FAQ

Here are a list of questions we get asked often-- click on a link for an answer, or just scroll down the page.

Who are you?
The Ozark Trail Association is a grass-roots non-profit volunteer group dedicated to the construction, maintenance and promotion of the Ozark Trail.  We were incorporated in December, 2002.

What do you do?
We provide volunteer resources to Ozark Trail land managers to build new trail, repair and maintain existing trail, and promote awareness and use of the trail.  We hold training workshops, schedule work events, monitor trail conditions, manage the Adopt-A-Trail program assist in trail planning.  We also run this website as means of publicizing the Ozark Trail and providing the public with much-needed trail information and maps.

What is the Ozark Trail?
The Ozark Trail is nearly 400 miles of trail that winds through the Missouri Ozarks, the result of an idea conceived in 1977 to run a trail from St. Louis to the Arkansas border and eventually connect with the Ozark Highlands Trail in Arkansas to create a 700-mile through-trail. Much of the trail is open to bicycle and equestrian traffic, and the entire trail is open for hiking. For more history of the trail, click here.

Who decided where the trail will go?
The Ozark Trail Council collectively determine the general route, while individual land stewards are responsible for specific section layout and construction.

What's the "OTC?"
The Ozark Trail Council.  Its purpose is to promote the Ozark Trail; to establish guidelines for its construction, maintenance, marking, and mapping; to publicize the trail; and generally to provide an organizational framework within which all matters relating to the Ozark Trail in Missouri can be discussed and resolved.  Landowners, land managers, and trail users are all represented on the Council.  Key members include: Mark Twain National Forest, Ozark National Scenic Riverways, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Pioneer Forest, the Sierra Club, the Ozark Society, the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, and the Conservation Federation of Missouri.

Is the OTA a replacement for the OTC?
We're a volunteer group which leads the OTC, but the purpose of the council is to provide representation for land stewards and various trail users. We provide the OTC land stewards with volunteer resources to build and maintain trail.

How do I become a member of the Ozark Trail Association?
Fill out a membership application and send it to us with your membership dues.  You can even do it online!  Visit our membership page for more information.

How is my donation being spent?
A portion of the membership dues is spent on member patches, brochures, printing and mailing.  The remainder is spent on trail construction, maintenance and promotion, less small administration costs.

Can I adopt a trail for maintenance?
Yes.  Click here for more information.

What experience do I need to work on the trail?
None.  Just show up at an outing or event!  You'll be productive from the start, and gain experience as you go.  If you like, you can attend one of our trail workshops.

Can I bring my children and/or my dog to OTA events?
Yes!  We encourage family participation.  Be aware that some areas require pets to be on leashes.  A guardian must accompany anyone under the age of 18.

When do you hold trail training, and where?
Trail crew training will be held periodically across the Ozark region as needed.  We are also working with the Forest Service to have chainsaw certification training in Rolla or Potosi.  Our St. Louis training is held in at Powder Valley and Kirkwood Parks.  We're working with groups in West Plains and Poplar Bluff to hold training workshops in those areas.  Please consult our Volunteer page for current events.  

How athletic or in-shape do I need to be to work on the trail?
Not all the work is strenuous.  If you're comfortable walking with a pair of loppers pruning small limbs, we can use your help!  We've have several people over 70 working on the trail.

How do I report trail problems, like downed trees, washouts and such?
You can contact us at sawyer@ozarktrail.com for down trees or trailconditions@ozarktrail.com for general problems.

Why aren't horses and bikes allowed on some places of the trail?
Each land steward sets the rules for trail use on their property.  A land manager may restrict horse and bike traffic due to fragile land issues, existing agency regulations or some other reason.  Restrictions are not determined by the OTC or the OTA; please contact the individual land steward for more information.

When will the trail be completed?
It depends largely on volunteers like you helping to build and maintain the trail.  It will also depend on obtaining easements or land purchases where the proposed trail corridor falls outside publicly owned lands.  The Ozark Trail Association is not involved in land purchases, nor do we determine the overall trail corridor (this is the job of the OTC).

I would like a shirt, cap or a patch-- how can I buy one?
We'll have an online store, ordering information, and pictures online in the future, but for now you can either contact Abi to order, download an order form, or attend an OTA outing or Event) where we usually have shirts, caps, and other OTA items.

Wal-Mart sells "Ozark Trail" merchandise-- is there a connection?
There is no connection between Wal-Mart's "Ozark Trail" products and Missouri's Ozark Trail. The OT trail system was in place prior to Wal-Mart's use of this brand. If you have a question about a product Wal-Mart sells under this brand name, contact the store where you purchased it.

Who do I contact to make a donation?
For cash or non-cash donations (other than membership dues), please contact Steve Coates at (573) 436-0540, or email him: steve.coates@ozarktrail.com .  In addition to cash, you might consider donating professional services (accounting, legal, public relations, etc.).

Is my donation tax deductible?
Yes.  We received IRS "501(c)(3)" status in 2004, so all donations are tax deductible.

What is your address and phone number?
The Ozark Trail Association
406 W. High St.
Potosi, MO 63664
(573) 436-0540