This is a nice 24 mile loop of the Ozark and Berryman trails in the Courtois Section of the Mark Twain Forest that I have been eyeing up. Despite being open to cyclists and horses too, the Ozark Trail is a real backpacking trail with switch backs, creek crossings, moderate hills, and backcountry camping. It is a very scenic trail. The idea is to drive down on Thursday afternoon/evening, about a 6 hour drive from Chicago. Then hike 10 miles on Friday, 12 on Saturday, and 2-3 miles on Sunday back to the cars so we can get back to Chicago early enough. But not before a stop for BBQ and beers at Missouri Hick BBQ in Steelville. The first night we will meet and camp at the primitive campground at the Berryman Trailhead and then the next two nights will be backcountry camping.
Because this is a multi-day backcountry trip in moderately difficult terrain, I would rate this as an intermediate plus trip. This is backcountry! There are no short cuts back to the car! You need to be fit enough to hike 12 miles a day in moderately hilly country and have gear and food to camp in the woods for two nights.
Tobbaco and alcohol are welcome on my trips but drink responsibly!
Here is a link about the Courtois Section of the Ozark Trail and links for the trail map.
Directions to the Thursday night rally point Berryman Campground.
From Chicago head to St. Louis then Steelville, Missouri then follow the directions below.
From Steelville, MO...
Head east on MO-8 for 19.3 mi.
Turn left on Berryman Rd. and follow for 1.2 mi.
Turn left into Berryman Campground. No facilities. Only flat ground and a creek.
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.
Minors and pets are not welcome on this trip.