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Be mindful of the landslide that occurred in the counter-clockwise direction (mile 15 and 14) as of January 7th, 2019. But other than that, the trail was clearly marked and offered beautiful scenery. I like to recommend this trail to people that are just getting into backpacking, but even if you aren’t a beginner, you will love this small section of the Ozarks that Northwest Arkansas has to offer.

Hiked 12/18. Nice variety of surface for easy to moderate hike. But little elevation change. Good tree coverage for hotter weather. Or to block wind. A creek crossing in two places that is higher than shoes and boots. And beautiful water fall area. Nice spot to stop for a while.
More isolated access off gravel forest road. Views mostly of trees and the two creek areas with one opening to expansive view.
Dog friendly
met 3 parties on trail
No restrooms at parking area or water

backpacking
12 days ago

The trail was difficult at times (maybe my own fault, because I overestimated my beginner abilities ;-) ). Besides that, amazing views. Our dog enjoyed himself too. We will definitely return.

backpacking
13 days ago

The beginning and the end of the hike will test you, but the landscape is worth it. Highly recommend.

backpacking
27 days ago

Great trail. Easy to keep a good pace but can lack markings in places so be sure to have a good way to navigate. Great trail for an easy weekend backpacking trip.

hiking
28 days ago

Well maintained trail. Two nice campgrounds at both ends of the loop. It isn't too challenging. I went in August, and it was pretty humid out and there seemed to be a decent amount of water sources on the West side. The next day on the east side there was nothing, or close to no water sources. So if you come across any water on the east side be sure to fill up.

hiking
29 days ago

Beautiful hiking spot!

Some spots can get overgrown, and some smaller trees may have fallen over the trail. Nothing that's hard to step over or go around. The trails are very well marked, but keep an eye out for some spots that may cross the bigger creeks. Almost all of the trails are close to the water most of the way. This can make for good fun, but also lots of bugs and gnats in the warmer months. Pack lots of water and some snacks, as there are connectors to other trails you can do in the same day. This is a great park, and has a good variety of difficulty in the trails, and length.

This is one of my favorite trails in Missouri. Beautiful views, great for an overnight backpacking trip. Great length for taking out first time backpackers.

Unfortunately, someone broke a window on our vehicle with a rock. There was nothing in the car and beer cans left in the parking lot.

Just wanted to leave a heads up here for people heading that way.

I will definitely hike this magical trail again despite this misfortune!

hiking
1 month ago

great trail, but not a lot of markings so a map or GPS would be really helpful. beautiful scenery. it was raining when we hiked it so we were completely alone.

Lmao what a joke. Yes a good trail for this part of the country, but THE DRAMA of inexperienced hikers/reviewers. I get it, not everyone has climbed a mountain or even done a 14er. But the clamorous reviews of some group needing to come down because of a little rain and thinking they were about to die...really ridiculous.

Fairly easy hike, can be done in 1 day, more fun in 2.

4 stars because it’s the best you’ll get down there. -1 for the drama, but if this was in any other part of the country...it would be 1 Star. Btw there is some wildlife, no bears but “little bears” that may get into your pack. So pack smart!

Ran this section with friends point to point southbound from Hwy J trailhead to Hwy P / Hwy 72 trailhead on 11/23/18. The trail was in good shape and we had no trouble finding our way. Especially liked the Sutton Bluff section. Fenix 3 GPS watch got 28.4 miles with 4200’ of gain

https://www.strava.com/activities/1981156432

backpacking
1 month ago

The trail is nice and well marked. It's easy to access from northwest arkansas. We hiked it clockwise and camped at the primitive camping sites arpund 9.5 miles. i think there were 6 primitive campsites and everyone of them was occupied. It was not awful but i think its worth knowing you wont be the only one on the trail.

Great hike. Definitely a good work out. Due to the time of year though, the trail is very easy to lose because it’s completely covered by fallen leaves. Definitely be aware of where you are and periodically check the app if possible. Topographic map was very helpful. The view was great and very pleasant.

1 month ago

Beautiful area for hiking many sections of the OT

A friend and I backpacked this 11/9-10, starting at the Holt Rd trailhead and going clockwise. This is a nice hike with great camping spots along the way.
This direction was hard on my knees, especially the final downhill into Lee Creek.
I hiked this again 11/17 starting from the main trailhead and going counterclockwise. I did the whole trail in just under 7 hours and going cc was much better on my knees as I am stronger uphill hiking. The trail is well blazed and has many interesting sights along the way.

backpacking
2 months ago

Butterfield Hiking Trail 10-11 Nov 2018

Hiked the BHT clockwise doing an overnight. Weather was great with lows in the high 20s and highs in the mid 40s. No bugs, snakes or ticks. Foliage was about a week or two past peak.
Prep: No specific prep for this hike.
Hike: This hike is could be moderate or could be strenuous depending on how you hike and your experience level. The trail is generally easy to follow with sufficient blazes. Follow the natural line of drift and you shouldn't go too far off the trail. The only potential issue is where you may end up on another trail that crosses the BHT. If that's the case and you stop seeing the blazes retrace your steps and you'll be fine. There are mile markers, but while useful for landmarks, I would not take the actual distance as gospel. You will go 35 minutes to cover a mile while and with similar terrain and pace the next mile will be 15 minutes. There are some places where the trail is rocky, not as in you climb up rocks but a bunch of brick sized rocks littering the ground. Throw in the leaves covering the trail and this could be tough if you have knees or ankles that susceptible to being tweaked. I didn't use poles but some in my party really needed them to avoid bodily damage.

You need to stop by the visitor center and they will log you in and give you a parking pass for your car if you are overnighting. They will give you a copy of a sketch map and talk through any nonintuitive areas of the trail (get to the start, and the finish). With the map and a simple compass you are set as the trail is fundamentally a box bounded by two creeks. Once you start there is a some incline as you head up the ridgeline until about mile 2.5. You run the highground for a while and then by about mile 5 you are back by the creek. Once you pass mile 7 the trail becomes covered with the brick sized rocks. I edged up to the west (up the slope a bit) to see if conditions improved but they didn't. Around mile 9.5 the trail goes up and there is one chute of about 20m where you need to use your hands (about mile 10) but I wouldn't really call it a scramble. Then the trail rides the ridgeline. A little past mile 13 you have a downslope that gets you down the ridge and then you are at the creek. There is caution tape where the trail is closed by slide. Go about 50m left (as you face the creek) and there are some rocks where you can cross. If the water level is higher I could see getting your feet wet. After that another .5 mile and you are back at the parking lot.

Camping Sites: The great thing about this park is that there are primitive camp sites sprinkled throughout. Some are set along the creeks and some are in the higher ground. There are good concentrations about mile 5 and mile 9.5 (Junction Creek). We stayed at Junction Creek. It sits about 400m off of the main trail and the intersection to the trail that leads to it is marked. Previous campers have made 7-8 fire circles, stone furniture etc and there was plenty of deadfall to make a nice fire. About 5 groups ended up camping in the area. If you are looking for complete privacy JC isn't the place for you (at least on a weekend).

Gear: Standard overnight gear. Some reviews reported water resupply was an issue but you are near creeks for a lot of the route and the water levels looked good at this time of year. I used about 3l including camp stuff and rehydrating meals.

Additional notes: Check and see when hunting season is. We found out it was going on when we checked in. The visitor center will give you a flourescent vest to throw on your pack but the savvy folks brought a blaze hat or something similar. A lot of the trail in in the Forest where hunting is permitted and not the park . While we did not see any hunters you can hear them shooting fairly often so you know they are there.

There are some caves in the park but currently they are closed due to some disease that the bats are getting. If caving is your thing call the park for updates.

Overall a good hike with great camping opportunities.

hiking
2 months ago

very enjoyable and great overnight trail.

Did the section as a day hike from the south to Onandoga Cave SP. Found the north half overgrown, but nice trail, rock formations, views, and capped the trip touring the cave.

backpacking
2 months ago

A nice walk in the woods. Some nice elevation changes that will get your heart pumping. The highlight of this trail are the fantastic camping spots by the creek. Several have pre-made chairs made from rocks with good back support. The trail has nice rock formations with moss and lichen.

hiking
2 months ago

A really nice hike. Many great views, the water level is high as a result of the recent rain, but the trail has held up pretty well, waterproof hiking boots helped

backpacking
3 months ago

great trail for a day hike or short backpack. gorgeous views

Well-marked. Great views. One of the best in Missouri

This is a great trail. There were a couple of overgrown places and come trails aren't marked well. This trail had great sites to camp.

3 months ago

Finally made it there! Did found the waterless fountain, yes it did got little confusing to find it. Once you reach creek from south path (which is 4 miles long) follow down the creek 1/4 of mile. If you come from north side (shortest way 2.6 miles) also follow down creek on your own. Seek and u will find :)

hiking
3 months ago

at the overlook got on the wrong trail and off a bit. took a mile or so to work our way back on. didn't make it to waterfall. next time.

Fun over nighter!

hiking
3 months ago

We took the Long Creek trail that is a part of this system. It is a much shorter hike with rocky terrain, fallen timber, beautiful views, places to camp, and an exceptional finale of stunning bluffs and a winding stream to play in. Going down a steady slope going in and hiking up a gradual, steady incline on the way back out. Approximately 3/4 of a mile total hike, but plenty of options to walk around the bluffs and stream to explore.

backpacking
3 months ago

This is a well maintained trail. Lots of gravel as expected in this part of Missouri so the trail drains well after rain. Thanks to everyone that maintains the trail. It looks great and has no aggressive up or downs. There seems to be confusion about the mileage.. printed map says 24 miles, Trails indicates 25 miles, our GPS recorded 27 miles, the trail is marked with mile/half mile markers, last one we passed was 26.5. We took our backpacking gear and were using this trip to gauge our maximum mileage per day. It was a surprise when we hit mile marker 24 and still had an unknown number of miles to go. The next 3 miles were a real mental challenge. So we completed the 27 mile loop in one day with our backpacking gear and realized we are no longer 18 years old..if you try this in one day get started early and take enough gear to get through the night if you need to stop. Next time we do this trail we will split it into 2 days.

This was my first ever over night. It was a fantastic 2 days on the trail. beautiful scenery and a great trail to test your skills! Can't wait to do it again.

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