The Ozark Trail is a hiking, backpacking, and, in many places, biking and equestrian trail under construction in the Missouri Ozarks in the United States. It is intended to reach from St. Louis to Arkansas. Over 350 miles (563 km) of the trail have been completed as of 2008, and the estimated length when finished will be at least 500 miles (805 km). When joined to the Ozark Highlands Trail in Arkansas, the full hiking distance from end to end will be at least 700 miles (1,127 km), not including a large loop through the St. Francois Mountains in Missouri.
In reality the Ozark Trail seems to be about 230 miles from the Onondaga TH in the north, to the 4155 TH in the south, as indicated on this site: https://www.ozarktrail.com/planner/index.php
Rik Denicke posted (1/26/2018):
I'll be attempting an Ozark Trail FKT March 23-26, 2018. I'll be going South-to-North on a supported attempt. Original plan was to be self-supported but time of year, unpredictable weather and logistics has me settled on having crew access. I'll be using a Delorme, Suunto Traverse, and my iphone for photos and for the few times there will be cell reception. Full report will follow shortly after the finish and I will be working with Terrain Magazine for a feature on the attempt as well. Please feel free to contact me any time before or after with questions.
- Rik Denicke (firstname.lastname@example.org)
It's been exactly a week since my attempt. The FKT is still out there. I had to end my attempt at roughly 52 hrs in and at ~140 miles. I was feeling great through the first four sections, overcoming some tricky navigation, weather and a crazy amount of elevation gain/loss and though i was a bit behind on my time, I felt great all the way up until around mile 135 or so when I developed pain that wouldn't allow me to run/hike downhill. Again, like all things that spring up during ultra events, it was a pain I hadn't ever had before and there wasn't much i could do to alleviate while on the trail....with 90-100 miles left, I knew it would be impossible on this attempt. I did try to hike out of Sutton Bluff just to see if things would work out and relax in my leg but in the end, the chance of doing greater damage was enough to stop me there and begin planning for my next attempt. I'm happy to answer any questions anyone might have about the trail. I know there are a number of others that are interested in going after this and certainly, i'll be game to finish what i've started; possibly as early as this Fall or may go for spring 2019.
All the best,
Announcing that I will begin a supported FKT attempt starting Tuesday, 3/26/2019 at 5:30am from the Western trailhead (4155) to Onondaga (S-to-N).
As yet no one has completed the trail in a single push effort, though the fastest time that can be found is roughly 9 days for a thru-hike (Lucas Boyer?). Depending on trail conditions after recent storms, I’ll look to finish in under 4days
I’ll have a delorme, suunto traverse and iPhone for documentation; tracking link is here:
Trip report will follow as quickly as after as possible and all gps files will be made available.
See you on the trail!
Congrats on the successful FKT! Looks like a grueling trek, and I can’t wait to hear your account of it.
Im hoping to try and do an unsupported attempt at it in October, and I’m wondering if you have any tips or tricks you picked up on your attempt. I’d love to hear about the trek; especially any info on the southern part of the trail where I hear it’s a little tougher terrain.
I hope your body is recovering well.
Announcing that Brandon Vaughn and I will be attempting to establish a self-supported FKT of the Ozark Trail beginning early morning on Thursday, May 23rd. We will be going the standard route NoBo (230.8 miles). It’s not the most ideal time of year to do this (oh well, right?). We will be using a Garmin inreach, Garmin Fenix 3 and a phone in order to record and document the trip.
Anyone can follow us along our journey at: https://us0-share.inreach.garmin.com/SKTJS