Why the Ozarks?

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Yellow Rock Bluff, Arkansas

While selecting photos for a presentation to the Trailblazers of Fort Smith, I realized the Ozarks could hold their own following the High Sierras of California. The day of the program, photos transitioned smoothly from the John Muir Trail to the Ozarks and the audience appreciated the beauty and uniqueness of both regions without any “let down” as we moved into the Ozarks.

Why the Ozarks?

How about an extended hiking season and a variety of beauty? When mountainous regions around the United States are becoming impassable due to snow, the Ozark Mountains are beginning their long hiking season with a fall transformation to red and golden foliage.

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Alley Spring, Missouri

Lake Alma Sunset

A fall sunset over Lake Alma in Arkansas

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Fall color on sandstone

As winter approaches and leaves drop, majestic vistas and towering rock formations are revealed.

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Pedestal Rocks Scenic Area, Arkansas

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Seasonal rains bring beautiful waterfalls year round but especially in the spring when wildflowers sparkle throughout the region, especially in open glades and along steep hillsides.

 

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Long Creek Falls, Missouri

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Shepherd Spring Waterfall at Lake Fort Smith State Park, Arkansas

Natural springs flow year-round, often showing some of their most lovely character during the “off season” of winter. You’ll also find smaller crowds in the Ozarks during the winter months.

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Cascade below Maramec Spring, Missouri

I’m often asked my favorite trail. My answer is, “The last trail I hiked.” While I do enjoy the larger than life bucket-list trails offered by California, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Montana, I always look forward to returning to the Ozarks. They hold their own in comparison with landscapes anywhere in the United States. If you’re looking for scenic beauty, an extended hiking season and smaller crowds, explore the Ozarks!

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Clifty Creek Natural Arch, Missouri

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Kessler Mountain Rock City, Arkansas

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Big Spring, Missouri

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Young hiker taking in the views near Whitaker Point, Arkansas

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Early morning coffee in the Ozarks

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If you want to explore some of the trails pictured in this post, check out Five Star Trails: The Ozarks.

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