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A Guide to Hiking the Ozarks


Author's Note

My sister, Amanda, called while I was researching this article, and when I told her about it she asked if I was planning a trip. She just might have the right idea! I've done most of my hiking here on the East Coast, so I got a kick out of researching some of the beautiful terrain and scenery out west. I especially loved learning about all of the waterfalls in the Ozarks.

Trekking up to a waterfall is one of my favorite hiking adventures. Back when I was in college, some friends and I hiked up to a waterfall, and it was one of the most beautiful hikes I've been on. It was a warm clear day, and got pleasantly soaked on the way up. We ended up sitting at the top enjoying the scenery for much longer than we should have. Learn from my mistake: If you're not planning to camp, you want to start walking back down the mountain well before it gets dark. Hiking a waterfall in daylight is beautiful. Hiking back down in the dark is pretty terrifying. Even with the somewhat scary walk back, those views and that rushing water are still some of my favorite hiking memories.

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Sources

  • Arkansas Dept of Parks and Recreation. "Buffalo National River 40th Anniversary." (April 30, 2012) http://www.arkansas.com/outdoors/buffalo40/
  • Arkansas Dept of Parks and Recreation. "Waterfalls." (April 30, 2012) http://www.arkansas.com/outdoors/waterfalls/
  • Jackson, Abi. Office Coordinator at Ozark Trail Association. Personal Interview. April 30, 2012.
  • National Park Service. "Hiking the Ozarks." (May 11, 2012) http://www.nps.gov/ozar/planyourvisit/hiking-in-the-ozarks.htm
  • Operator. Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Personal interview. April 30, 2012.
  • Poe, Noel. "Ozark National Scenic Riverways: History and Topography." OPTV. (May 11, 2012) http://video.optv.org/video/1393000188/
  • Ozark Highlands Trail Association. "Home." (April 30, 2012) http://ozarkhighlandstrail.com/
  • Ozark Highlands Trail Association. "Trail Map." (April 30, 2012) http://ozarkhighlandstrail.com/trail-map/
  • Ozark Trail Association. "Current River." (April 30, 2012) http://www.ozarktrail.com/currentriver.php
  • Ozark Trail Association. "OT History." (April 30, 2012) http://www.ozarktrail.com/history.php
  • Section Hiker. "Why does cotton kill?" (April 30, 2012) http://sectionhiker.com/why-does-cotton-kill/
  • Uhlenbrock, Tom. "7 Wonders of the Ozarks." Missouri State Parks. (April 30, 2012) http://mostateparks.com/blog/state-parks-stories/57898/7-wonders-ozarks
  • USGS. "Ozark Plateau and Ouachita Mountains." U.S. Geological Survey. (April 30, 2012) http://biology.usgs.gov/cro/d-ozark.htm
  • White, Mel. "The Intimate Wild." National Geographic. October 2008. (April 30, 2012) http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/10/ozark-trail/white-text/1

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