Biking the Eleven Point Section

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Biking the Eleven Point Section

Postby balexander87 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:01 am

I grew up a few miles west of Thomasville, 20 minutes from the western terminus of the Eleven Point Section of the Ozark Trail. Unfortunately, I never learned about the trail until I had moved away from home. Living in a Michigan now, I make it home a couple times a year to see the family. With work holidays, the 4th of July usually works well for taking a week off and heading back to the Ozark hills.

This past week, I decided to bring the bike along and explore the trail a little. The morning of the 4th, my dad, bro-in-law, and I all got up early and got to the trail around 7:15. I was the only one biking, so they dropped me off and drove back to the meet-up point and started hiking back toward me. I ended up riding from FR3238 near mile 21 and rode to FR3173 just before mile 26. About 4.75 miles, I think, took me a little over an hour including a few minute break when I ran into dad and BIL. Definitely a slower pace than I usually maintain, but I was pleased to find that the trail was 99% rideable.

Overall, as others have, I'd classify this section as a raw, trechnical, adventurous ride. Small, loose rocks dominate the trail bed, requiring riders to get comfortable with the bike squirming a little underneath you. Downed trees were fairly abundant, although only a handful required a dismount. I savor challenging, technical rides, so I loved this section and look forward to exploring the area more on future trips!

A final note, I was surprised to see very little wildlife in this area. A nice consequence, though, was very few ticks. I found none, and the guys on foot only found one apiece.

If you are willing to slow down a bit and enjoy a bit of a challenge, I'd highly recommend this section!

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Re: Biking the Eleven Point Section

Postby Jim » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:44 pm

Great section of under used trail. This makes a good ride all the way to near Van Buren.
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Re: Biking the Eleven Point Section

Postby balexander87 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:37 am

It may be underused, but that adds something to the appeal, I think. Gives it a nice, remote feel :-)

I had initially planned a loop starting from the western terminus, riding east on the Blue Ridge Trail to FR 4178 just past Bockman Spring, cut down and ride back on the Ozark Trail. I think this ends up being nearly 20 miles. I was only down for a few days to visit family, so didn't want to devote most of a day to do that route, so just did the shorter ride, but really hope to give this loop a try at some point. Regardless, I'll definitely be bringing my bike along on trips home from now on!
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Re: Biking the Eleven Point Section

Postby Big Jim Mac » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:12 pm

Thanks for the post, might give this a try this fall. I've ridden south from Van Buren a few times and enjoyed it a lot, but that was during summer and every stick was a snake!
Big Jim Mac
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