first time hiking straight through section 7.  My previous trips were out-and-back with a one-nighter from AR-7 and a day hike from AR298, both turning around at Ouachita Pinnacle.

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Buffalo River Trail building – Spring 2016 wrapup

A group of 13 students from the University of Illinois came to Tyler Bend to spend their spring break week (Mar 20-26) helping us.  Unfortunately, the Park Service informed us only 3 days before we were to start that we would not be allowed to work on new trail in the gap between Red Bluff & South Maumee Roads.  Instead, we all spent 3 days in the Ponca Wilderness area learning to use cross cut saws to clear downed trees from some of the trails there.

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OHT section 4 (part 2) – Arbaugh Road to Ozone

Another one-night trip organized by the OHTA, this time on the eastern half of section 4 of the Ozark Highlands Trail from Arbaugh Road to the Ozone trail head.  We did the western half about a month ago.  The main features are Lewis Prong, Waterfall Hollow, Hignite Hollow, Boomer Branch, and the Mulberry River.  Lewis Prong and the Mulberry both required wading.  This was a trip that will probably be talked about for years to come.

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Buffalo River Trail building – Spring 2016 kickoff

Mark your calendars!  The Spring 2016 trail building session in the middle Buffalo River area is set to begin March 19 and run through April 2.  We will be camping at Tyler Bend (hot showers and flush toilets!).  Look for the big white wall tent on the west side of the main campground – not the group campground.  With any luck we will be resuming work to close the gap in the area between Red Bluff Road and South Maumee Road.

The Park Service provides free camping, potable water, and tools.  Bring your own gloves, water containers, food, cooking and camping gear.  Whatever your abilities, we’ll find something for you to do – for a day, a weekend, or longer.

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Lake Sylvia Trails

The Lake Sylvia Recreation Area features a man-made 18-acre lake for fishing, swimming, and non-motorized boating, plus camp sites with water & electric hookups, and a few miles of hiking trail.  I first visited the area in September ’14 and was in the neighborhood again after finishing a weekend on the Ouachita Trail so I decided to take another look.

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Ouachita Trail – AR7 to AR9 (section 8)

It was this stretch of trail where just 15 months ago I began my first section hike of the Ouachita Trail (completing it twice in 5 months!).  This time I had a shuttle so it was just a one-way trip (eastbound).  Much of the scenery was familiar, and even many of the pictures I took look similar to last time.  One new thing was the side-trip to climb North Fork Pinnacle.  As usual, I saw no other backpackers.

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OHTA work weekend – Ozone area

The OHTA had another work weekend, this time centered around the Ozone area.

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