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Meet at Washington County Extension Office. BRING POTLUCK SNACKS TO SHARE. We will have a short business meeting and

HIKE THE JOHN MUIR TRAIL (SIERRA NEVADA RANGE) with Kent McLemore and Mark Larmoyeux.

Where is the WCES?  It is still at 2536 McConnell Rd!  To get there from I-540 take Exit 66 south on AR 112 (Garland Ave), turn west at Drake Street stop light to reach McConnell Rd, turn south to WCES near the fair grounds. 36.098 latitude 94.180 longitude for GPS users. 



In late November and early December of 2015, a group of 8 OHTA volunteers committed a combined 130 hours to erect a timber foot bridge over a ravine along the BNR/OHT near Grinder’s Ferry. The completed bridge recently withstood the rigors of the flooded Buffalo National River after post-Christmas heavy rains–a testament to our volunteer’s skill. (—and hats off to Project Manager Mike Lemaster and special thanks to Materials Procurement Specialist Dave Richard—Editor)

Ken L. Smith, volunteer trail construction coordinator for the Buffalo National River, has announced plans for this camp setup March 14, a base camp March 27 to April 2, and camp tear down April 4. Contact Ken at kennethsmith616@yahoo.com or 479-466-7994 for details and signup. 


These maps will be available at the January 10, 2016 meeting of the OHTA and in the hands of dealers a quickly as possible.




We will maintain the OHT in the Stack Rock TH to Woolum area. Check with Steve Parker OHTMaintenance@gmail.com for the intriguing details and signup.


Contact Mike Lemaster for details and signup miker.lemaster@gmail.com


Contact Mike Lemaster for details and signup miker.lemaster@gmail.com

Shores Lake/White Rock Loop Backpack JANUARY 23-24, 2016

Join OHTA on this overnight backpacking trip. We will leave the Shores Lake campground at 9:00 a.m. on the 23rd and hike up to White Rock Mountain along the West side of this loop trail. We will spend the night at White Rock Mountain, then hike back down the East side of the loop back to Shores Lake Campground on the 24th. This 14-mile hike is rated moderate to strenuous (you do have to hike uphill to White Rock). There are fees for camping at Shores Lake and at White Rock. Contact Steven Parker at OHTmaintenance@gmail.com for more information and signup.


Mike Lemaster will lead a hike to Glory Hole and then to Hawksbill Crag (Cave Mountain Rd. TH) before returning home. Meet at Harps in Elkins at 8:30 a.m., or Glory Hole TH at 9:30 a.m. 


Check with Steve Parker OHTMaintenance@gmail.com for the intriguing details and signup.

HELP FILL UP THE EVENTS CALENDAR NOW.  Contact Mike Lemaster, Outings Coordinator at miker.lemaster@gmail.com





DETAILS NEXT BULLETIN.  Meet at Washington County Extension Office.   Bring your friends for an evening of informal trail conversation, news, a short business meeting an interesting program.

Where is the WCES?  It is still at 2536 McConnell Rd!  To get there from I-540 take Exit 66 south on AR 112 (Garland Ave), turn west at Drake Street stop light to reach McConnell Rd, turn south to WCES near the fair grounds. 36.098 latitude 94.180 longitude for gps users. 

FALL BASE CAMP AT WHITE ROCK SEPTEMBER 20-27, 2015 jumpstarts our Fall Trail Maintenance Program, and its an incredible chance for members to give back to our fabulous hiking/backpacking trail! All meals, campsites, Lodge space, showers, will be provided to participants, and volunteers will be treated to some challenging Trail experiences each day. Need to RSVP to miker.lemaster@gmail.com by September 15 so meals/supplies can be planned. Stay one day or all week. All tools supplied–bring: DAYPACK, STURDY HIKING FOOTWEAR(NO SANDALS), REUSEABLE WATER BOTTLES, GLOVES, LONG PANTS RECOMMENDED. Come join an extraordinary group of outdoors folks, and gain the satisfaction of making a difference! 

CPR and First Aid Classes 8-29-15 The Forest Service will train up to a maximum of 20 OHTA sawyers on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m (attendance to the end of the classes is required) at the Pauline Whitabker Equine Center Arena,Classromm 109, 1335 W. Knapp St. (the large white building off of Garland ¾ miles south of I-49 Exit 66). Some have already signed up. Reservations of re-certifiers and attendees at the April 18, 2015 saw class have priority for admission, then those seeking first time certification. Bring your lunch and $5 for cost of materials.

IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY, please sign up by e-mailing your full name, full postal address and e-mail address to OHTA@Ozarkhighlandstrail.com and copy to rsenyard@cox.net. AUGUST 19 IS THE LAST DAY TO SIGN UP. IF THERE ARE NOT AT LEAST 10 PARTICIPANTS THE CLASS WILL NOT BE HELD. Contact Rsenyard@cox.net or ozarktraveler1@att.net if you have questions.

CHAINSAW CLASS COMING THIS FALL, DATE AND PLACE TO BE ANNOUNCED. This will be a two day class for first time certifiers and re-certifiers. First day is in the classroom. Second day is partly in the woods sawing under instructor supervision and evaluation. CURRENT CPR AND FIRST AID CARDS ARE REQUIRED TO BECOME A CERTIFIED SAWYER.


Got gear? So you just got some new gear, and you have some good quality used gear you need to clear out


If you’ve got excess gear you no longer need or use, let us sell it for you.  We’ll keep 10% and you get the rest.  You convert gear to cash and help the Ozark Highlands Trail in the process


You set the initial asking and minimum price for your gear. OHTA sells it at the yard sale. We keep 10% of the proceeds and you get 90%. Anything that doesn’t sell will be returned to you.


Contact us at ohtagearsale@gmail.com We will make arrangements to meet with you to look over your gear, set prices and arrange for pickup prior to the sale.


Great! The sale will take place at AgriPark in Fayetteville on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Camping and backpacking type gear only. We don’t have the capacity to handle hunting/fishing gear. AgriPark is on AR 112 (Garland) about a mile south of I-49 Exit 66.

 OHTA Meeting SUNDAY 6P.M.September 14, 2014

 OHTA will host FOOD and BEVERAGE at this meeting.Meet at WashingtonCounty Extension Office.   Bring your friends for an evening of informal trail conversation, news, a short business meeting and a great program (TBA).

Where is the WCES? It is still at 2536 McConnell Rd! To get there from I-49 take Exit 66 south on AR 112 (Garland Ave), turn west at Drake Street stop light to reach McConnell Rd, turn south to WCES near the fair grounds. 36.098 latitude 94.180 longitude for gps users.

LOOKIN’ AHEAD >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 White Rock Mtn Basecamp. September 25, 26, 27, 28

Mark Calendars for Fall Trail Maintenance Kick-Off, Thursday thru Sunday at WRMBC

Mike Lemaster will lead us for the 3rd consecutive year in clearing the western OHT sections of Spring/Summer vegetative growth and deadfall. Maintainer Adopters this is your chance to get some of the heavy assistance you may need to clean up your sections.   If you scout your section before the camp it will really help us put the help where it is needed most.

Our Club has reserved the main Lodge at White Rock. Mike says that although bed space is limited, floor space is abundant for sleeping bags. Paula White, manager of White Rock offers free tent sites again if you’re working on Trail.

Once again, hot showers, food, water, & drinks will be provided to all participants and as special bonus–live music will avail attendees on Sat night (any participants with musical talents are encouraged to bring instruments) along with a special prepared supper by Miss Paula(let Mike know you are coming so you don’t miss this treat).

Bring sturdy shoes, gloves, water bottles, daypack (essential), protective eyewear, hats, sunscreen, & insect repellent.  We’ll split into small groups & divvy out tools as appropriate to participants & attack weeds, brush, & fallen trees ninja style!

Attend one day or all 4 days, but please make your intentions known to Mike at miker.lemaster@gmail.com by September 15 so food/drink and bed spaces can be planned out.   All participants will receive an event favor!

Fall hiking fun is just a flip of the calendar page away. Send in outings you want to lead to Jim Warnock at jwarnock@cox.net  


Ken Smith, volunteer NPS trail guru, reported progress and status in the Ozark Society Bulletin, Summer (June) 2014:

“From mid-February to May 1, more than 100 volunteers together created 19.300 feet (3.66 miles) of the Buffalo River Hiking Trail. Officially, that is a piece of the Buffalo River/Ozark Highlands Trail Extension from US 65 to Highway 14. (Actually, the Extension’s 28 miles could well be called the Volunteers’ Trail, because Volunteers have been the predominant builders. That was especially evident this Spring.)

Extra effort, heartwarming generosity! The 3.66 miles built this Spring far surpassed the average 2.5 miles for each entire year during the first eight years of the 28-mile project.

And encouraging! Only 22,400 feet (4.24 miles) remain to complete the volunteers’ project.

With good fortune and hard work, we can open it by the end of NEXT YEAR !”

Editors Comment: A section is open now from Maumee South to Hwy 14—Think spectacular! The trail is being built from west to east, and it will connect to the BRT/OHT at the Hwy 65 Buffalo River Bridge.

Want to help?  Contact kennethsmith616@yahoo.com   or 479-466-7994

Ken will have a camp at South Maumee (7 miles north of Hwy 14 at Morning Star, AR) from move-in on October 13 to move-out November 14, 2014. Drop-in volunteers (stay as long as you want, no charge) can camp (no electric, convenient privy) at S. Maumee, and use group shelter-kitchen. Bring (and prepare) your own food, tent and sleeping gear, ice box, cooking gear and stove, day pack, water bottle, etc. Cell phones do not work reliably. Ride share using personal vehicles to worksites. The BNRTylerBendVisitorCenter 870-439-2502 can be contacted to relay emergency messages to volunteers from 8:30 to 4:30 p.m. After hours the BNRCommunicationsCenter 1-888-692-1162 can relay to Park Rangers.

Membership Meeting  March 9, 2014   

Our program will be presented by Guy Headland, Registered Landscape Architect for the National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program office in Fayetteville.  This office is part of the national network of conservation and recreation planning professionals partnering with community groups, nonprofits, tribes, and state and local governments to design trails and parks, conserve and improve access to rivers, protect special places, and create recreation opportunities.   

We will meet at Washington County Extension Office, Sunday at 6 pm.   Bring your friends for an evening of informal trail conversation, news, a short business meeting and this informative program.  Those bringing Snacks to Share are guaranteed priority seating!


Trail guide to the meeting at 2536 McConnell Rd: To get there from I-540 take Exit 66 and south on AR 112 (Garland Ave); turn west at Drake Street stop light to reach McConnell Rd, (near the fair grounds); turn south to WCES 36.098 latitude 94.180 longitude for gps users.

Membership Meeting and Election

December 15, 2013   


 We meet at Washington County Extension Office, Sunday at 6 pm.   Bring your friends for an evening of informal trail conversation, news, a short business meeting and a program second to none.  Enjoy the potluck supper, then sit back and enjoy—

NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY WITH BILL DARK , a professional photographer and educator with a lifelong interest in nature and its conservation. Much of Bill’s work is included in the design of many health care facilities throughout the country because his photographs capture not only the place but also convey the emotional elements that make them so meaningful.  You will be inspired to visit and preserve the wild and scenic places he visits for future generations.

Don’t forgetBOARD MEMBERS AND OFFICERS WILL BE ELECTED by club members attending this meeting in accordance with our ByLaws.  Be sure to attend. 


 Where is the WCES?  It is stillat 2536 McConnell Rd!  To get there from I-540 take Exit 66 south on AR 112 (Garland Ave), turn west at Drake Street stop light to reach McConnell Rd, turn south to WCES near the fair grounds. 36.098 latitude 94.180 longitude for gps users.

Mount Kessler Reserve?

Private land owners, numerous organizations, and hundreds of individuals are supporting Fayetteville’s conservation leader Frank Sharp’s bid to preserve Mount Kessler’s forested highlands for present and future generations.  Pick a high view point in Fayetteville with a view to the southwest, and the nearest big mountain is MK.

President Mike Lemaster said in his March 27, 2013 letter to Frank:

“Dear Frank:  On behalf of the Ozark Highlands Trail Association, let me state unequivocably that we are in full support of you and your efforts to preserve Mt. Kessler Greenway for the Community”

He goes on to say, “Our members including myself, have many times visited and hiked Mt. Kessler and observed the raw beauty of the flora and landscape,and consider your endeavor valiant, noble, and necessary for the communtiy to come together in support of this pristine wilderness within our increasingly urban growth area.  The OHT has grown in popularity over the years, and we are witness to an increasing appetite of our youth to have wild scenic but accessible places to get away and recreate in solitude, and what you are proposing is very much in line with that same vision.   The proximity of Mt. Kessler to our members has only heightened our excitement over the prospect of having mountainous hiking trails available.

Count on me and our membership to stand with you in this endeavor and render our assistance and support.  Best personal regards and your friend in the cause of conservation, Mike R. Lemaster, President”

The following link will take you to more illustrative information about Mt. Kesslar Greenway/Reserve.  Read the first four pages for general information, and more for the thoughts, insights,  and forward thinking recommendations of regional conservation leaders concerning this unique natural resource opportunity.


If you would like to be on a mailing list for news and events go to www.mtkesslergreenways.com Go to Contacts and sign up.


8-6-13 NEWS



Meet at Washington County Extension Service office Sunday at 6 pm.   Bring snacks to share and bring your friends or come and make friends for an evening of informal trail conversation, news, a short business meeting, and a program second to none.

Mr. Tom Burroughs is going to be presenting concepts and rationale behind wilderness first aid at our Sept. meeting. With all of the recent hiking accidents and tragedies, this is a timely topic that can help make even the best hiking company even better. Here is a link for more info:


Where is the WCES?  It is stillat 2536 McConnell Rd! To get there from I-540 take Exit 66 south on AR 112 (Garland Ave), turn west at Drake Street stop light to reach McConnell Rd, turn south to WCES near the fair grounds. 36.098 latitude 94.180 longitude for gps users.


OHTA is a co-sponsor of the annual LEE CREEK CLEANUP at Devil’s Den State Park. Contact Katie Teague at kteague@uaex.edu or 479-444-1755 for more info.  This is a great chance to work on a big cleanup and meet numerous organizations and outdoor people outdoors.


OHTA members will launch OHT trail maintenance outings to nearby sections of the OHT from White Rock Mountain Lodge Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  We have the big Lodge reserved for the weekend.

The lodge sleeps about 25-30 and has showers. OHTA will provide the food for all 3 days. Volunteers just need to bring a daypack, gloves, water bottles (can fill from lodge), sturdy shoes, sleeping bag and tent (in case the lodge is filled), deet and personal items. Caretaker Paula White, a fabulous cook, is cooking for us on Saturday night!  If the Lodge is filled, volunteers will be provided free camping space, but would have shower, food, & bathroom privileges in Lodge.

We’ll break up into 3-4 groups each day and work on western sections of OHT, which parts tend to get huge vegetation growth over spring/summer. Duties will include lopping, building water bars, dragging brush that’s been chain-sawed by our Sawyers, and possibly weed eating with OHTA providing all the tools necessary to carry out the prescribed maintenance. Folks interested need to contact Mike Lemaster at miker.lemaster@gmail.com by Sept 15th to reserve space & give us head count of how much food to buy.


The OHTA has been funded by a matching grant from the National Forest Foundation* to restore the OHT and High Water Bypass within the HCW in Newton County.  In addition to tread restoration from erosion and side-hill filling, we’ll be erecting new Trailhead signs, lopping, and clearing trees off the trail. ONE BIG difference in a wilderness area is we’re not allowed to use power or motorized tools or equipment so more volunteers will be needed.

Now, the big attraction to working in the HCW (aside from the super scenery) is the OHTA has use of 2 authentic original log cabins (only one of 2 private acreages inside the wilderness area) that are owned by one of our Club members who offered their use for Trail work. It is easy to hike in to the cabins, but it takes 4-wheel drive with really high clearance to drive in (9 wet creek crossings by vehicle and BIG rocks). “Mirkwood’s” cabins are fabulous with huge sleeping porch. OHTA will provide food for this event, but no electricity or indoor plumbing (2 outhouses instead)

These Hurricane Creek Wilderness trail maintenance events will be planned in detail in the near future.  Meantime, please reserve the dates on your calendar, and let me know of your interest. Miker.lemaster@gmail.com


*Founded by Congress in 1191, the National Forest Foundation works to conserve, restore and enhance America’s 193-million-acreNational Forest System.  Through community based strategies and public-private partnerships, the NFF helps enhance wildlife habitat, revitalizes wildfire damaged landscapes, restores watersheds, and improves recreational resources for the benefit of all Americans.

February 10, 2013 Meeting

We will meet at the Washington County Extension Office at 6:00 p.m., but we are going to go to Australia with world traveler and Alaskan hiker Fred Paillet, so be ready!

Spring hiking weather is here!  Spring peepers were heard on Mt. Kessler a few days ago, and it is a great time to get acquainted with OHTA hikers—they have the perfect cure for cabin fever, and they know where the SSSs are.  (Find out what a SSS is!) Bring along some goodies to share.

Where is the WCES?  OHTA Meetings have moved to the Washington County Extension Service at 2536 McConnell Rd.  From I-540 Exit 66 south on AR 112 (Garland Ave), turn west at Drake Street stop light to reach McConnell Rd, turn south to WCES near the fair grounds. 36.098 latitude 94.180 longitude

Mountain lions anyone?

During the last year (from about December of 2011) Missouri has confirmed 11 more wild cougar, puma, mountain lion, catamount, big cat sightings in counties from the Arkansas line to St. Louis and across north Missouri.  Missouri Department of Conservation claims they are all males, so no breeding population.

If Missouri has mountain lions, surely Arkansas must have more.  So please tell us if you have photographed, taken hair samples, seen tracks or big cat kills anywhere in Arkansas outside of a big cat refuge or a zoo.  Tell us when, where (county is close enough), and how you verified your sighting as well what sex, what size and color.

Contact OHTA@ozarkhighlandstrail.com February 4, 2013


Don’t Miss This!

Fayetteville has a pretty little creek right here in town, and the OHTA wants to take this opportunity to meet you as we gather at the Pack Rat Outdoor Center to tidy it up  a bit.  You will need gloves and water (and lunch if you didn’t eat a late breakfast).


By Mike Adelman, 12/9/12

The Ozark Highlands Trail has been getting lots of use during this fall’s mild weather.  Arguably one of the most scenic portions of the Trail – Fane Creek to Hurricane Creek – got special use by a special group on December 8, 2012, the CureSearch Ultimate HikersUltimate Hike is a unique program of CureSearch, a national charity focused on children afflicted by cancer.  The Ultimate Hike challenges families and friends of children with cancer to raise funds by personally hiking beyond their prior experiences and certainly well beyond their imagined limitations.

Building on CureSearch’s prior positive OHT experience in October, seventeen folks from the Kansas City area set out from Fane Creek at 5 am, on Saturday morning.  Accompanied by OHTA members Terry Fredrick and Mike Adelman, they climbed through the dark toward the old railroad roadbed and on to Ragtown Road.  The trail had been newly cleared by Ozark Society maintainers and blazed with additional markers set by Mike Lemaster and Roy Senyard in anticipation of the event.  Despite pre-dawn fog, the route was easy to trace through the white oaks.  Hikers commented on the great condition of the OHT, but realized they were no longer in the flatlands of Kansas!   Dawn broke on an energetic group with the first team of Ultimate Hikers reaching Ragtown Road at 7:30 for a support break.  Eager to continue, the group guided by Terry Fredrick, departed Ragtown Road admiring the early morning vista of the Spirits Creek Valley.

The group continued to Spirits Creek and the climb over Potato Knob before descending to Salt Fork Creek and a second climb to a lunch stop.  OHT devotees know this is a very challenging segment with more than 2100’ of elevation gain in just four miles past the Spirits Creek crossing.

At White Rock Mountain, OHTA member Sallie Adelman joined the CureSearch staff to provide lunch and encouragement. The first Ultimate Hiker arrived at White Rock after blistering the route over two ridges in less than three hours.  Others arrived with times related to their abilities, all saying they were tired but eager to cover the final segment to Hurricane Creek.  Numerous comments of praise noted the excellent condition of the mountain trail after extensive maintenance performed by OHTA members along the trail (special thanks to Mike and Roy for recent efforts).

The Crawford County Sheriff’s Department provided three Search and Rescue aid stations west of White Rock including at the final Support Station at the Gas Pipeline.  There four of the SAR volunteers joined the hike and walked out the final two miles with the Ultimate Hikers.  (None of these SAR volunteers had previously hiked any of the OHT and reported really enjoying the trail experience and beauty of the descent to Hurricane Creek.)

One story of real courage is the rejoining of Ultimate Hike event by two hikers who had pulled out after reaching their physical limits – one overcome by breathing issues and the other an Iraqi war veteran hiking on a prosthetic device for the first time.  Both hiked out the final segment and exclaimed they were happy and proud to finish with their comrades.

As dusk fell in the valley of Hurricane Creek, the groups crossed the stream bed and turned onto the Forest Service Road toward the creek bridge and an emotional moment.  In the road trace signs were posted, each with a photo and message about a kid for whom the Ultimate Hikers were making their effort.

Forget it I never shall!


In all, seventeen Ultimate Hikers started on the OHT in the dark, and thirteen completed the entire 21 mile track.  One highly energetic Hiker covered the route in a torrid seven hours of elapsed time. CureSearch staffer Brecka Putnam expressed her appreciation for the support of the Ozark Highland Trail Association and asked if CureSearch could be welcomed on a similar event in 2013.

You bet your boots you are!


Hare Mountain Hike-in

October 27-28, 2012

Hare Mt. 2012 Hike-In is Oct. 27-28. Hike 1.7 miles from Morgan Field (Lat. 35.726, Lon. 93.756) to the highest point on the OHT, bring pot luck to share, award annual awards, have fun around the campfire, then camp overnight in the woods. An amazing array of amenities include a bear pole and picnic table near the fire ring. Carry water. Contact Mike Lemaster miker.lemaster@gmail.com 479-466-5214
TRAVEL ADVISORY!: East Fly Gap Road from AR 23 east to Morgan Field (Hare Mountain access and parking) is in such bad condition many vehicles will be find it impassable.  This can by bypassed using AR 215 and Morgan Mountain Road, but don’t drive your Miata, Mini Cooper or Aston Martin on E. Fly Gap Road unless you want to leave it there.


November 1-4, 2012

The Sylamore Ranger District’s Blanchard Springs Campground Group Site #1 (by that incredibly beautiful bluff and N. Sylamore Creek, a National Scenic River) will be home to the OHTA during these “peak of fall color” first few days of November.  You can count on good food, good fellowship, and lots of invigorating outdoor activity for a worthy cause in a beautiful setting.


so we can buy the food.  We will supply breakfast and dinner as well as lunch fixin’s. Please bring your own cups, plates and utensils.  We will leave camp at 8:30 a.m. to maintain Thursday thru Saturday.  Last signup date is Monday October 29, 2012.  Contact Duane Woltjen ozarktraveler1@att.net  


 OHTA Meetings have moved to the Washington  County Extension Serviceat 2536 McConnell Rd.  From I-540 Exit 66 south on AR 112 (Garland Ave), turn west at Drake Street stop light to reach McConnell Rd, turn south to WCES near the fair grounds. 36.098 latitude 94.180 longitude.

November Meeting at 6:00 p.m will feature Jason Ortega, Rattlesnake ResearchWhere would you look to find a rattlesnake? Sure? You might be surprised.

New club address too:


Ozark Highlands Trails Association of Washington County

P. O. Box 4065

Fayetteville, AR 72702-4065

PINT NIGHT November 7

At Pack Rat store, Pack Rat teamed up with Jose’s to BENEFIT Buffalo River Partner on September 19, Arkansas Climbers Coalition on October 3, and the Ozark Highlands Trail Association 5p.m. to 7p.m. on November 7. First 20 get a free commemorative glass.  Chips, Dips, Suds!  (Valid I.D. Required)

Support the OHTA and have a time doing it at Pint Night.  President Mike Lemaster challenges the OHTA to raise more funds than any other Pint Night group.


November 14, 2012 Ozone Overnight

Car camp over night at Ozone Campground on Tuesday night, November 13 in order to get an early start on Wednesday for the 7.4 mile hike from Moonhull Mountain FR1417 to the Arbaugh Trail Head. No pets.  Call Grey Owl at 918-825-0500 to sign up and get details.

November 17: OHT Maintenance Day

Lick Branch TH west to the 56 mile marker (in and out).  Meet at Redding Campground “turn off” at 8:30am. Bring water, lunch, tools furnished. Must e-mail rsenyard@cox.net to sign up.

OHTA Special Event Meeting

October 14, 2012

We will meet at Frank Sharps’ patio on beautiful Kessler Moutain to enjoy a hike with Michele Sears at 2:30 and a cookout on the patio at 5:00.  Mark you calendar now and watch for updates about this special event.


New Maintenace Agreement

With an eye to improving safety for Maintainers, the USFS has announced major changes to  Volunteer Agreements with organizations including the OHTA.  We will be implementing these changes this fall.  As always, every person participating on Maintenance Outings must be a member (we have a temporary membership for guests).  Maintenance Outing participants or individuals maintaining their adopted sections are responsible for reading the Job Hazard Analysis.   Each leader is responsible for conducting, a “Tailgate Safety Meeting” and reporting it on a new form along with the Maintenance Report to the Maintenance Coordinator.   The Maintenance Report will have some minor changes.  The OHTA Bulletin will be used to provide implementation and use guidance to all adopters and outings leaders.

Meeting Place Change

Beginning with the November, 2012 we will be meeting at the Washington County Extension Service facility at 2536 McConnell Ave, Fayetteville.  This is on the same street as the Washington County Fair Grounds.  From I-540 take exit 66 south on Garland Street one block, west on Drake Street,  south on Mc Connell Ave.   Our thanks to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church for so graciously hosting the OHTA for over a year.   We will continue to meet monthly at 6:00 pm on the 2nd Sunday.


Tremendous changes are coming to the OHT neighborwoods in the Richland Creek Campground area as the result of approval of the 38,000 acre Bearcat Hollow II Project of the Big Piney Ranger District of Ozark-St. Francis National Forest.   Huge areas of the project will be thinned and converted to savannah by use of machinery, herbicides and fire between MM 136.2 (FR 1203) and 151.7 (FR 1201), but without directly impacting the trail corridor (includes the tread and  206 feet to the sides) except from MM 150.4 to 151.7.

After President Mike Lemaster and Duane Woltjen met with District Ranger Bruce Davenport and two of his staff on July 13, 2012 at Stack Rock TH, the project plan was modified to protect and encourage development of the closed canopy along the OHT where creation of savannah had been planned from MM150.4 to 151.7.

We asserted that closed canopy was critical to the ability of the OHTA to maintain the OHT (Ask any trail volunteer maintainer!) because forest floor exposed to open sky produces extreme bramble, and closed canopy is what hikers expect, want and have enjoyed along the OHT.  (Hikers designed and built the OHT for hikers).

The win-win ending of this hood top conference at Stack Rock TH is the Bearcat Hollow II Project now offers the OHTA and the Forest Service an opportunity to open the under-story by selectively removing excessive trees and ground level growth from the under-story by use of tools, machinery, herbicides and carefully controlled burning, and by retaining “recruit” trees and releasing desirable sprouts to grow to become succeeding generations of canopy trees.

Flowering favorites such as dogwood, redbud, service berry and wild plum are to remain.  Any trail damage as the result of the project is to be repaired by the FS or under their directive.  Annual meetings are now planned to evaluate progress and determine corrective action to achieve these objectives (Do we have to meet in the mid-July heat?).

The OHT is a downright pleasurable way to access many scenic locations near the trail as well as on the trail.  Variations in landscape from panoramic views to waterfalls, pine forest to hardwood forest, cedar glades to clear stream swimming holes, bluffs and caves and huge boulders and pedestal rocks are all easily accessible, or right on the trail.

Missing from the scene is savannah, reportedly more common in the pre-Columbian time when Native Americans were the soul human occupants of the land.  At that time and not for long thereafter, an eastern variety of elk and buffalo wandered the Ozarks along with passenger pigeons, ivory-billed woodpeckers and a myriad of other plants and animals.   Prairie landscapes were large and common in many areas of Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma that are now in row crops or fescue, or succeeded to woodlands.  Fire was more common then because it was beneficial to Native Americans as they managed the landscape to keep those buffalo and elk in their tribal territory for convenience, to keep the peace or perhaps assert rights.

Keep watch in the coming years for added attractions along or near this section of the OHT such as elk, stands of bluestem, prairie flowers, and birds you hardly know like meadowlark, dickcissel, quail, or Henslow’s sparrows, and all varieties of savannah critters.


The Sylamore Ranger District’s Blanchard Springs Campground Group Site #1 (by that incredibly beautiful bluff and N. Sylamore Creek, a National Scenic River) will be home to the OHTA during these “peak of fall color” first few days of November.  Our plans will develop as  District Ranger Jim McCoy assesses conditions early next fall.  You can count on good food, good fellowship, and lots of invigorating outdoor activity for a worthy cause in a beautiful setting.

Mark you calendar now. Watch for details from Duane & Judy Woltjen ozarktraveler1@att.net



OHTA has new Nalgene wide-mouth quart water bottles with OHTA logo available just in time for summer hikes.  BPA free, loop top, and they are dishwasher safe.  The logo and “Step on it!” slogan make this item a great souvenir gift for Ozark Highlands Trail hikers.

You can save shipping and handling cost by picking yours up at  OHTA Membership MeetingS.  (Check the  Events Calendar for meeting info.)  Order one or a truck load from Mike Lemaster, miker.lemaster@gmail.com or  479-466-5214 for $10 each plus $5  shipping and handling charge.

Membership Meeting June 10, 2012 Special Event:


OHTA Members and guests will be hosted by Frank and Sarah Sharp at their farmstead on Kessler Mountain about 0.4 mile up Smoke House Trail from the Smoke House on Farmington Road (Hwy 62 1.5 miles west of I-540).

The Sharps and some of their neighbors have been working to conserve as much as possible of scenic Kessler Mountain for all future generations to enjoy as a recreational natural area.  They have already developed Kessler Mountain Greenway multi-use trail thru their scenic “rock city”, and provided a conservation easement to connect it with the City of Fayetteville trail system as Rupple Road is extended southward.  There are miles of trail and hours of hiking/biking right here on Kessler Mountain, which is easily seen to the southwest from the heart of Fayetteville.

The Sharp’s farm features a patio dining area, fireplace, firebrick pizza oven, custom grill and kitchen.  There is plenty of parking at the house, and plenty more along Smoke House Trail up to the house.  WHAT IS MISSING FROM THIS SCENE????


HIKE!! Hike the trail from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

FIRED OVEN PIZZA!!! Appetizers provided by the Sharps.

GRILLED COOKOUT!!!! Meal provided by OHTA and Pack Rat Outdoor Center


Contact Mike Lemaster to help with cooking, hike leading, decorating, clean up and door prizes, etc.   Miker.lemaster@gmail.com or  479-466-5214


The OHTA Membership has been meeting the second Sunday evening of each month from September thru June for years now, but like any set time, it doesn’t work for everybody every time.  So the question is what works best for the most members who want to attend our Membership Meetings?

Some key holidays you may not know: Easter 2013 is 3/31 (last Sunday), 2014 is 4/20 (3rd Sunday), 2015 is 4/5 (1st Sunday), 2016 is 3/27 (last Sunday), 2017 is 4/16 (3rd Sunday).  Mother’s Day is always the 2nd Sunday of May.  Father’s Day is always 3rd Sunday of June.

This is an informal survey to see if the Board should get serious about considering changes to our meeting schedule.  Please send your comments to ozarktraveler1@att.net


OHTA Membership Meeting Sunday May 13, 2012

Meet at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Auditorium, N. East St. and Dickson St. in Fayetteville at 6:00 pm. Bring snacks to share!

Jeff Belk, HS instructor of Outdoor Activities at Rogers H. S. is presenting our program Sunday. He teaches an outdoor skills course and takes kids on numerous adventure experiences including hikes & ropes course.


Ozark Challenge Hike Big Success!


Eight hikers participated in Saturday, April 28th’s Ozark Classic Hike sponsored by the Ozark Society Highlands Chapter.  Despite a somewhat shorter route than previous years, the hikers agreed the trek was more challenging, with 22 miles over three ridges on the Ozark Highlands Trail.  Tim Mason commented, “This hike was a real test; it kicked me in the backside!”

Brian Stephens breezed into the Mile 6 rest stop just minutes ahead of fellow hikers, handling the route from Fane Creek to Ragtown Road in 2 hours and 5 minutes.  Fred Paillet provided trail condition reports for future Highland Chapter maintenance on its adopted section.

The second segment, 8 miles to White Rock Mountain, stretched out the group,  with Melanie Beck and Tim Mason covering this rugged stretch climbing more than 2, 000 feet in a blistering 3 hours!.  Ken Lyon and Brenda Priegel swept the trail on this most difficult leg.

Hikers arrived atop White Rock Mountain for a picnic lunch served by Sallie Adelman.  Iced towels were also a popular amenity.  After rest and re-hydration, participants departed on the final 8 mile leg of the journey, with Mike McKinnon and Cindy McConnell serving as sweeps.

Safely arriving at Hurricane Creek, Tim and Melanie added another mile to “loosen up”!

All hikers reported in by 6:15 for cold beer and snacks before the 30 mile shuttle back to Fane Creek. (Editors Note: Get ready for next year and make this a really big event.)

Mike Adelman





FR 1201 is open to traffic after years of being closed due to a land slide near Richland Creek Campground..

Can Richland Creek Campground be far behind?



Looking for an overnight backpack?  Looking for a smell the roses family day hike? Saturday  March 31, 2012 is the best opportunity of the spring season to have a great choice.  Just go to the Events Calendar for March and contact the leader.  Don’t worry about the weather.  All of our hikes have weather guaranteed!


Over 30 maintainers learned to safely use chainsaws to remove limbs and downed trees from the Ozark Highlands Trail under the instruction of the USFS on Saturday February 25, 2012.  Those that successfully qualified are Certified for 3 years and must take a refresher course annually.  Any person operating a chainsaw while maintaining the OHT must be a member of the OHTA and a currently Certified Sawyer unless they are operating under a separate contract or Volunteer Agreement.

The certification process includes instruction on all aspects of chainsaw safety, maintenance, hazard analysis, personal protective equipment, safe and efficient techniques, and many nuances somewhat specific to trail maintenance.  To be certified, each sawyer has to demonstrate the skills acquired under the ever critical eye of the instructor Roy Estep.  Everyone, even the most experienced sawyers, learned something that improved their skills and safe operation.

In conjunction with the sawyer certification a well attended retreat for maintainers and other OHTA members was held at Lake Fort Smith State Park’s Kingfisher Lodge.  In addition to lots of trail talk, good family fellowship, wonderful food, and incredible tall tales, Jim Warnock showed a great program of excellent slides and discussion about hiking Grand Canyon.  Jim had great advice to those aspiring to see it for themselves.


Look now and keep an eye on the Events Calendar page for new outings that are popping up like dandelions.  Outings Chair Jim Warnock is ready to help you list an outing for weekdays or weekends, full weeks or even months so Contact jdwarnock@cox.net or 479-651-2914


President Mike Lemaster filed this report Saturday night, February 11, 2012:

“Who would be crazy enough to take on temperatures in the teens with windchill in the single digits?  OHTA Trail Maintainers is the answer and ten extremely brave individuals trekked west from Moonhull Mountain to mm 76 and cut numerous downed trees from the OHT to mm 74.5 & then hiked out down Lewis Prong Creek to awaiting parked cars for tedious rides to our homes. The following members cleared this section fully between Arbaugh TH to Moonhull Mtn TH:
Roy Senyard, Ed Hall, Bob Raney, Bob Robinson, Steve Cattaneo, Earl Rowe, John Bentley, Sean Bentley, Mike McKinnon, & Mike Lemaster. This section is 100% open for hikers once again. We began at 9 am & finished @ 4:30 pm.”

The above section was reported tornado damaged by Nimble Will Nomad last summer as he was becoming the first thru hiker on the TOT and the OOO.  Look for his story back a few pages on the Newsletter Page of www.ozarkhighlandtrail.com Several adjacent miles of severe damage has been cleared in the past several months in addition to the portion cleared yesterday.  Access to yesterdays work in Lewis Hollow was hampered by new owners now locking a gate in common use by local folks and the Forest Service.







Meet at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church auditorium at 6:00, N. East and Dickson, Fayetteville.  Bring potluck, refreshements served.

Meet Robert Duggan, USFS Natural Resources Specialist for Ozark National Forest.  What he does, and Q&A.


Sunday, January 8, 2011

We will meet at 6:00 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church auditorium, N. East St. at Dickson, Fayetteville, AR to nominate and elect Officers and
Board Members.

The program will be presented by Paramedic Bob Cable, “Evaluation of Medical Emergencies on the Trail”.  Information you will get from this program will reflect Bob;s multiple years of training and experience as a first responder when 911 gets a call.  Trail situations—Bee/wasp sting or copperhead bite–which do you think is the most dangerous?  Why?  What should you do about it?  Adominal pain–indigestion or heart attack?  Leg cramps–out of shape or dehydrated?  You fell and hit your head.  Feel OK.  Two hours later your nauseated and not seeing well.  Are you OK?  Find out Sunday.

Crunch & Munch Fete


 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.Observe the beginning of the New Year with the 2nd Annual “Crunch & Munch Fete”. Be prepared to Crunch as we the hike the trail to the Shepherd Springs homestead site. This is an easy- moderate 3 mile r/t hike; expect to be on the trail for at least 3 hours. Once we get back to the visitor center we bring out the food and Munch! Bring a dish to pass and join the fun as we start the New Year off right. RSVP by December 31st at 479-369-2469 for this event Contact Christina Welch, Park Interpreter, Lake Fort Smith State Park, 479-369-2469.   


Ozark Highland “Tail” Hike

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A dog-friendly out-and-back hike from Arbaugh TH down to Lewis Prong for lunch, and then hike back UP to Arbaugh TH.  Approximately 5 miles total with a nice long climb to make this a moderately difficult hike.  Limit one dog per hiker, and hikers must have leash available.    Meet at Oark General Store at 9:00 a.m. Carpool from Fayetteville area from Shell Gas Station in Elkins at Hwys 16 & 74 intersection at 7:30 a.m.  Call or text hike leader, Mike Lemaster 479-466-5214 or email at miker.lemaster@gmail.com


Sunday December 11, 2011

The OHTA will meet at 6:00 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 224 N. East Street at Dickson in Fayetteville.  The program will be Yoga for Hikers.  Please bring a blanket or yoga mat if you want to participate in a few very basic, gentle yoga poses.Our annual Pot Luck dinner begins at at 6, program at 6:30, post program socialization until the lights go off.  Contact Wade.Colwell@wfadvisors.com 479-521-2696 for details.




DECEMBER 1, 2011

We’ll hike along the beautiful woodland trails that surround Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville.   Crystal Bridges opened on November 11, and has attracted worldwide attention.        The well-built trails meander throughout the wooded grounds.   The Art Trail has several outdoor sculptures.   All the trails are in the easy category.
We will meet in the Compton Gardens/Crystal Bridges Trail parking lot/trailhead on the north side of NE 3rd Street in Bentonville at 9:00 a.m.

Contact Norma Senyard at norma.senyard@gmail.com HIKE CANCELLED.


DECEMBER 3, 2011

Roy Senyard rsenyard@cox.net 479-409-6156 plans to meet sawyers, swampers and loppers at Oark Café at 8:00 a.m. Saturday to cut trees out of the trail east of MM 73 for at least a mile.  Hikers report trees down to the extent some have bushwhacked uphill to reach Forest Road 1417 to by-pass this section. Crews will enter and leave using Arbaugh Road TH (FR 1404 at MM 70.9).   Plan to be out all day with plenty of water, food, eye protection, gloves, etc.  Non-members welcome—Temporary Membership Certificates will be issued. Please contact Roy in advance.

New Hikes!  All OHT Starter Hike.

Trial maintenance workers have been hard at it making it possible for us to get out there and enjoy the trails!  Thank you volunteers!

Here are a few great hikes.  Now through March is some of the best hiking weather in Arkansas.  Enjoy!

We need hike leaders (especially for dayhikes).  Please contact me using the format below if you are a member of the OHTA and interested in leading a hike.

Date: Saturday, November 12

Name of Outing: Shores Lake/ part of White Rock Mt. West Loop dayhike

Trail or Bushwhack? Trail

Mileage: 3 mile out and back to White Rock Cascade for total of 6 mi.

Rating: Moderate

Features: Views, waterfalls, cascades

Coordinator contact: Jim Warnock jdwarnock@cox.net 479-651-2914 Pre-trip contact required.

Meeting Place and Time: 9:00 a.m. at Shores Lake Campground

Date: Saturday, November 19 – Sun., Nov. 20

Name of Outing: Hurricane Creek Wilderness from Haw Creek Campground to Chancel Trailhead

Trail or Bushwhack? Trail

Mileage: 5.5 mi. day one / 7.5 miles to Chancel on day two.  (total approx. 13)

Rating: Moderate to Difficult

Features: bluffs, Natural Bridge, Hurricane Creek, historical sites

Coordinator contact: Jim Warnock jdwarnock@cox.net 479-651-2914 Pre-trip contact required.

Meeting Place and Time: 9:00 a.m. at Pelsor (where Hwy 123 crosses Hwy 7) Meeting place has changed from first announcement.

Date:Tuesday, December 27 – Friday, Dec. 30 (Notice dates changed)

Name of Outing: Hike away post-Christmas blues (and calories). Give your end-to-end efforts a strong beginning on this four-day three-night backpacking trip.

Trail or Bushwhack? Trail (bushwhack options along creeks for exploration)

Mileage: Day 1 is approx. 10 mi. from Lake Fort Smith to Jack Creek / Day 2 is approx. 8.5 mi. to White Rock Mt. / Day 3 is approx. 6.7 mi. to Spirits Creek / Day 4 is approx. 7 mi. to Fane Creek FR 1520 (Cass)

Rating: Difficult

Features: Lake Fort Smith, historical sites, cascades and waterfalls, Spirits Creek

Coordinator contact: Jim Warnock jdwarnock@cox.net 479-651-2914 Pre-trip contact required.

Meeting Place and Time: 9:00 a.m. at Lake Fort Smith State Park Visitor Center (OHT Western Trailhead)

Meeting Sunday

November 13, 2011

The OHTA will meet at 6:00 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 224 N. East Street at Dickson in Fayetteville.  Pack Rat will bring us the latest and greatest new outdoor gear with demos (Sorry, no fire starters) and give you some great Holiday gift ideas.  Refreshments  served at 6, program at 6:30, post program socialization until the lights go off.  Contact Wade.Colwell@sbcglobal.net 479-521-2696 for details.

Sylamore Base Camp

November 3-6, 2011

Help maintain the 32 mile OHT Sylamore Section and enjoy good free food if you sign up in advance, great friends, beautiful scenery, free camping with hot showers at Blanchard Springs.  Contact Duane Woltjen ozarktraveler1@att.net 479-521-7032.

By the way, besides the beautiful OHT Sylamore Section, 32 miles, you will be close to OHT Lake Norfork Trail Section, 13.2 miles, and OHT David’s Trail Section, 8.5 miles, as well as North Sylamore Creek Trail which runs right thru our campground to connect to the OHT!  Check them out while you’re in the neighborwoods.

Hare Mountain T-shirts

Contact Mike Lemaster miker.lemaster@gmail.com to order a t-shirt commemorating the Hare Mountain Hike-in.  Do not send money, but give him your sixe and quantity at $15 each.  He will have PROOF copy at the Hike-in.   Shirts will be HANES Beefy in Sand color, printed front and back.

Hare Mountain Hike-in T

Hare Mountain Hike-in

Title: Hare Mountain Hike-in October 29, 2011
Description: Celebrate the OHTA 30th year where it all began on Hare Mountain, highest point on the Ozark Highlands Trail.  Details will be posted when available on the www.ozarkhighlandstrail.com Newsletter Page or Events Page   The general plan is to hike in from Morgan Field or Fly Gap Saturday afternoon, celebrate (pot luck), camp overnight on Hare Mountain (or hike out in the dark), and hike out Sunday.  Carry in your water.  There are no porcelain conveniences.  Always fun, always a great turnout, so don’t miss it.  Contact Wade.Colwell@sbcglobal.net 479-521-2696 for details.  Contact Roy Senyard rsenyard@cox.net 479-409-6156 to help with preparations.

Start Date: 2011-10-29
Start Time: afternoon
End Date: when you leave

Richland Creek CG Still Closed!

 Because of a land slide several years ago, Richland Creek Campground is not maintained and not open.  Any water taken from the water point must be treated.   Vehicle entry is illegal.   A contractor is working to repair the slide and road approaching from the south.

The road from the south is closed 3.8 miles south of the campground all the way to the campground.  The south end barrier is at 35 deg 45.163 N, 92 deg 56.317 W.  or WGS 84  15S 0505528  3956538.    This is at the small bridge crossing of Falling Water Creek .

The Forest Service is aiming at Spring 2012 to re-open both the road and the campground.  (Where have we heard this before?)

Sawyers and Swampers

Clear Storm Damage

 The Moonhull Mountain section is ready to hike after October 8, 2011 maintenance outing led by Section Adopter Kevin Middleton. The crew included Mike Lemaster, Chris Adams, Bob Raney,  Ed Hall, John Pennington and Jim Warnock.

They met at Ozone Campground @ 8:30 a.m, then caravaned to Moonhull Mountain TH where they parked and began working  down to the first major drainage before Boomer Creek.

This drainage area was the worst of entire section. It appeared that a very strong wind event had funneled up through this valley (probably in late August based on a summer hikers report) and uprooted many mature red oaks, white oaks, and hickorys. Chris, Bob, and Mike worked chainsaws with the others lopping and dragging limbs off the trail.

They were walking out by 2:30 completely finished thanks to the effort of Kevin in advance of this outing.

Mike Lemaster reports he was sitting in his Razorback Stadium  seat by 6:30 cheering the Hogs to a 38 to 14 victory over Auburn.

Ah, sweet victory in the woods as well as the stadium.  Well done all.  Thanks and cheers for our maintainers!

OHT Maintenance Outing

Meet Mike Lemaster at Ozone Campground not later than 8:30 a.m. on Saturday October 8, 2011to help clear damage and control vegetation in the Arbaugh Road Trailhead area (mm 70.9).  Swampers and equipment operators needed. Contactmiker.lemaster@gmail.com 479-466-5214

You must be a member to participate. Not a member?  Mike will give you a temporary membership certificate good for the day, and then we hope you will become a regular member.

The USFS requires all participants on OHTA maintenance outings taking place on USFS property (most of the OHT) to be members in good standing to work on the trail per our Volunteer Agreement with the USFS.  Being a member also brings you workman comp type benefits.

Please communicate with Mike ASAP to get details. Bring water, food, gloves, eye protection and weather appropriate clothing.  This area is definitely remote; the terrain is difficult; participation is very physical.

Native American Skills Outing

Saturday October 8, 2011

Kurt Richardson will demonstrate Native American skills using the woods to provide essentials (think Maslow’s Priority of Human Needs and cross off the top three of the five).Haven’t got rope?—makes some.Haven’t got food?—track down edibles.Attendees will be invited to camp Saturday night.

Contact trip leader Wade.Colwell@sbcglobal.net 479-521-2696 to signup and learn details.


Sunday October 9, 2011 The OHTA will meet at 6:00 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 224 N. East Street at Dickson in Fayetteville.  Dr. Fred Stephen, University Professor, Entomology Department, will present “Forest Entomology” (or Where Hiker’s Can Meet Bugs?)  Refreshments served at 6, program at 6:30, post program socialization until the lights go off.  Contact Wade.Colwell@sbcglobal.net 479-521-2696 for details.  Other items on the agenda include outings planning, especially planning for Hare Mountain Hike-in.  See Events Page

Hiked Arbaugh TH to Ozone?  Have trouble?

Maintainer Mike Lemaster challenges hikers who have encountered vegetation problems on this section to do something about it! Contact Miker.lemaster@gmail.com for details and schedule of outings to clear this section.

All Maintainers:

Please keep your dues up to date.  Contact Roy Senyard rsenyard@cox.net for details or to check your status.  Thanks.

$ for BRT/OHT Trail on Buffalo National River

Master Trail Builder and author Ken L. Smith has been leading the design and building effort to construct Buffalo River Trail/Ozark Highlands Trail some 28 miles from Hwy 65 to Hwy 14 over the past 5 years, and today big time help has finally arrived.  The Recreation Trail Program, funded from a tiny percent of the Federal Highway Transportion gasoline tax, GRANTED $82,253 TO BNR to fund NPS crews to help with the project.

Grant Rules and Volunteers: This is a reimbursement grant, that is the money has to be spent before it can be re-imbursed, and all matching work  by volunteers (20% of the grant value)  has to be completed before funds are transferred to BNR.  Transfers are progressive, and the work for which the grant is made has to be completed and open for use before the final payment can be made.

Volunteers are needed to do the matching share of the work. Contact Ken Trailsmith1@yahoo.com, 479-443-4098 or  Duane Woltjen Ozarktraveler1@att.net to volunteer or get details.

As of this fall, 11 miles of the 28 are complete and open for hiking.  Base camps are planned for this fall and next spring, and weekend work is planned for all but late December, January, and early February.

Volunteer Opportunities

Ken will have backcountry (Red Bluff gravel bar) base camps for Wilderness Volunteers Oct. 2-8, American Hiking Society Volunteer Vacationers October 9-15, and Alumni October 23-29.  Volunteers will be needed to move gear to the camp October 1, and from the camp October 29.   Volunteer camp occupants are needed for security Saturday and Sunday of each base camp.

Weekend activities are planned beginning November 11 thru December 17 and beginning again in mid or late February until spring base camps.

To volunteer, get on Ken’s contact list by e-mailing Trailsmith1@yahoo.com or contacting Duane Woltjen at ozarktraveler1@att.net.

New Outings- See Events Calendar

Keep watch for daily updates of the Events Calendar.  Place your cursor on the date to see the details.

Nimble Will Conquers T-O-T

Eb Eberhard, trail name Nimble Will Nomad, is the first to thru hike the Trans-Ozark Trail which is the  340 mile Ozark Trail + 218 Ozark Highland Trail—and he kept right on hiking the whole 223 mile Ouachita Trail and all the roads between any discontinuous segments to be the first to wear the ‘Triple O’  crown.

This is accomplishment is the realization of the dream of trail visionaries from the ’60s like Dr. Neil Compton, founding members of the Ozark Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Ozark Highlands Trail Association (long before it incorporated in 1981),Mark Twain and Ozark-St. Francis National Forests, the National Park Service (the ink was barely dry on theBuffalo National River), Missouri State Parks, and many others.

Heartfelt Congratulations Nimble Will, and profound thanks for breaking trail for all who follow you.  Follow the log of Odyssy 2011 on www.NimbleWillNomad.com

Cross-cut Saw Certification/Training Class Offered

Technically speaking, maintainers should be certified to operate a cross-cut saw in the Wilderness areas of the National Forest; just as you must be USFS certified to operate a chainsaw elsewhere on the forest.

Ouachita National Forest is again offering a Cross-cut Saw Certification Class on October 25, 2011 at Camp Clearfork off Hwy 270 just out of Hot Springs, AR across the highway from Charleton Recreation area.  Housing is available at Camp Clearfork.  If you are interested in attending or to get more details contact Larry Ross ldross@fs.fed.us


September 2011 Newsletter

September Meeting

The first fall meeting of the OHTA will be Sunday September 11, 2011 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 224 N. East St. at Dickson, at 6:00 p.m. Bring food to share with free pizza and light refreshments served by the OHTA. Students of the U of A are especially invited to get acquainted with Arkansas Trail Opportunities and the OHTA at this meeting.

The program will feature Arkansas’s own Trail Lady Terry Eastin, who with her husband Ken has been responsible for developing trail grants and programs, building trails as volunteers and as contractors, and advocating for trails across Arkansas over the years. Terry will make a brief presentation; then loosen up to let the audience ask what they want about our trails.

In addition to Terry, we are looking forward to the Arkansas State Trails Coordinator, John Beneke of Arkansas State Parks, attending to fills us in on the farthest trail corners of Arkansas.

The OHTA is putting together outings for the hiking season (fall, winter, spring). Some outings for the season are already posted on the website Events Calendar. Outings are open to everyone, member or not, except for trail maintenance outings for which membership is required by the USFS (we can issue temporary memberships for the day if your just visiting). As always, you are personally responsible for your own safety, etc., on all outings.

The October Meeting will be a special Saturday October 8, 2011 event on Kurt Richardson’s property. He will demonstrate Native American skills using the woods to provide essentials. He has invited the group to camp on his property Saturday night.

Hare Mountain Hike-in

Mark your calendar now and plan to be on Hare Mountain October 29-30 to celebrate the 30th birthday of the OHTA. Contact Roy Senyard 479-409-6156 rsenyard@cox.net to maintain OHT Hare Mountain approach trail sections October 15 and 22.


Some sections are open for adoption. Long time maintainers David And Annie Turner have “retired” from the Hare Mtn. to Morgan Field section. David and Annie, thanks very much for your years of trail construction on the Sylamore section and for all the maintenance work you have done for hikers.


You may wonder, “Where is the “end” of the OHT?” This has a two part answer, i.e. “now” and “going to be”.
The OHT once ended at Woolum on the Buffalo River at 165 miles from Lake Fort Smith State Park Visitor Center, but Buffalo National River completed trail from Woolum to Hwy 65 at Tyler Bend for 15 more, followed by construction of the Lake Norfork section from Norfork Dam to County Road 1028 for 13.2 more. Then the 31 ½ mile Sylamore section from Spring Creek TH to Matney TH near Norfork was built, and the Lower Buffalo Wilderness GPS route was published by the OHTA for 15 ½ additional miles (OHTA has a special guide book for this.)
Finally, Buffalo National River is currently (as in October 2011) working with volunteers to complete the 26 mile connection from Hwy 65 to the Lower Buffalo Wilderness GPS route.

To close the 8 miles from Matney TH of the Sylamore section to the Norfork section at Lake Norfork Dam will require a State Highway hike until our luck changes (so maybe you could help our luck change?)

Add it all up: the OHT totals 274 miles in length, begins at Lake Fort Smith State Park, and now ends at Baxter County Road 1028. To see a map and description of the Norfork section go to www.sedgehead.com , click on Trails of north central Arkansas, and click on Norfork Lake Trail. This website has several things of interest, and a satellite image map of the Norfork Lake trail.

Nimble Will Nomad

Nimble Will (long distance hiker, author and poet Eb Eberhard) is in the process (delayed thru part of August 2011 to heal a broken fibula) of completing his Odyssey 2011, hiking the Ozark Trail (OT, Missouri), the Ozark Highlands Trail(OHT), and the Ouachita Trail. He may be the first to hike the T-O-T (the OT+OHT= Trans-Ozark Trail) as well as the Triple O! Surely he will be the first and probably the last to do this in the heat of summer! Follow his journal at www.NimbleWillNomad.com and click on Odyssey 2011. The entries are in chronological order.


The Trans-Ozark Trail?!!

Check out “A Tale of Two Trails”, from this web publication.  It tells part
of the story of the development of the OHT (Arkansas) and the  Ozark Trail (Missouri) and efforts to link them together.  Nice to read a story that gives some credit  to the volunteers who built and maintain the Ozark Highlands Trail.

New bridge at MM 37 (west side of Hwy 23)
Thank you Eagle Scout Ian Schlag and crew!

New FootBridge on Old Trail!

This new foot bridge replaces an old one that rotted away years ago at Mile Marker 37, just eastbound of the spur trail from the Cherry Bend Trailhead.

Scout Ian Schlag and fellow Scouts completed this Eagle Scout project on or about June 24, 2011 after spending just 6 hours on the work site. The bridge was pre-constructed off site, disassembled, moved to the work site and reassembled—which demonstrated that prior planning promotes perfect performance (call this the 5 “P”s)

Candidate Eagle Scouts are required to lead an approved project from inception to completion. That includes identifying a project, creating a proposal, winning approval to proceed, doing the design work, recruiting assistance, securing materials, planning and doing physical hands on work, minimizing and documenting costs, and securing acceptance of the finished project by the beneficiaries!  There is much more, but space is limited.

Thank you new Eagle Scout Ian Schlag, we appreciate you and all who helped so much. Thanks also to the Boston Mountain Ranger District (Ozark, AR) and Ranger John Lane for providing materials, oversight, and the all important cooperation to “git er done”.

Hiker Author Eb Eberhart Hiking TOT

This is the first known attempt to hike the Trans-Ozark Trail (OT + OHT, St. Louis to Lake Fort Smith).  Follow Eb as he hikes on www.Nimblewillnomad.com He was recently encountered on the Sylamore Ranger District hiking the OHT.  Will he hike thru the Lower Buffalo Wilderness on the OHT GPS Route from Spring Creek TH to Hwy 65?  Will he use a Rambo as he goes?  Can he survive untold numbers of ticks, chiggers, and briar beatings amid Arkansas heat, humidity, and solitude, or will he just turn out to be lunch?

OHTA Newsletter June, 2011


OHTA Founding Member Carl Ownbey of Fayetteville, Arkansas passed away June 16, 2011 at the age of 89. He was perhaps better known as “Wildman”, the trail name he acquired when he thru hiked the Appalachian Trail at the age of 63, a feat which exemplified his dedication to maintaining excellent physical fitness, and willingness to challenge himself in the outdoor activity he most enjoyed. A few years ago, in his early 80s, Carl entered and completed a full marathon in Dallas—top that if you can. His candor in conversation was jovial and delivered with a twinkle in his eye, especially entertaining when he added a “Wild” flavor to a tale of adventure in the outdoors.

Carl was loved and admired by his many OHTA close friends; we will miss him and relive his appearances in our lives for years to come.



The label on this newsletter has the date of the expiration of your dues, and it will say “EXPIRED” if you are not current. Please renew now to show your support for the Ozark Highlands Trail and the Association that continues to build, maintain, enjoy and protect it. Mail your check to the return address on this letter, or go on line to www.OzarkHighlandsTrail.com then to the Membership page where you can find a link to PayPal.


The OHTA is replacing printed paper postal mailed newsletters with digital issues available on line. This is the last paper issue scheduled! This conserves trees, time, and money, and makes the newsletter accessible where you are while the news is still news! If you want a hard copy, simply Highlight the Newsletter web page text, click Edit, Copy, and Paste it to a File you can Print.

Please view our newly upgraded website at www.OzarkHighlandsTrail.com Go to the Contact page and comment to help us improve it even more.

Always view the Events page and calendar for outings and up-to-date postings. Leading _ an event? E-mail the notice to OHTA@OzarkHighlandsTrail.Com for posting on the website. Got photos or comments you want share with friends? Check out our facebook page.

IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU E-MAIL THE EDITOR YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS to personally receive special alerts and non-web page communications. E-MAIL YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS TO OHTA@OzarkHighlandsTrail.com, or snail mail it to our postal address. PLEASE DON’T MISS OUT, DO NOT DELAY!


The September meeting will be at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 224 N. East Avenue at Dickson Street in Fayetteville. As always, social time is at 6p.m., business at 6:30, program at 7, out by 8. Have a great summer. See you there.

Since 1981, 501 (C) 3

OHTA Special Newsletter, 3-24-11


The OHTA 2011 Spring Break Base Camp, lead by Roy Senyard, was dedicated to the construction of a new OHT access trail from the new Indian Creek Recreation Area parking lot at the mouth of Indian Creek near Redding Campground (AR Hwy 215) to the OHT at mile 51.9. The completed 0.625 mile spur replaces an unsustainable, extremely steep assent social trail that has been in no condition to be used for many years actually, it never was.

The base camp was set up March 18 and taken down March 22. It occupied several neighboring Redding Campground sites reserved for the use of the OHTA courtesy of the Pleasant Hill Ranger District, Ozark St. Francis National Forest. Forest Service guys and ladies, thanks a bunch especially for those comfortable showers in clean restrooms.

Amazingly, in just those few days, members of the OHTA side-hilled from the highway fence about 0.3 miles to the shoulder of the hill above a scenic bluff line, then continued on gently sloping ground another 0.3 miles to the OHT. To keep the gradient at 20% or less within suitable terrain required five switchbacks, construction of a spiral staircase up the only notch in the face of the bluff, numerous rock work retaining structures, relocation of many, many huge rocks, and thousands of swings of Pulaskis that were provided in part by the Boston Mountain Ranger District.

The OHTA backpack leaf blower was used by Chris Adams to mark and clear the trail of leaf matter after it was flagged by Duane and Judy Woltjen nearly a year before. Mike Lemaster and Roy used an OHTA chainsaw to remove a few 3” trees, and to neatly fell one tall pine snag that was destined to land in the trail if it fell on its own.

Judy Woltjen, with the help of Dana Cable and Debbie Lemaster, served an amazing 141 delicious and nutritious meals to 24 volunteers over the 5 day period. Two super size 2 burner propane stoves, one Coleman 2 burner white gas stove, three huge ice boxes, two small folding tables, a makeshift 3 X 7 foot table, a USFS picnic table, a Coleman cabin tent and a huge rain-fly canopy were among the equipment employed to prepare the meals so essential to our ability to work hard and keep a great attitude. No wonder there was a 4 x 8 cargo trailer to transport the gear!

The project was blessed with fair weather and capable, enthusiastic crews with a mix of experience levels. Let’s hear a big round of applause for Roy and Norma Senyard,, Dana and Bob Cable, Debbie and Mike Lemaster (and granddaughter Avery), Grey Owl (Joe Barrett), Wade Colwell, Chris Adams, John and Chanel Pennington, Walt Priest, Steve Cattaneo, Terry Fredrick, David and Annie Turner, Clifford Clinton, Jim Warnock, Charlie Whitmore, Steve White, Bob Robinson, Dale Fudge, Duane and Judy Woltjen, all of whom made this project a huge success. Duane Woltjen estimates 578 volunteer hours were expended, of which 116 were travel hours. Base camp expenses totaled $740.57, average meal $3.70, all funded by the club.

Here are some trail notes you may find interesting, perhaps helpful. The trail begins at N35 deg 41.035 minutes, W93 deg 42.596 minutes (NAD 27 Conus 15S 0435759 3948922) and ends at the OHT at N35deg 41.223 minutes, W 93Deg 42.284 minutes (NAD 27 Conus 15S 0436232 3949268) and gains 342 feet in altitude. The trail is currently accessed by crossing Hwy 215 at the parking lot driveway and passing thru a gap in the fence. (See our publication Hiker’s Guide Ozark Highlands Trail Route, Lower Buffalo Wilderness if you don’t understand NAD 27 Conus, etc.)

When the USFS provides crushed rock to make footing reasonably safe on the revetment under the highway bridge over Indian Creek, the trail will begin from the parking lot and pass under the bridge, go around the fencing corner on the creek side, turn eastward a short distance and pick up the trail as it is now built.

There are Carsonite sign posts at both ends marked with an arrow and mileage to the opposite end. The trail is blazed with light blue 2 x 6 inch aluminum blazes typical of all spurs connecting to the OHT (which is blazed similarly in white). There are no water sources on this all woodland trail.

Help harden this trail by using it!

Duane Woltjen

February—March, 2011

Maintenance & Outings

February 19-20 Hike the OHT From LakeFt. Smith to Hwy 65!!
This is the hike is the last section originally scheduled for January 29-23. See preceding newsletter for details. Call Jim Warnock before 4P.M. Friday or jdwarnock@cox.net
February 23—Weekday Hike led by Grey Owl in Oark area. FR 1474 to Little Mulberry. 7.7
miles. 8.00 A.M. at FR 1474 crossing. NO PETS. You MUST CALL GREY OWL TO LET HIM KNOW YOU WANT TO GO! 918-825-0500
February 26—Maintenance at Cherry Bend TH (Hwy 23) Just a heads up that I’ve planned a
work day on the Cherry Bend TH to gas pipeline atop Whiting Mtn. on Saturday, Feb. 26th. We’ll meet @ FirstCare Pkg lot @ 8 a.m. to carpool or meet up @ Cherry Bend TH @ 9 a.m. Some of the Fayetteville crew(including me) will be eating breakfast @ Rolling Pin around sevenish a.m. I have around 4 people signed up now, but more folks means more tread sidehilling & step building. We’ll repair steps leading up to the Rockhouse as well as the steps leading up to the house sized boulder, and restoring the original trail tread in places that erosion has forced hikers to re-route. The “Pulaski” will be the tool of choice. Bring gloves, water, & lunch with OHTA providing the necessary hand tools.
Contact Mike LeMaster mikerlemaster@gmail.com
March 16— Weekday Hike led by Grey Owl in Cedar Creek and Slot Rock Ozone area.
FR 1003 to FR 1004. 7.6 miles. 8.00 A.M. at FR 1003 crossing. NO PETS. You MUST CALL GREY OWL TO LET HIM KNOW YOU WANT TO GO! 918-825-0500
at Redding USFS Campground. The project is to build a 0.6 mile spur from the
recently completed Indian Creek/Mulberry River Canoe Access to the OHT near Mile
Marker 52. Side hilling, step building, and all trail building skills are needed. The OHTA will feed all who sign up with Roy ahead of time.
Judy Woltjen will need just one or two assistants to prepare food and occupy the campsite. Bring your own utensils and tableware, gloves, eye protection, and all weather gear. A shower will be available; a hot shower says the Forest Service! We will have 3 campsites reserved for us. First meal will be Saturday evening, March 19. When the project is completed, we may close the camp, so come early. Electric hookups will be non-existent or minimal amps at best. Pets on a leash only.
Contact Roy Senyard rsenyard@cox.net or 479-409-6156

January 2011 Newsletter

Maintenance & Outings

November/December Trail Work Maintainers please try to get out and do your sections and send in reports. Thank you for volunteering!


The OHTA thanked the Wilderness Volunteers crew being led by Ken Smith for their contribution to the ever lengthening Ozark Highlands Trail portion of the Buffalo River Trail. Duane Woltjen and Judy carried the message of great appreciation from the OHTA, and gave each participant a beautiful OHT Trail patch Friday, October 22, 2010. Twelve states were represented by this crew of 15!

The Wilderness Volunteers crew will be succeeded by two more crews this fall, attending one week base camps at Tyler Bend Campground. Steve Sampers, a real trail go-getter member of the OHTA, will deliver the words of appreciation and patches to the next crew, of which he is a participant. Our member Mike Adelman has also worked with Ken extensively, creating this premier scenic trail which presently has 11 miles (westbound from Arkansas Hwy 14) open for hikers.

If you would like to participate in Ken’s base camps or winter weekend work trips, email TrailSmith1@yahoo.com or Duane Woltjen ozarktraveler1@att.net.

Arbaugh Trailhead to Lick Branch. Overnight Sat. Jan 22nd. – Sun. Jan 23rd

Call Bob Robinson for details. 479-431-8951

Letter from the president:

As we move into a late fall, I attended Dawna Robinson’s memorial service today. I didn’t know Dawna very well but her battle withcancer over the past few months has made an impact on my life.Dawna portrayed strength, enthusiasm, and passion. Call it mojo.Bob Cable and I spent a week together last month as I joined him forthe last leg of his most recent long bicycle ride from Minneapolis toFayetteville via the Mississippi river. Dawna’s husband, the otherBob, was supposed to join Bob C on the ride but had to cancel tobe with Dawna. These past few events have made me once againremember how important my wife Shaune is to me. (I need a goodreminder from time to time.) Our partners and spouses allow us tobe ourselves and encourage us to grow and develop or pull back andrelax as life’s throttle dictates. Thank you Dawna.We had a nice turnout for the Hare Mountain gathering and it’s greatto meet more of you. I appreciate the enthusiasm of bringing alongthose younger family members. I don’t doubt that kids had morefun than the adults as they wanted to go home with one another!That’s some good mojo for you. Speaking of mojo, thank you JimWarnock for stepping up with the “whole trail challenge” for thisseason. Follow Jim and you’ll see the whole trail before the end ofMarch. If you haven’t made it out lately then take a few days offand go join Duane and Judy Woltjen over in the Sylamore District,or join Ken Smith along the Buffalo River. These are great waysto put in a few days of trail work and refresh your mojo. For moreon mojo, check out Gary Erickson’s story of Clif Bar Inc., Raisingthe Bar. Gary writes about loosing and gaining mojo. We buildmojo by creating, inspiring, and inviting others to join us on ourjourneys. Life’s a game, lets play it well, and invite a friend to joinus November 14.

We love to go a wandering, Wade

Wade Colwell, President

Hike the OHT From Lake Fort Smith to Hwy 65 !!

Complete the OHT in three of the best Arkansas hiking months. All hikes begin at 9:00 a.m. Call Jim Warnock at 479-651-2914 or e-mail jdwarnock@cox.net if you plan to participate. Be sure to call in advance of each hike to ensure that you know the details and any scheduling changes. Call before 4:00 p.m. on Fridays as the hike leader may be camping and out of phone contact. Don’t stress if you can’t do every hike. You can make it up in the spring while temps are still cool.

November 6-7
Lake Fort Smith to White Rock Mt.

November 20-21
White Rock Mt. to Hwy 23/Cherry Bend

December 4-5
Hwy 23/Cherry Bend Trailhead to Lick Branch Trailhead

December 11-12
Lick Branch to Ozone/Hwy21

December 27-30
(After-Christmas extended backpacking to work off the extra calories) Ozone/Hwy 21 to Fairview/Hwy 7

January 15-16
Fairview/Hwy 7 to FR 12-1 (6.6 miles east of Richland Campground)

January 29-30
FR 1201 (6.6 miles east of Richland Campground) to Tyler Bend/Hwy 65

Weekday hikes led by Grey Owl. Note: You must call to let him know you are interested.

FEBRUARY 23: F R 1474 to Little Mulberry; 7.7 miles. Oark area.
Be sure to call Grey Owl at 918 825 0500 to Sign up.
No Pets. 8:00 A M

MARCH 16: Cedar Creek and Slot Rock; Ozone Area.
FR 1003 to 1004; 7.6 miles.
Be sure to call Grey Owl at 918 825 0500 to Sign up.
No Pets. 8:00 A M






President Mike Lemaster filed this report Saturday night, February 11, 2012:”Who would be crazy enough to take on temperatures in the teens with windchill in the single digits?  OHTA Trail Maintainers is the answer and ten extremely brave individuals trekked west from Moonhull Mountain to mm 76 and cut numerous downed trees from the OHT to mm 74.5 & then hiked out down Lewis Prong Creek to awaiting parked cars for tedious rides to our homes. The following members cleared this section fully between Arbaugh TH to Moonhull Mtn TH:
Roy Senyard, Ed Hall, Bob Raney, Bob Robinson, Steve Cattaneo, Earl Rowe, John Bentley, Sean Bentley, Mike McKinnon, & Mike Lemaster. This section is 100% open for hikers once again. We began at 9 am & finished @ 4:30 pm.”The above section was reported tornado damaged by Nimble Will Nomad last summer as he was becoming the first thru hiker on the TOT and the OOO.  Look for his story back a few pages on the Newsletter Page of www.ozarkhighlandtrail.com There were several adjacent miles of severely damage cleared in the past several months in addition to the portion cleared yesterday.  Access to yesterdays work in Lewis Hollow was hampered by new owners now locking a gate in common use by local folks and the Forest Service.