Backpacking in the Ozarks National Forest

There are several backpacking areas in Ozark National Forest. Here are some of them.

1. East Fork Wilderness: The name of the forest is derived from the East Fork of the Illinois Bayou, which divides the wilderness from the southwest to the northeast. Hiking and horseback riding are famous activities in the wilderness.  

2. North Slyamore Creek:  This is a trail that is along the North Slyamore Creek, from which its name is derived. Hikers come across different forested landscapes, starting from lower streamside elevations to higher ridges. Three trailheads are found in the district’s recreational area – Barkshed, Blanchard springs, and Gunner pool.

3. Bayou Bluff Recreation Area: The spot is found near Illinois Bayou. The spot shows beautiful views and scenic bluffs.  

4. Ozone Recreation Area: This area comprises eight family units, picnicking, hiking, and pavilion rentals. Trailers camping are permitted, but no unique structures are provided.

5. Richland Creek Wilderness: There are no developed trails in this wilderness, but a system of old logging trails that pass through the spot and are randomly used. The Richland Creek Forest is famous for its waterfalls and crystal clear creeks.

New travelers to the US

To begin with, we remind you that the ESTA visa is also called the “Visa Waiver Program” and, in fact, replaces traditional visas in some situations and for some travelers. Another peculiarity of this system is that the travel authorization application is made directly online without going to an administrative office or setting up a file with different documents. To get authorization to go to the United States, just get an online form.

In this form, it is necessary to provide information relating to the applicant’s identity, such as name, surname, date of birth, address, email address, and passport number because it is precise with this number that the ESTA is associated. Once the file has been received and studied, the US authorities in charge of issuing the ESTAs send a response directly by email to the electronic address provided in the form. This, therefore, allows you to know whether the travel authorization has been granted or not. Suppose you receive an email stating that the ESTA application number has been granted. In that case, it means that you can go to the United States simply by presenting the passport whose number was provided on the application form.

Therefore, it is evident that the ESTA is not a paper document or a stamp affixed to the passport in a physical way but rather a document associated with the latter electronically. To verify that the traveler actually has the necessary travel authorization, US border agents and boarding staff simply scan their passports to view this information on their screen.

Therefore, it is absolutely not mandatory to have any other official document with you than your passport to travel to the United States. Consequently, it is in no case mandatory to print the ESTA or have it with you during the trip. However, as we will explain below, it is still good to keep a written authorization record.

Hotels Near Ozark National Forest

  • Sunset Inn Clarksville: This hotel provides a picnic area and barbecue grills with a high-speed internet connection and self-parking.
  • Best Western Sherwood Inn:  This inn has a spa and an outdoor pool with a computer station equipped with a high-speed internet connection. The hotel offers free breakfast, newspaper, express check-in, a business center, self-parking, and laundry facilities.

Other hotels include:

  • Quality Inn & Suites
  • Super 8 by Wyndham Clarksville AR
  • Hampton Inn Clarksville
  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites

Ozark National Forest Waterfalls

If there is an opportunity for you to visit Ozark national forest in the rainy season, you will find several hundreds of waterfalls. Not only does Ozark possess a few of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country, but several of them are similarly found in some fascinating locations also, making the visit worth it in any season.

  • Amber Falls
  • Black Bear Falls
  • Big Creek Cave Falls
  • Cabin Falls
  • Bowers Hollow Falls

Ozark National Forest Cave

The Ozark National Forest has several wind caves, specifically in the Slyamore Ranger District. Numerous caves the landscape and are home to several threatened and precious species of animals and plants.

Even though several smaller caves are worth touring, most of the bigger caves are locked to keep the animal species and bat safe during mating season.

One of the most toured sites and scenic caves in Ozark National Forest is Blanchard Springs Carven, close to Mountain Home, Arkansas. The cave is open all year round, and the Park services guided cave tours. A huge spring is found at the end of the cave and is a scenic spot to have a family picnic or relax. Similarly, close wilderness areas and hiking trails offer days or hours of recreation.

Ozark National Forest Hunting

Ozark National Forests allow hunting anywhere except for regions closed by the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, developed recreation spots, or other posted areas. Every state fishing or hunting fees, seasons, and regulations apply on Ozark National Forest land.

Below are some areas where hunting takes place in Ozark National Forest:

1. The Leatherwood Wilderness located on the Slyamore Ranger District comprises 16 838 acres. It is located approximately twenty miles northwest of Mountain View and fifteen miles south of Mountain Home, AR.  

2. Salt Fork Walk in Turkey Hunting Area is found north of Forest Service Rd 1003 north and east of White Rock Mountain, south of Forest Service Rd 1007, west of FS Rd 1509 on the Boston Mountains Ranger District of Ozark national forest. This spot is not safe for casual hikers since it has steep terrain.

3. The East Fork Wilderness surrounds 10,777 acres along the southern perimeter of Boston Mountain. The forest is depicted by flat circular ridges separated by craters with vertical slopes of translucent rock walls.