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Winter Hiking on OHT

Photos by Nick Gibson & Brad Magar Words by Brandon Herbert & Brad Magar

Cold temperatures are seldom something that draws people outdoors, unless snow is involved. This was not the case for Nick Gibson and Brad Magar. After only a week of planning , the two decided to set out on an overnight camp. But not just any overnight camp. The plan was to hike miles down a section of the Ozark Highland Trail. The big difference between this and some average hike n' camp was that temperatures would drop to as low as 29 degrees overnight.

Their intention was to get out and explore Jack Creek up to where Bear Creek intersects. The plotted path was to go from the trailhead off Shepard Springs Road, right at Frog Bayou. It's an easy hike-thru, if your willing to leave a car parked over on Ole Locke Rd. On paper, the distance would be about 6 miles, round trip, The two speak of it being beautiful time of the year to hike during leaf-off.

Overall, the below freezing temps made it difficult but being in the Ozark National Forest, seemingly in the middle of nowhere was worth it. Camping alongside Jack Creek is truly an Arkansas experience, intensified by getting to soak sore feet in the ice cold water. This is the first section of the OHT - there are many valleys and ridges of the Ozarks to get lost in.

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