Route: Ozark Trail (MO)

Missouri, US
243.1 mi


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:


Rik Denicke posted (1/26/2018):

Hi All,

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 (

Hi Everyone,

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,


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In reply to by rwdkosak

Congrats on your effort out there! I will be excited to follow along in your next attempt!

Hi All!

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!

Rik Denicke

Hey Rik,

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.



Thanks Matt! It was a true test for sure. Happy to answer questions. You can email direct to me at if you’d like. An unsupported trip would be awesome!!



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:

David Stores

Hey everybody, I’m announcing that I am planning a supported FKT on the Ozark Trail starting on Thursday April 2 at 10am. I’m planning on starting at the western trail head(4155) and traveling north to Onondaga. I will be using a Garmin in reach and Garmin 735xt to document the trip as well as my phone to take pictures. I will also provide a trip report very shortly after I am done. My 200 mile trail race which was scheduled for the same weekend got canceled so this is the next best thing. 

Joe, do you have a tracking link yet? I'm sure others are excited to follow along.

Unfortunately tomorrow I will not be starting my FKT due to spots on the trail that are currently flooded. There was at least one spot that I know  was impassable with no signs of receding especially with more rain in the forecast. So for now the trail will win. However this is just a small obstacle in my journey. As of now this journey is just postponed. The rains will eventually quit and I will be back. When a date is set I will let everyone know.

Hi everyone! I am planning on starting an unsupported FKT along the Ozark Trail from TH 4155 at the Eleven Point Section heading NoBo to the Onondaga TH. I should have started by 4 AM on Monday November 16, 2020. I’ll have a spot tracker and a garmin fenix 6 pro with me. Here is the spot link:

I’ll submit a trip report afterwards! 


Joe Miller


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Hey everybody,


I’m announcing that I am planning a self-supported FKT on the Ozark Trail starting on Tuesday October 19th at 6 am. I’m planning on starting at the western trail head(4155) and traveling north to Onondaga. I will be using a Garmin mini inReach and Garmin 935 to document the trip as well as my phone to take pictures. Trip report after I finish. 


Hey Rob,

I’m a local runner in the Columbia area and bumped into you before your FKT attempt. Thinking about doing the same this spring. Wondering if I could buy you lunch or a drink to discuss your attempt and some questions I had. Please let me know if that could work.


Hi, I will be attempting an unsupported FKT on the Ozark Trail starting on May 15, 2022. I will be starting at the northern terminus, near Onondaga Cave SP and going south to the southern terminus near Thomasville, MO. I will be backpacking and camping along the way, so it will take me a few days. I will have a Garmin in-reach mini GPS and a Garmin Fenix 6S watch and will take some pictures along the way. I picked SoBo so I can get across the Courtois River ASAP while it is relatively safe to ford. I can be tracked at