For years there been a problem lurking at the Ozark Highlands Trail’s Big Piney (aka Fort Douglas) trail head: a perennially-wet area that usually left hikers trudging through mud at the beginning or end of their trip.
A US Forest Service project may have put an end to that. A USFS employee spent a day spreading a layer of large crushed rock for about 100 yards through the problem area with the remainder spread across the parking lot. That big pothole out by the road is gone.
The following day a group from Ozark Highlands Trail Association and Takahik (a hiking group from Russellville AR) met to finish the job by spreading a mixture of pea-sized gravel and stone dust over the crushed rock. Much of that was done one wheelbarrow at a time. We also put a new signboard at the trail head and new signs at the highway. I snagged one of the old road signs as a souvenir.
It sure looks nicer but we’ll need to see how it holds up through storms.