On Wednesday, December 30th, I joined 3 other hikers from the motrails group for a day hike of the northern half of the Trace Creek section of the Ozark Trail. It was fun to finally be able to put a face to some of the names of people I'd met online. I was finally able to meet Danny McMurphy face to face. He is the expert on hiking trails in Missouri. His website is the go-to source for information on Missouri hiking trails.
We parked at an Unofficial parking spot off route DD near Council Bluff lake (about the half-way point of the Trace Creek section) and then shuttled up to the Hazel Creek campground and hiked south back to our cars.
I went up the night before and camped near where we left our cars so I would be sure to be on time in the morning (we were meeting at 9am). It snowed all night a very dry kind of snow. Really more like little balls of ice. I used my bivy because it's a perfect shelter for that kind of thing. I pitched my poncho over my head to keep snow out of my face.
The Trace Creek section, like the nearby Middle Fork section which I hiked last year, has many small creeks and rivers which beautify the trip. During the leaf-off time of the year there are nice views of the river valleys. The light dusting of snow added to the beauty of the woods.
One of the fun things about winter is the interesting ice formations you see on the creeks. I really can't imagine how some of them form. This one looks for all the world like "ice bats" hibernating or something.
The Ozarks is a great place to be in the winter.