White’s Creek Trail: An Incredible Hub of Biodiversity
A couple of weekends ago, Eric and I, accompanied by friends John and Sammy, drove four hours southeast to explore the Irish Wilderness, Missouri's largest wilderness area. We hiked White's Creek Trail, starting from the Camp Five Pond Trailhead, over two days. Although the loop is listed at 17.4 miles, most travelers have clocked it at closer to 20 miles. And, if you take the few spurs off the main loop to visit the Eleven Point River and springs, you might hike closer to 22 miles, as we did.
Ozark Trail Between the Rivers Section: A Private Excursion
Slightly over a year ago, I embarked on my first-ever backpacking trip with Eric as my guide. We had carefully selected a section of the Ozark Trail: part of the Between the Rivers section plus a loop that ran along the Eleven Point River. We also had heard there was a climbable lookout tower in the area. With the whole weekend free, we had our hearts set on covering 19 miles over 2.5 days.
Brushy Creek Loop: (Probably) the Most Remote Trail in Missouri
The end-of-the-week forecast advised us to head to the woods. This particular middle-of-nowhere patch of forest is one of, if not the, largest contiguous areas of forest in Missouri. It just might be the most remote area Missouri has to offer. Mollie and I cut our Friday workdays a bit short, arriving at the Himont Campground in the Roger Pryor Pioneer Backcountry by 7 PM. Our sights were set on the Brushy Creek Trail, an ambitious, 16-mile loop (AllTrails says 14 miles) that starts at the Himont Campground. Little did we know, due to the pandemic, we had entered a closed county and all state campgrounds had been temporarily closed.…