The Ozark Trail Customer Service is one of the premier long-distance hiking trails in the United States. It traverses 270 miles of rugged landscape in southwest Missouri and Arkansas. The trail is a popular destination for backpackers and hikers, especially during the fall through spring seasons. It is also a popular place for nature and wildlife photographers to capture images of the region’s diverse wildlife. However, hikers should be aware of the presence of wildlife and should always keep a safe distance from them.
The trail was originally conceived in the 1970s, but it was only made official in 1977 after several public and private land owners agreed to allow its use. It was determined that the trail could be routed over existing public lands with only minimal right-of-way needing to be obtained from private landowners. It is considered to be the first officially recognized long-distance trail in the nation that was entirely a result of private efforts rather than by federal government involvement.
An organization called the Ozark Trails Association was formed in 1913 and attempted to revive a network of highways that predated the establishment of U.S. Highway 66. The members of the association worked to improve roads across multiple states, including Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas. The organization was able to create and mark concrete highway markers with the Ozark Trail name. The markers were often placed in towns along the road. The marker located in Wellington, Missouri, is a great example of the work the organization did to help promote their cause. Other marker remnants are still in existence at Tulia, Dimmitt and Wellington, Texas.
As a benefit to hikers, the Ozark Trail does not have fees associated with hiking or camping on the trail. However, there are still permits that are required to camp at some of the campsites. In addition, hikers should be prepared for the weather and terrain on the trail by having the proper equipment. This includes a backpack with adequate food and water, a map of the area and a first aid kit. It is also a good idea to let someone know where you are hiking and when you expect to be back home.
While it is enjoyable to hike the Ozark Trail, hikers must remember that it is a wilderness trail and should be treated as such. Hikers should not leave garbage behind and should respect the wildlife they encounter by maintaining a respectful distance. This includes not feeding wildlife and avoiding interacting with animals in order to avoid causing them distress. It is also important to wear appropriate clothing and shoes for the environment, including a backpack that will protect the feet from rocks and other debris. Finally, hikers should have a plan for getting back to their vehicles in case of an emergency or natural disaster. By following these tips, hikers can enjoy the beautiful Ozark Trail safely and without incident. This file is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.