Ozark Highlands Trail – Lake Fort Smith to Dockery’s Gap

I hiked the OHT from Dockery’s Gap to the east side of Lake Fort Smith today (map 1).  The starting temperature was 25F and there was still a couple inches of snow on the ground so it definitely felt like winter.

Mine were the first human footprints on the trail, though for the first mile or so I was following what might have been coyote prints.  They didn’t deviate from the trail – not even on a series of switchbacks – until we got to the first creek .75 miles in.  Turkey tracks, on the other hand, were going everywhere.  The only wildlife I actually saw were a couple squirrels and some birds.

There wasn’t anything really note-worthy along this part of the trail but some nearby features could make a return trip worthwhile.  There are apparently a couple 50′ waterfalls up one side drainage that might be interesting after a big rain.  There is also a very narrow ridge that I want to explore further – it rises steeply about 400′ above the nearby creeks .  Many times a feature like this gets named Devil’s Backbone.

Back in the summer I hiked the 5+ miles  of trail further west (going around the lake) so I’ve now hiked all of section 1.

About Michael R

I enjoy hiking, landscaping with native plants, nature photography, dark chocolate, fine dining, good movies, and old jazz.
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