Mark Twain National Forest Ozark Trail

The idea is to keep the tradition going of the first trip of the year being at the Mark Twain Forest in southern Missouri. I want to do something a little different this year and that is a point to point trip on the northern section of the Ozark Trail, the Courtois section, and utilize a shuttle service that is available. Because this is the first trip of the year, I am backing off of the mileage a little bit, total trip mileage is like 14 miles. However, if this works out, there are opportunities in the future to do longer, more challenging, more back woods trips in this area. The terrain might be hilly and this is late winter camping so I would rate this as a intermediate plus trip. Watch the weather and be prepared for cold temperatures.

The plan would be to meet and park at Bass River Resort campground on the trail, which is about a 6 hour drive, hike 10 miles on Saturday, and camp at Harmon Springs primitive campground on Saturday night. On Sunday morning hike 4.5 miles to Brazil Creek trailhead where I would have the shuttle service meet us at 11 AM and take us back to our cars. Then grab a burger and a beer and get back to Chicago early enough.

I still need to get final confirmation on cost but it looks like it will be $10 per person per night for the Friday night camping and $15 per person for the shuttle service. No fees or permits are needed for the trail.

Overview map. Look for the Google link on top of the page, our section is towards the north end.

http://www.ozarktrail.com/planner/maps.php

Trail Maps to print

http://www.ozarktrail.com/planner/maps/detailed/Courtois2mile13to22.jpg

http://www.ozarktrail.com/planner/maps/detailed/Courtois3mile22to33.jpg

The Friday night rally point will be at:

Bass' River Resort
PO BOX BB
Steelville, MO 65565
[masked]
Phone:[masked]

From Chicago head to St. Louis and follow these directions

St. Louis, MO
Take I-44 west to Cuba (exit #208), then south on hwy 19 to Steelville, in Steelville go thru 3 way stop, then east on hwy 8 for 10 ½ miles to the BIG YELLOW ARROW, BASS’ RIVER RESORT sign on your left. Follow blacktop 1 ¼ miles.

The Fine Print

I will set up car pool assignments the week before. Meetup Cost: $5, plus car expenses. Individuals are responsible for splitting gas within their own car pools.

All attendees need to understand that while I and others in the group will look out for your well being, YOU are ultimately responsible for your own safety. This is an intermediate hike so please be confident of your physical abilities before you join.

Everyone attending is responsible for bringing their own equipment i.e. shelter, sleeping bag, stove and food.

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  • Rob

    Trip Report: These sections of the Ozark and Barryman trails are in good shape and for the most part well blazed. There are a coupe of confusing forks but stick with your compass and map and you will be fine. This is a real backpacking trail with switchbacks and creek crossings. It is pretty country and you feel like you are in the backwoods. We started at Brazil Creek and hiked 11 miles to Courtois Creek. The trail is hard enough but too hard. Total trip distance was 14 miles. This is a good intermediate level trip. There is flat ground at Courtois Creek to accommodate up to maybe 15 tents if both sides of the feeder creek are used. Water is plentiful there but you can go a long way on the trail and not see any.

    March 23, 2013

    • Rob

      Typo : The trail is hard enough but not too hard.

      March 23, 2013

  • Rob

    Trip Report Con't: We stayed at the Bass River Resort and utilized their shuttle service. Their primary business is river rafting so they have many vehicles including several school buses that they can shuttle people. The shuttle was $17 per person and took 30 minutes to get to Brazil Creek. Bass River is a well developed camp ground/ resort ($10 per person to tent camp) but I would not recommend staying there in the middle of summer as it is probably pretty rowdy. The next time I would do this I would camp on Friday night at Brazil Creek and have the shuttle service drive us back on Sunday morning. Brazil Creek is a primitive Forestry Service camp ground where the accommodations are plenty of flat ground and a stream. It is well marked at the end of Hwy W. Exit I-44 at Bourbon, take Hwy N to Hwy W.

    March 23, 2013

  • Rob

    Thanks everybody for coming out. It was a great first hike guys. In between soakings we had great weather for a day and and evening. But I think we also all found out how well our rain gear work. Great group. It was fun. Hope to see you all on the trail again.

    March 11, 2013

  • Rob

    Rob, Thanks for doing all of the planning on this. Your time was appreciated by all of us. It was nice to meet everyone, and go somewhere I've never been.

    March 11, 2013

  • Heather

    Thanks Rob! Great trip to start off the season. Looking forward to more.

    March 10, 2013

  • Pete

    Great trail. Well planned trip. Thanks Rob

    March 10, 2013

  • Rob

    Sounds good Heather. See ya all down there.

    March 5, 2013

  • Heather

    The three of us in my car may actually be on the road by early afternoon. Looking forward to the trip!

    March 4, 2013

  • Rob

    I sent out the car pool information last night. If you did not receive it, let me know.

    March 4, 2013

  • Heather

    I'm taking Friday off work so I can leave whenever. Looking forward to the hike!

    March 3, 2013

  • Rob

    Good weather forecasted. Extended forecast for Springfield, MO for Friday 3/8 is high 59 low 41. Saturday 3/9 high 65 low 36.

    March 1, 2013

  • Rob

    Thanks Chad. I got more trips in the works. Catch ya on the trail soon.

    February 19, 2013

  • Chad G.

    Busy that weekend. Sounds like a great idea Rob. Looking forward to hearing how it goes.

    February 18, 2013

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