I got back to Arkansas – this time to hike section 6 of the Ozark Highlands Trail with 5 others on a local Sierra Club outing. Our 4-day journey started at the Big Piney trail head (mile 105.5) and went east through the Hurricane Creek Wilderness to the Fairview Campground (mile 125).
Day 1: Drove down. Parked a shuttle vehicle at Fairview CG, proceeded to Big Piney trail head. We hiked-in about 2 miles (all uphill) when the light began to fade. We found a flattish area above the trail and located enough clear space among the brambles and downed trees for our tents. It wasn’t ideal but we made do. We had no campfire so hanging the food bags was our main entertainment for the evening.
Day 2: First crossing of Hurricane Creek and first water source since the trail head. Water levels were down – no wading required. Lunch at the natural bridge near mile 112. Second crossing of Hurricane Creek and camp at mile 115 in a large, well-used camp site. Got down to 27F.
Day 3: Lunched on Hurricane Creek at the spur to Chancel (mile 118.4). We weren’t sure about up-coming water sources and would be leaving the creek area so we tanked-up here. Climbing again. Saw 3 or 4 more good water sources that afternoon – one was at the established camp site at mile 121, another along the old road at mile 123. Others not recorded, unfortunately. Rock Garden near mile 121.5 – very cool!. Camped on old road at MM 123. Got down to 27F again.
Day 4: Hiked out. 2 miles – mostly uphill. Lunch at the famous Ozark Cafe in Jasper. Had the buffet. Meats were a bit dry, veggies and dessert were good.
Enjoying your blog. Hurricane Creek is one of my favorite places.
Hi Michael! I’m planning a trip here soon with some fairly inexperienced, but young and fit friends. We’re looking to do the same trail in 2.5 days. Given your experience with the trail, do you think that is a reasonable goal? We’d like some time for exploring rock gardens and waterfalls too.
I think 2.5-3 days would generally be enough time. I do wonder what you mean by “soon” though. I think this could be a pretty miserable experience in the summer, with heat indexes > 100F, little or no breeze under the tree canopy, ticks, poison ivy, etc. Water can be an issue when the weather turns dry.