Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 19

A hiker pauses to take in the snowy views of Paddy Creek Wilderness. Winter also is the best time to see small cascades along Little Paddy Creek.
" People think it will be well-signed, like an average
trail, " Tray says, noting that's not the case in an area
meant to display as little impact on nature as possible.
" When you're talking wilderness, those are going to be
much fewer in number and low-key, " he adds. " That's what
we want. "
Despite challenging terrain, Paddy
Creek is one of the best of Missouri's eight
wilderness areas for a first-time visitor.
Backpackers might endeavor to complete the
Slabtown
whole trail in one long day or weekend, but
two loops provide options for day hikers. ConRoby
stant use and volunteer maintenance from the
Back Country Horsemen of Missouri mean the
trail is typically easier to follow.
No matter your intensity level, you'll want to arrive
prepared. Winter hikes in particular mean dressing not
only for the weather but also for changes in the forecast.
Tray advises bringing along an extra set of shoes as the
bridge-less trail crosses Paddy Creek in several places. And
hydration remains vitally important even when the summer sun isn't shining.

By trail's end, you've only scratched the surface of adventures available around Paddy Creek. Cole Creek Trail
southwest of Waynesville gives access to 20 miles of trails
along the Gasconade River, while Kaintuck Hollow also offers multiple segments of varying degrees of difficulty.
Those looking for a shorter, easier-to-access hike should
try the Cedar Bluff Trail at Lane Spring just west of Highway 63. You may want to bring a fishing pole: Mill Creek
near Kaintuck Hollow is one of the state's Blue Ribbon
Trout Areas, and a guided or self-starter trip down
the Big Piney River for smallmouth is the epitome of
Ozarks float fishing. If your idea of leisure is stoking
the fire at camp or taking a dip on a warm winter
day, Paddy Creek Recreation Area makes for an
excellent base camp to access the area's wonders.
" It's a great place to unwind and relax, " Tray says.
" Paddy Creek is the heart of it all. "
For more information about Paddy Creek Wilderness
and the surrounding area, contact the Houston-Rolla-Cedar
Creek Ranger District at 417-967-4194 or visit www.
fs.usda.gov/mtnf.
MARCH 2021 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP

19


http://www.fs.usda.gov/mtnf http://www.fs.usda.gov/mtnf http://www.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Rural Missouri - March 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - March 2021

Contents
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - Contents
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 4
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 5
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Rural Missouri - March 2021 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - Cover4
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