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Midwest Trail Suggestions
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Cole Crawford
(CDC43339) - F

Locale: Omaha
Midwest Trail Suggestions on 01/08/2013 12:42:10 MST Print View

Anyone have any good suggestions for a weeklong trip in the Midwest (mid-May)? I'm in Omaha and would like to keep the driving to a minimum. Last year I hiked some of the Superior Hiking Trail in MN, which was fantastic. I'm looking at either going back to the SHT or possibly doing some of the Missouri Ozark trail. I like the idea of being able to use a shuttle and hike one way, which the MOT looks set up for. Not as sure about not having set campgrounds like the SHT, that was a plus for me.

I'm not interested in having to bring bear canisters, so that and driving distance cuts out most of the West. Any Midwest hikers out there? Where do you usually head to?

Brian Turner
(Phreak) - F
Ozark Trail on 01/08/2013 13:59:55 MST Print View

I've hiked a good portion of the Ozark Trail. It's a nice trail with a lot of solitude.. you won't see/pass many people on the trail. I'm in STL - keep me in mind if you head down this way. I'm always up for a hike.

Cole Crawford
(CDC43339) - F

Locale: Omaha
MOT / Other ideas on 01/11/2013 11:11:01 MST Print View

Thanks Brian. Anyone have other trail ideas?

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: MOT / Other ideas on 01/11/2013 12:26:56 MST Print View

Not much for long distance (week-long) in the Midwest. Some others to consider would be sections of the River to River in southern IL, Ice Age in southern WI and other sections of North Country trail in northern WI, MN & ND. Ozark or Ice Age would be closest. I'd personally go in the other direction to Badlands. :)

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
re:midwest trail suggestions on 01/18/2013 07:54:53 MST Print View

There are areas is se wyoming or northern Colorado that could be got to nearly as quick as the sht from Omaha such as the rawahs or the snowy range but mid may might be a little early but I would keep this in mind if you can do a trip later. There are a couple bpl members out by you Ben wortman and mark mendhal?that might be of help if you are leaving from Omaha that is. Are you in Omaha or Dubuque? Sorry this is a sloppy message from my phone

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Midwest Trail Suggestions on 01/18/2013 08:23:52 MST Print View

I can't speak to any of the other trails, but I've built, maintained, (and even hiked!) on most of the sections of the Ozark Trail. There's a number of options for good week-long trips on the OT depending on the mileage you're looking to do. Don't worry about not having campsites, while there are no official ones there are lots of places that tend to be popular and unofficial social campsites have been created. Regarding the shuttle, you might want to call and work that out well ahead of time. We don't have a dedicated shuttle driver like we used to but I'm sure we could find someone to give you a ride :). If nothing else I could probably be motivated to swing down to drop you off and maybe hike a few miles with you. Just don't balk if I bring a pair of loppers :D

If you travel a little farther south, Arkansas has the Ozark Highland Trail and Ouachita Trail with are both long enough for week-long trips. The River-to-River trail in Illinois is also supposed to be nice.

I live in Kansas City, so I feel your pain being so far away from good hiking...


Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: re:midwest trail suggestions on 01/18/2013 08:24:48 MST Print View

Although primarily a mountain biking trail, I think you can hike the 96 mile Maah Daah Hey trail in North Dakota.

Cole Crawford
(CDC43339) - F

Locale: Omaha
Shuttle on 04/09/2013 13:05:50 MDT Print View

Adam, do you know if Brushy Creek Lodge still does shuttles? I know the OT shuttle service closed down due to lack of funding / full time workers but some of the canoe rentals still do shuttles I think. This is my planned itinerary (could work either way, whichever is more convenient):

What's the overall terrain in this area like? Looks like some parts are prone to flooding so I'm assuming it's relatively low and flat.

Ben Wortman
(bwortman) - M

Locale: Nebraska
Head West on 04/09/2013 14:57:14 MDT Print View

I'm in Omaha also, but I always go west for a backpacking adventure. You can always do Indian Cave State park for a one nighter though. I have been to the snowy range in SE WY, but May would be too early for that. The lost creek wilderness in CO might be doable that time of year. I have always wanted to do the Ozark Highlands trail in AR. It is about and 8 hour drive, so if you do that please report back. If I have time for an 8 hour drive, I have always headed to CO or WY.

Edited by bwortman on 04/09/2013 14:57:48 MDT.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Shuttle on 04/09/2013 16:01:43 MDT Print View


I'm not sure if Brushy Creek Lodge still does shuttles, I've never used the service myself. I'd give them a call.

As for the terrain. From Hwy N to Hwy A will be the toughest, hilliest section. The hills aren't too bad though, the highest point in the state is only 1,772 ft. There are also a bunch of glades on that stretch that can turn you around but just watch where you're going and you'll be fine. After you pass Hwy A the trail mostly stays in the woods. The Middle Fork section is one of the newer sections and is really nice. The worst places I can think of for water crossings will be Ottery Creek at Hwy A and Neal's Creek. There is a bypass around Neal's Creek but I've crossed Ottery Creek when it was over knee deep and it was flowing pretty hard. Other than that, most of our creeks are pretty mild affairs.

I think you've picked a good trip, you'll get to see both sides of the Ozark Trail; the old, rugged part and the newer stuff. I'd suggest the side trip to Bell Mt if you hadn't planned on doing it. Its a few miles out of the way but is a great place to eat lunch or take a break.