Inaugural event to be held in conjunction with Fall Driving Tour
The Green Hills Trail Association, in cooperation with the Missouri Conservation Department, will be hosting the inaugural Poosey Fall Hiking Tour from noon until 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 20. Parking and trail access will be available at parking area 20, which is one-half mile from the Fall Driving Tour exit onto Route A. Signs will be provided to direct hikers to the Hiking Tour venue.
Hikers will have three trail options ranging from one mile to 4.5 miles, or may choose a shorter “out and back” option to fit their schedule or fitness level. The GHTA will provide trail maps, interpretive information, shuttles, and post hike refreshments for all the hiking participants.
The Fall Hiking Tour will utilize the Green Hills Trail, an 11-mile trail open to hikers, trail runners, and cyclists. Trail construction first began in 1999 with the initial one-mile segment built from the Indian Creek Community Lake dam to the trail head on LIV 510 . Utilizing the current Green Hills trail and existing service roads, trail enthusiasts have multiple linear or loop trail options with varying degrees of difficulty which can be accessed from the various MDC parking areas. Currently, some of the most popular hiking options include the Camp Ground Loop, a 1.6 mile loop that has multiple access points and a segment that parallels the edge of the lake. This loop is also a popular option for beginner mountain bikers. The Campground Loop can be accessed via LIV 515 to the entrance of the CG and parking area 11. The Bottom Hollow Loop is another popular option and can be accessed from parking areas 16, and 17 via Route U on the west, or 20 and 21 via Route A on the east. The Bottom Hollow Loop utilizes the Green Hills Trail and Bottom Hollow service road to provide a loop of approximately five miles. This loop is located north of Indian Creek Community Lake. The Bobcat Loop is approximately one mile in length and can be accessed via parking areas 20 and 21. This loop combines the Green Hills trail with a very short segment of Bottom Hollow. Longer trail options are available up to 11 miles, but would require either a two-vehicle shuttle, or can be hiked as an out and back.
The Green Hills Trail is a natural surface trail with exposed roots and rocks, creek crossings, and varying grades that parallel Indian Creek Community Lake and the surrounding drainages. The trail passes through the area known as the Kingdom of Poosey as the “hills and hollers” of the area reminded the early southern settlers of the Appalachians of Kentucky and Tennessee. The Green Hills trail provides majestic views of the hills, deep valleys, and creeks that provided food and all the essential resources for the early pioneers and this geographic area was one of the last areas habited by Native Americans in Missouri.
“The Kingdom of Poosey”, written by area outdoor writer Max Hamilton in 1952, is an excellent resource that describes the history and geographic features of the Poosey area and would serve as a great primer before hiking the Green Hills trail.
The Green Hills Trail Association is a volunteer group that was formed in 1999 with the purpose of creating recreational trail opportunities in the Green Hills region. The GHTA membership consists of hikers, trail runners, nature enthusiasts, and cyclists that collectively volunteer over 500 hours annually building and maintaining sustainable trail for public use. The Green Hills Trail is the crown jewel of the GHTA and the 11 miles of trail corridor that have been constructed would have cost between $160,000-$265,000 to commercially build, using the current American Trails estimate of $3-5 per foot for single track trail construction. The GHTA is in the process of planning signage and developing a detailed map for the Green Hills trail.
For more information about the Green Hills Trail Association and how to you can serve as a trail volunteer, visit the GHTA website at: www.greenhillstrails.org.