Ozark Highlands Trail: Arbaugh to Lick Branch

Our “weather shopping” continued and resulted in a great over-nighter on the Ozark Highlands Trail (OHT) from Arbaugh Trailhead to Lick Branch (east to west).

Recent rains provided us with good water levels at all creeks and even some drainages that are often dry. Bob counted ten times we had light sleet during the first day and evening, but never enough to justify pulling out the rain gear.

The trail provides nice rocks for sitting in the shadow of bluffs and water features.

Parker found an old pot and grill left by previous users of the area. True to our desire to leave no trace, he packed the items out to the next road crossing. He returned following the hike to carry out this and other trash we collected.

To all who use the Ozarks, please pack out what you pack in. Leaving a place better than you find it is part of the fun in backpacking.

A highlight of this trip is the vista you’ll pass between mile 61 and 60.

Conversation and a good meal was made even more enjoyable by the sunset.

When we arrived at the Wolf Ridge campsite, it was occupied by a group of nice folks from Siloam Springs, AR. We found open spots for camping uphill away from the trail so both groups had some space. An old fire ring was close to our tents but we usually opted not to use it and turned in soon after dark.

Gathering water is always a pleasure at the small stream that crosses the trail just beyond the campsite. Parker mentioned that he’d seen water in it when he did a summer day hike through the area, so I’d guess it always has water.

Temperatures hovered close to freezing. Kerry found some ice in a water bottle the next morning. After coffee, we hit the trail.

Crossing the Little Mulberry

The whole last mile of this hike is a visual treat as you pass large boulders before crossing Lick Branch.

We stopped at Oark General Store for a burger after the hike. The wood burning stove and heat of the Angry Hornet Burger warmed us up for the drive home. Bob said as we completed the hike, “This goes in the books as another great outing on the OHT!

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