Part of the pleasure of having written Five Star Trails: The Ozarks is revisiting the trails to look for changes and needed updates. The book currently has a rating of 4.8 stars out of five!
Since there will eventually be a second edition, we visited Roaring River State Park for a couple of nights in the campground and some good day hiking. The fall colors were beginning to pop in this southern Missouri location.
For these trails, Hiker-dog had to wear a leash, but she handled it beautifully as long as I gave her the chance to run off-trail before starting our “formal hiking.”
We walked the Tower Trail, Deer Leap, Devil’s Kitchen, and River Trails that combine to make an out-and-back figure-eight. We found it necessary to walk a different part of the Deer Leap Trail because of construction around the vent of the spring that feeds Roaring River. This was an easy adjustment and construction is a temporary thing, which was a relief.
I was impressed all over again by these trails, and it was a treat to see them in early fall colors.
I poured out water for Hiker-dog on a couple of flat rocks as we walked. Though the trails surround Roaring River, drains were pretty dry. We were pleased to arrive at a small spring. The water seeps from under the rock ledge above and is crystal clear.
The area labeled as Devil’s Kitchen is a gnarly bluff area.
Our hike’s last stretch included the River Trail and a walk along a beautiful bluff before arriving back at the end of this trail at the Ozark Chinquapin Nature Center.
After making the guidebook trail, I investigated Eagle’s Nest Trail to see if it might make a bid for inclusion in the next edition of my guidebook. It was a nice hike but included more road walking than I would expect to see in what would qualify as a most scenic trail in Missouri.
This trail’s destination is an old homesite location, but doesn’t include cabin footings or historic artifacts to explore. What I found was a beautiful location for a homesite. This is a great little trail just under three miles, but it won’t make the guidebook list. One of the hardest things about writing a guidebook to the Ozarks’ best trails is determining which trails make the cut.
While we hiked the trails, Becca enjoyed exploring along the Roaring River and reading.
Becca was a truck camper pro on this trip, having prepared food without need for refrigeration. Our Four Wheel Popup Camper gave us flexibility on accommodations and a light load. Ours is a shell model that is light and simple. The awning is essential and gives us a protected outdoor space for meals, reading, and resting.
We enjoyed camping and found our neighbors to be friendly and welcoming. We wished for more space between sites and found the highway noise unfortunate for such a beautiful river location.
If you want to hike some beautiful trails and or do some trout fishing with like-minded folks, Roaring River State Park is the place!
If you want to pick up a copy of Five Star Trails: The Ozarks, you can get it from Amazon, but if it’s available at your favorite independent bookstore, get it there. Chapters on Main in Van Buren, Arkansas, and Bookish in Fort Smith, always keeps copies on hand. While you’re there, have a cup of coffee and browse.