A landslide has erased the Ozark Highlands Trail near mile marker 152. A 3.1-mile detour has been established using road FR1201 and an old logging road. Hiking around the top of the slide would be very difficult, especially with a backpack, due to the dense brush, down trees, and the fact the slide begins at the base of a bluff upslope from the trail so there’s no undisturbed ground on which to walk.
Jan 30 2018 update: The reroute has been completed. There is no longer a need to detour.
If northbound toward the Buffalo River, when you hit FR1201 across the road from the Stack Rock trail head, turn left (southwest) and walk about 1.5 miles, then turn right on the old road and follow it about 1.5 miles. You will intersect the trail and continue almost straight ahead about 500′ downhill to Dry Creek. There are “OHT Detour” blazes on your right.
If southbound from the Buffalo River, climb about 500′ after Dry Creek and watch for the detour sign. Turn slightly right onto the old road and hike 1.5 miles to FR1201, turn left and go another 1.5 miles to where the trail leaves the road on the right. There are “OHT Detour” blazes on the left.
6-1-17 Update: The USFS has published a map of the area showing the trail and detour.
I was at the site yesterday with the OHTA Maintenance Coordinator to blaze the detour and assess the trail damage. In this picture, I was standing on undisturbed trail at the south edge of the slide looking at where the trail used to be. Note that the camera is level.
Here’s another area of big damage.
We flagged a new route that goes along the top of the bluff and might be able to do some construction this summer. Even here, there are many down trees to saw and brush to remove before this becomes a viable route.