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Discussion Starter #1
We are heading out to the Ozarks in November for a couple weeks with a friend. We are keeping the timeline and route flexible since we are just dispersed camping the whole time. If anyone has been out that way and has favorite areas, routes, or places to explore I would love to hear it! I'm using GAIA to map a general route then marking good areas to explore. Also I'm curious how common it is to run into forest rangers while on the 4x4 trails/dispersed camping....
 

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Not been there, but in to hear about it.
 

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Our club members use Gaia (for the Apple types) and I use Back Country Navigator (Android), so good choice for navigation. If you are going to do forest service trails, there should be resources available online at the US Forest Service. Try to first plan a stop at the local forest service office in that area, I've found them to be very helpful and they will have latest conditions and handouts.
 

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Like John says, contact the forest’s admin office and get a copy of the current motor vehicle use map. It will show the currently available roads and trails by vehicle type. Roads and trails are periodically closed for foliage rejuvenation or repair. These are frequently available online in PDF.

Stopping in the office on arrival gets you the latest info and gives them the impression that you are a responsible user. That may help if you have any issues later.

We are losing access in many western states because of the few irresponsible users that don’t stay on marked trails and leave trash. Please leave no trace, as they say.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all for your input! I have been using the US Forest Service topographical maps and the US Forest Service Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) for all my planning so my general route should be in the clear. I agree about stopping in at the ranger station - they are always a wealth of knowledge about best areas and current conditions. And paper maps are really good to have. I also appreciate hearing that you guys are respectful of Leave No Trace policies. I can’t stand people who don’t respect the land we are so fortunate to be able to use and I take leave no trace very seriously.

I will update this thread after the trip and maybe share the track/route we ended up taking if I can figure that out. I’m sure it will be more camping trip than serious wheeling, but that’s okay!

Fun fact about the Ozark National Forest — it is illegal to possess alcohol of any kind at any time in the Forest boundaries.... Good to be aware of these things...
 

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Always good to research and be prepared. When we run trails everybody is always on the lookout for trash and the group will stop while litter is picked up. Some of it is unintentional - side by sides (UTVs) are notorious for loosing things.

Interesting about the alcohol prohibition, never heard of that before.
 

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Pictures! Don’t forget pictures! Otherwise, it didn’t happen.
 
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