Maintaining the trail
Trails, once built, will not survive without maintenance. Mother Nature is constantly trying to reclaim the trail corridor. Trees fall; saplings, shrubs, grasses, vines and briars grow, etc.
One of the major roles of the Ozark Highlands Trail Association is maintaining the trails in a usable condition. OHTA has agreements with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service to provide this volunteer workforce. Without this volunteer work, the trail would soon become unusable. Want to help? Your membership in OHTA, financial donation or purchase of OHTA gear will help provide tools, supplies and support to maintenance volunteers. If you are interested in donating your time, we have periodic maintenance outings to address issues at a particular location on the trail; and we also allow members to “adopt” a section of trail that they routinely maintain. You can find maintenance events on our events page. If you are interested in adopting a section, download our Adopter’s Handbook and see what’s involved in adopting a section. You can then check out what’s available for adoption (sections in green are available). If you want to adopt a section or to find out more information, contact the Maintenance Coordinator.
Even if you can’t donate time, hikers can help by reporting trail issues to the Maintenance Coordinator. The more accurate your location information the better. Photos are also a great help. Read more about using your smartphone to report trail issues.
Adopters should report maintenance activity to the Maintenance Coordinator. This way, we can keep track of which sections have had maintenance. In addition, the land management agencies need to keep track of demographic data.
PLEASE NOTE: Any person in your maintenance crew who is not a current paid member of OHTA should download and fill out a Temporary Membership Certificate (also available from the outing leader). Only OHTA members are permitted to participate according to our Agreements for Volunteer Services with the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service.