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Experiencing the “Epic” Berryman Trail, well worth the detour

POTOSI – Although resurfacing of Berryman Road from Highway 8 to Berryman Trailhead and Campground is currently underway, visitors may take alternate routes to reach this recreation destination.

Not only is the Berryman Trail officially registered as a National Scenic Trail, the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) designated the 24-mile-long loop-trail with its “Epic” status—making it the only trail in Missouri to hold this honorary title. The western part of Berryman Trail’s loop also serves as a section of the Ozark Trail, a 392-mile trail system stretching across Southeastern Missouri. The Potosi/Fredericktown Ranger District of Mark Twain National Forest manages the trail.

The Berryman Trail is open to hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrian users. Special recreation events are hosted at the trail several times a year, including; mountain bike races, long distance runs, and equestrian events.

The Civilian Conservation Corps constructed the original trail almost a century ago; and until recently, it was showing its age.

“Years of deferred maintenance and sections not designed to modern recreation standards had left the trail in serious need of some help,” stated Wilderness and Trail Manager Jonathan Brooks.

Starting six years ago, the Mark Twain National Forest partnered with the Ozark Trail Association and began re-routing neglected and poorly designed sections of Berryman Trail. To date, the Ozark Trail Association and Forest Service have relocated more than five miles of trail to improve its sustainability and provide for a better user experience. Another one and a half miles of re-location and trail-work in the Kimlin Hollow area is slated for the fall of 2016.

“On behalf of Mark Twain National Forest, I want to thank the Ozark Trail Association for making these repairs possible,” said Acting Forest Supervisor Wade Spang.

“The trail is better than ever and sees all 24 miles getting maintained annually,” said Brooks. “So break out your backpack, saddle up your horse, or pump up those mountain bike tires and come out and experience the Berryman Trail for yourself!”

The Berryman Trail, Campground, and Recreation Area will remain open to the public during the resurfacing project; but visitors will need to use other roads to reach it. Alternative routes to access the Berryman Recreation Area are identified as follows:

• From Potosi: Take Hwy 185 to left onto Hwy AA, to right onto Floyd Tower road, to left onto Berryman Road, to campground on right; or take Hwy 8 to right onto FR2438 (aka Flatwoods Road), to left onto Floyd Tower Road, to left onto Berryman Road, to campground on the right.

• From Steelville: Take Hwy 8 to Butts Road (aka Bass Resort turnoff), to right onto FR2265, which merges into Floyd Tower Road, to right onto Berryman Road to campground on the right.

For more Information on the Berryman Trail or the Ozark Trail, Contact the Potosi/Fredericktown Ranger District at 573-438-5427 or Contact the Ozark Trail Association office at 573-436-0540

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