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  1. #31
    Senior Member Heber's Avatar
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    I'd like to put in a plug for my local favorite, the Ozark Trail. It is a named trail but seems to be under the radar for most people. The continuous part of the trail is over 200 miles so it fits your criterion. And it's gorgeous. Mostly oak/hickory forests (the hickory smell is awesome) interspersed with stands of tall white pine. Then occasionally the forest opens up into a glade which affords views of the surrounding hills. The terrain is quite steep in places and the geography varies from beautiful red Rhyolite in the Francois mountains to Sandstone and Dolomite further on. There are frequent creeks and streams and even occasionally great swimming holes.

    Compared to the AT the great thing you will notice is the solitude. I very seldom see other hikers. And there are no mice-infested AT shelters you have to use. You can camp anywhere you like (as long as you aren't ON the trail). No backcountry permits either, just show up and hike.

    Oh, and there are no bears to speak of. There are a few bears out there and everyone hopes to see one some day but most people never get the chance. I still hang my food but I don't worry about it much.

    The main hazards of hiking in the Ozarks are the ticks. We don't have lyme disease that I know of but ticks are a nuisance. But a little permethrin takes care of that. I do see snakes now and then, occasionally a copperhead. But it doesn't take much to avoid them. The weather can be an issue. We get really strong thunderstorms occasionally which can be exciting. But that's part of the adventure!

    The locals are also really friendly and helpful also. If they see you at a road crossing they'll almost always stop just to make sure you're okay. Really great people out there.

    So don't overlook the Ozark Trail!

  2. #32
    Senior Member Trooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KerMegan View Post
    is there a place we can find some/all the trails grouped by length/duration/difficulty /location? it would make trip planning a lot easier..
    KM
    I know that one exists for Alabama, as I thumbed through it at the Mountain High store in Madison. But, I didn't see one for the any other State. If someone were a bit more motivated than I, they could probably make a decent book out of it!

  3. #33
    Senior Member Quoddy's Avatar
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    The Long Trail would be an excellent choice for an outstanding trail. If you're in half-way decent shape you'll have little problem making the 278 trail + 5 access miles in 3 weeks. If you don't want to hike alone, there will be others you will meet along the way. I live 15 to 20 minutes from southern portion of the trail.
    I my Warbonnet

  4. #34
    Senior Member JerryW's Avatar
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    Here's a trail that's pretty close to home - The River to River Trail in Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois. It runs from the Ohio River on the east end, across Illinois, to the Mississippi River on the west end. It's about 160 miles.

    Jerry
    The "Search" function is your friend!

  5. #35
    Senior Member Breck's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the ideas everyone. You've given me a lot to get started with.

    The Ozark Trail may be a good option if my Dad doesn't buy a house out here in IN this year. He currently lives off of Bull Shoals Lake in MO and could be valuable source of resupplies and shuttles.

    The LT and SHT are still the leaders of the pack. I've bee going through some of the old Northern Hang photos on this site trying to check out the SHT. Are there any good sites for the LT that have a lot of pics? Most of the informative sites don't have much in the way of pictures.

  6. #36
    Senior Member Quoddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBreckenridge View Post
    Are there any good sites for the LT that have a lot of pics? Most of the informative sites don't have much in the way of pictures.
    You might check out photos from individual trail journals over the years at TrailJournals.com. There are hundreds of journals, most with photos, to choose from. My 2007 End-to-End journal and photos are at http://www.TrailJournals.com/Quoddy
    I my Warbonnet

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