Mark your calendar! The Fall ’20 Buffalo River Trail construction session is October 26-30. I and perhaps others will be doing some preparatory work the 23rd, 24th, and morning of the 25th as well.
We’ll be camping at Tyler Bend again in the main campground (sites #22-26 at no charge) so join us for a day, the weekend, or the whole week.
I have some good news – for a change – regarding our obstacle at Little Rocky Creek. NPS has found a route they are happy with and has submitted it to the outside agencies that must sign-off on it. Approval will likely not come before September (if at all).
I think this area is the last obstacle to an official opening of the trail so this is a high-priority project. Assuming it’s approved, I anticipate having access to the work area from the private property above with a walk of about 3/4 mile to the work site, instead of a 2.5-mile hike from Red Bluff Road. NPS will likely have a UTV on-hand at least part of the time to haul tools.
If all else fails, there’s brush work and repairs that can be done elsewhere. Of course, there are many uncertainties right now regarding COVID-19 so this is all somewhat tentative but I’m trying to plan for the best case while preparing for the worst (which would be cancellation). It seems unlikely we’ll have a widely-available vaccine by then so I’m thinking about how this work can be done with least risk. It’s likely there will be different procedures so it’s imperative that nobody just show up – contact me in advance at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you can join us for the week, or most of it, there is an option where you can pay $50 into a fund to cover food and camp expenses and then participate in our group meals (Sunday dinner through Saturday breakfast). There is also a 3-day option for $35. Contact me for more details. Otherwise you will need to supply your own food and cooking and cleaning utensils.
Regardless, everyone needs to supply their own sleeping accommodations, water containers, eating utensils and work gloves. Safety glasses are very beneficial for many tasks. A day pack for carrying your stuff on the trail is very useful. The Park Service supplies the tools, though you can bring your own if you’d like. The campground has potable water, flush toilets, and hot showers.
Some parts of the BRT/OHT between Richland Creek and AR-14 are looking for adopters. The Ozark Highlands Trail Association now has overall responsibility for coordinating this so see: https://ozarkhighlandstrail.com/maintenance/ for more information.