Forest Service employees are busy readying Mark Twain National Forest campgrounds and trailheads for the upcoming holiday weekend.
I caught up with Brandon Barnes at Brazil Creek Recreation Area, where he was unloading the ZTR mower. Brandon is the newest recreation technician at the Potosi Ranger Station. He reported the grass is growing thick and fast, but he and his coworkers are doing their best to keep up with it. He also had a good reminder, especially of importance around the July 4th weekend – fireworks are not permitted on national forest lands, including campgrounds and trailheads.
The big news at Brazil Creek Recreation Area is the brand new restroom. It is a pre-formed concrete, vault toilet building and was delivered and installed on June 26-27, 2019. The old restroom was removed from the area years ago when the site was slated for downsizing. But over the years, use of Brazil Creek by hikers, mountain bikers, horse riders, and hunters was not deterred. With no restroom available, unsanitary conditions were developing, which led to the purchase of this new restroom facility. Clean-up and landscaping needs to be completed, but it should be open for use very soon.
Brazil Creek Trailhead is a popular place for horse riders and others to park or camp when accessing the 24-mile Berryman Trail and the 40-mile Courtois Section of the Ozark Trail. It is located in Washington County, Missouri, on State Highway W. There are no fees to park or camp at Brazil Creek. There is no drinking water. There is no trash service either, so visitors are asked to practice “Pack-in and Pack-out”. Hitching posts are provided.