Ozark Trail- Courtois Section- 9.2.11

I got out today to scout a section of the Ozark Trail (OT) that I have not done before, in fact, it is the first section starting at the Onondaga Cave area. It is the Courtois Section ( pronounced " Codeaway") I wanted to scout out some tricky areas of confusion on the map for a future hike. It was a typically hot day in Missouri, the weekend before Labor Day.

This is a 13 miles section basically between Onondaga Cave/Missouri Outdoors and Bass Resort and a little beyond.
This section is named because the narrows area separates the Courtous Creek and the Huzzah River both traveling in this area to meet the Meramac River by Onondaga Cave. This is the best "floating" area in the whole state and has several large campgrounds
 The trail through much of this section follows some old logging and ORV track, but some is single track through the woods and is quite beautiful along the ridge between the rivers

 Hiking in Missouri means lots of Cedar Trees and it smelled great
 I parked at the Narrows TH. This is not an easy Trail head to get to. Butts Rd off of HWY 8 is not marked except by the Bass Resort sign, then the Narrows Rd sign is missing and finally you have about 3 miles of gravel to reach what you think is a dead end at River Oaks Ranch.

 But you turn left in front of the ranch and it takes you down a two track that you need a high clearance vehicle to reach the TH.
The small TH marker for the Narrows section

Why does no one hike in Missouri in the summers?.... 102 F in the shade!
I am going to try and combine this and the Berryman loop into some kind of 2 or 3 night trip when the weather cools off.

Campground areas:
Ozark Outdoors
Huzzah River Resort
Bass River Resort
Onondaga Cave - Missouri State Park

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