At the high point, we had more than 20 people for our fall 2016 Buffalo River Trail work session based at Tyler Bend. The crew was able to lop brush and clear trees from most of the 35+ miles of trail that is open between Wollum and AR-14.
One area that got extra attention was the west end, near the Richland Creek crossing. A new shallower crossing area is being established about 100 yards upstream of the mouth, and the trail will now head from there over to the base of the hill, and then follow the hill east through a more shaded (less brushy) area to the steps going up the end of Point Peter Mountain.
We also began a long-term tread rehabilitation program for the older parts of the trail (Richland Creek to Tie Slide). Over the last 20+ years, just about any part of the trail that crosses a steep slope has had soil and rocks wash down into the tread, leading to excessive outslope and pushing traffic to the outer edge of the trail. The steps going up the end of Point Peter Mountain have now been cleaned off and the trail across the slope above the steps has had about 8 of the worst areas regraded. I expect this project will continue for several more years.
The bridge built last fall near Grinders Ferry by the Ozark Highlands Trail Association received a couple coats of stain and the approach from the downstream direction has been reworked to be less steep.
Speaking of the OHTA, they will be taking over maintenance of the BRT in the middle and lower river area – from the Wollum Ford to AR-14. They’ll have more to say once details are worked-out.
Michael, Thank you so much for you maps and other trail update info. As a Master Naturalist who is familiar with trail maintenance, seems like it would be helpful to those who maintain the trails to have condition reports. For example, yesterday I hiked the BRT from Grinders to Zack Ridge Rd and can report that there are no downed trees that need chainsawing but the leaves are ankle to knee deep for 80% of the trail and need to be blown. Do you know if this info is of help and to whom I would report it?
I know you’ve already reported this to them but I’ll put this here for others: things like this are best reported to the OHTA. They have maintenance information on their web page along with an email address.
Thanks for caring and I hope you enjoyed the hike.