This article is presented in partnership with Poplar Bluff Chamber of Commerce.

Worth the hike: Each section of the trail has its own character

I am an avid outdoorsman and love to challenge myself physically and mentally.  I grew up in the Ozarks and, although I have hiked many miles on the Ozark Trail, I have not hiked each section.

During the holidays, I started planning to hike all eight sections (230 miles) of the spine of the Ozark Trail. My plan was to hike around 18 miles on Saturday, spend the night on the trail, then hike 12 to14 miles on Sunday.

It ended up taking me nine weekends to complete this adventure and I had many weekends which were too cold, snowy or icy to camp on the trail. I was blessed to have some friends and my wife available to shuttle me and even had a few friends sporadically join me while hiking.  People have asked me, “Which was your favorite section?” I believe each section has its own unique characteristics and they are all definitely worth exploring.

—Story and photos by Steve Halter