Welcome to SMMBCH

Date: ____________________________

United States Department of the Interior

National Park Service

Ozark National Scenic Riverways

P.O. Box 490

Van Buren, Missouri 63965

Attn: Roads and Trails Planning Team

Dear Sir or Madam,

The attached comments are in response to the questions put forward by the Roads and Trails Planning Team.

Since both the online and paper versions have limited space, I felt it was easier to respond with this printed set of comments.  Should you need any additional information, or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Again, thank you for having the “Public Scoping Meetings” and for giving us the chance to provide our input.


Name: _________________________________________________________________

(Please print)

Signature: ______________________________________________________________


(Printable copy of the Talking Points letter)


Comments: Ozark Riverways Public Meetings

Note: The following comments must be received by the Ozark National Scenic Riverways no later than 5:00pm on Wednesday, November 25, 2015.

  1. What types of opportunities should the park’s land trail system provide more of for the public?


  • Access should be located at major destinations, include rest areas with picnic tables, hitching rails, mounting blocks, and portable toilets.
  • Create public access staging and parking areas for all multi-use trail users.
  • Create overnight campgrounds for equestrian users (hikers and bikers already have overnight camping facilities)
  • Designate locations for placement for handicap accessible trails, such as with existing parking lots, campgrounds, and picnic areas at Cedar Grove, Ackers, Welch’s Spring Trail and the Susie Nichols Cabin and Trail
  1. How do you feel about multi-use trails in the park (i.e., equestrians, hikers and mountain bikers sharing the same trails)?


  • Multi-use trails should be a single track for equestrian, hiking and biking.
  • Change all the Ozark Trail (OT) designations to multi-use
  1. What tools might we use to address potential conflict between different user groups?
  • Include members from all user groups in any discussion prior to final decisions being made.
  1. National Park Service staff will be analyzing the existing network of designated trails, unauthorized/user-created trails, and potential new trail alignments within the National Riverways. What factors should we consider as we update the network of park trails and consider where new trails might go?


  • There are many trails already established along the river and ridges, showcasing the Ozark’s scenic views and natural wonders; this would be a place to start to designate multi-use trails.
  1. We will be evaluating existing roads in the Riverways to determine the best road network for the future. We want to provide a road network that allows for adequate visitor access while also protecting the natural and cultural resources of the park.  What factors do you think we should consider as we evaluate the existing road network?


  • Park Service, Public and Utility right-of-way roads should not be counted as multi-use trails when calculating trail mileage.
  • All roads and trails should have easy access for emergency vehicles.
  1. Are there other considerations we should think about as we examine the park’s road and trail system?


Using the existing road and trail system, designate outstanding destinations within the parks, using maps to help the novice user as they navigate the trails.  This would also assist trail users who may not have had access prior to the multi-user designation.  Possible outstanding destinations could include:

  • Ackers Store and Picnic Area
  • Zion Church
  • Howell-Maggard Cabin
  • Welch’s Spring, Hospital and Trail
  • Spring Creek Water Fall (river mile marker 11)
  • Bluff School
  • Flying W Beach and Camping Area (river mile marker 10.3)
  • Cedar Grove Low Water Bridge and Campground
  • Lower Parker School
  • Susie Nichols Cabin and Trail
  • Parker Ford River Crossing
  • Shafer Lakes
  • Scenic Bluff Area (river mile marker 4.5)
  • Baptist Camp
  • Big Creek Trail Rides and Campground
  • Whispering Pines Campground
  • Pinecrest Cabins and Campground

Help us keep our contact lists up-to-date and let us know how best to contact you.

_____ Email                          _____ Mail


Name: _________________________________________________________________

Organization (if any): _____________________________________________________

Address: _______________________________________________________________

City/State/Zip code: ______________________________________________________

Email address: __________________________________________________________

Mail to:

United States Department of the Interior

National Park Service

Ozark National Scenic Riverways

Attn: Roads and Trails Planning Team

PO Box 490

Van Buren, Missouri 63965

(Printable copy of Discussion points for Ozark Riverways Public Meetings (1))


One of the cornerstones of Show-Me Missouri Back Country Horsemen (SMMBCH) is educating riders and non-riders to use and promote basic trail courtesy and ethics; follow the Leave No Trace Principles and utilize best methods in trail building and maintenance.  And what better building blocks to achieve this goal than the youth of today.

Each year, several SMMBCH chapters volunteer their time, knowledge and resources, not on the trail, but with the organization of a Youth Day Event in their area.  Youth events bring seasoned trail riders together with youngsters, some who have never ridden a horse, for a fun day of learning.  This year, three chapters, NEMO River Valley, Indian Trails and Tri-Lakes conducted a youth day with a total of 31 youth participants.  The activities included, hands on experiences with horse professionals such as veterinarians, farriers, and trainers; instruction on the care and behavior of horses; instruction and practicing emergency dismounts; games and educational scenarios on horseback; a visit from a cowboy poet; assembling First Aid kits for the trail; and of course, training in the Leave No Trace Principles!  Each chapter provided a lunch for the participants as well as “take away” items including t-shirts, trophies and items for a safe trail ride.

SMMBCH understands that the youth of today will become the future stewards of our public lands, and hopefully carry on the mission of keeping trails open to all recreational stock use.  Membership in SMMBCH provides for Youth Day Events and other activities that support our mission.  If you would like to join in this effort, please click here.

NEMO 2015 Youth Ride

NEMO River Valley Chapter Youth Day participants

In. Trls. 2015 Youth Photo

At the Indian Trails Youth Day, youngsters were taught to listen to the healthy gut sounds of a horse with Dr. Erin Frandsen, DVM

In.Trls. 2015 Youth Group

Indian Trails Chapter Youth Day participants

In. Trls. 2015 Youth Photo 2

Proper horse care basics were part of the many activities at the Indian Trails Youth Day

TriLakes 2015 Youth Games

Games on horseback at the Tri-Lakes Youth Day

TriLakes 2015 Youth Group

Tri-Lakes Chapter Youth Day participants

TriLakes 2015 Youth Photo 1

In the arena with Tri-Lakes Youth Day riders

NEMO Youth mounted

NEMO River Valley youngsters on their mounts

NEMO Emergency Dismounts

Emergency dismounts were taught and practiced at the NEMO River Valley Youth Day

For more information about these youth day events and lots more great photos, visit our Facebook page:  Show Me Missouri Back Country Horsemen.