OT - Courtois Creek Section
This section is the gateway to the Ozarks--starting at Onondaga Cave State Park and winding through the Huzzah State Forest/Conservation Area, opening into the lead district of Missouri and the Mark Twain National Forest, view variegated wildlife, flora, and scenery and end up at Hazel Creek on the south. This 45-mile long section includes 7.5 miles of state land north of the Narrows Trailhead, crosses private land at the Bass Resort, follows the Berryman Trail from about mile 22 through mile 32, and connects to the Trace Creek Section on the south at the Hazel Creek Trailhead. It is part of the over 220 mile continuous through-trail. Use caution after periods of rain as the creek crossings can be hazardous. This section of trail includes springs, creeks and other water locations, as well as some popular places for trailside camping.
At a Glance
|Camp at least 100 feet from the trail, treat all water used, bury human waste and pack out all trash Foot traffic only and no trailside camping on non-national Forest land north of the Narrows trailhead.
|Forest Service and Ozark Trail Association
General InformationGeneral Notes:
For additional information on the Ozark Trail, including trail conditions and detailed maps, visit the Ozark Trail Association.
There are six trailheads, five of which serve the National Forest portion of this section, so that trips of varying lengths can be accommodated.
Onondaga Trailhead - From St. Louis, take I-44 west to Hwy. H west of Sullivan, then south past Onondaga State Park to the Huzzah Conservation Area. This marks the northernmost trailhead for this section. There is additional parking at Ozark Outdoors.
Narrows Trailhead - From Steelville, MO, drive east on Highway 8 for 10 miles; turn left on Butts Road; travel north about 0.5 miles and turn left on Lower Narrows Road. Trailhead is about 1.5 miles north on Lower Narrows Road
Bass Resort Trailhead- From Steelville, MO, drive east on Highway 8 for 10 miles; turn left on Butts Road and travel north about 1.5 miles to Bass Resort. Register at the office if you wish to park.
Harmon Springs Trailhead - From Potosi, MO, drive west on Highway 8 for 16.5 miles; turn right on Berryman Rd./Co. Rd. 207; go north about 4 miles and turn left on Floyd Tower Rd./Co. Rd. 205. Go north and west on Floyd Tower Rd. for about 5 miles and turn right on road leading to trailhead. If you come to Forest Road 2284, double back about 0.75 miles.
Highway 8 Trailhead- From Potosi, MO, drive west on Highway 8 for 17 miles or 18.5 miles east on Highway 8 from Steelville, MO. There is parking at the trailhead is on the north side of Highway 8. The trail crosses Highway 8 at this location.
Hazel Creek Trailhead - From Potosi, MO, drive south on Highway P for 14 miles; turn right on Highway C and travel west for 4 miles to Highway Z, then continue northwest on Highway Z for 2 miles. After pavement ends, continue straight ahead on Co. Rd. 657 for 1 mile to Hazel Creek Campground on the left.
Map showing recreational areas. Map Information
Mountain BikingRecreation areas with activity Mountain Biking:
Mountain bike opportunities are available from the Narrows Trailhead to the Hazel Creek Trailhead, about 37 miles one way, or you can utilize one or more of the intermediate trailheads to provide a shorter route.. Some of the newer parts of the trail have particularly good “flow”, since those sections were designed and constructed with mountain bikes in mind. The oldest trail segments, including the portion that overlaps with the Berryman, are rough, technical, and challenging.
Dispersed CampingRecreation areas with activity Dispersed Camping:
Dispersed camping is the term used for free camping anywhere in the National Forest OUTSIDE of a designated campground. Dispersed camping means there are no toilets, no structures, no trash cans, no treated water, and no fire grates. There are extra responsibilities required for this type of camp. It's a must to educate yourself before you try it, but we hope the adventure of dispersed camping in the Mark Twain National Forest calls to you!
- Pick a Campsite and follow the Leave No Trace Principles
- Camp 100 feet away from trails and water sources.
- Treat any water found in the area before consuming it.
- Human waste (Feces) must be buried at least 6 inches deep and covered.
- Pack out all of your garbage.
Day HikingRecreation areas with activity Day Hiking:
The numerous trailheads allow you to select a trail length and section that suits your preferences. Keep in mind that you will be sharing the trail with other users. Be prepared to ford the creek in some sections.
BackpackingRecreation areas with activity Backpacking:
Camping is allowed along most parts of the trail in the National Forest, if at least 100 feet from the trail. There are several popular camping areas available, including Hazel Creek, Harmon Spring, Beecher Spring, and other areas near water. Be sure to treat all water collected before drinking it. Keep in mind that you will be sharing the trail with other users. Be prepared to ford the creek in some sections.
Horse RidingRecreation areas with activity Horse Riding:
Horseback Riding opportunities are available from the Narrows Trailhead to the Hazel Creek Trailhead, about 37 miles one way, or you can utilize one or more of the intermediate trailheads to provide a shorter route. Keep in mind that you will be sharing the trail with other users. Avoid using the trail during wet conditions.