The Bushwhacker Trail: A Hike through History

Uncategorized By May 30, 2023

Missouri’s 18-mile long Bushwhacker Trail offers a unique hiking experience steeped in the area’s rich history. Passing through old homestead ruins, Civil War battlegrounds, Jesse James’ hideout, as well as offering scenic views of the Little Osage River, the trail is considered moderately difficult. Hikers are advised to be prepared and to bring adequate supplies of food and water, as few amenities are available along the way. While caution is advised, the trail offers a wonderful way to discover the region’s varied past and natural beauty.

The Bushwhacker Trail: A Hike through History

If you’re looking for a truly unique outdoor adventure, look no further than the Bushwhacker Trail. This 18-mile hiking trail in Missouri offers plenty of natural beauty and scenic vistas, but what sets it apart is its rich history. Along the way, hikers will encounter remnants of the Ozark homesteading era, the Civil War, and even the Wild West.

What is the Bushwhacker Trail?

The Bushwhacker Trail is an 18-mile long hiking trail that runs through southwestern Missouri. Beginning in Nevada, Missouri, the trail follows the historic Osage Trace through Bates and Vernon counties and ends in the town of Butler.

What makes the Bushwhacker Trail unique?

What sets the Bushwhacker Trail apart from other hiking trails is its rich history. Along the way, hikers will encounter various historical markers, interpretive signs, and preserved landmarks that showcase the region’s fascinating past. Highlights include:

– Ozark homesteading era: Many of the trail’s sites date back to the Ozark homesteading era of the late 1800s and early 1900s. Hikers can see the ruins of abandoned homesteads, old logging camps, and other structures that illustrate what life was like for early settlers in the area.
– Civil War: The Bushwhacker Trail also passes through several sites important to the Civil War. This region was a hotbed of guerrilla activity during the war, and hikers can see the location of Civil War skirmishes, the ruins of a burned courthouse, and even the graves of Confederate soldiers.
– Wild West: Finally, the trail also crosses through Jesse James’ old stomping grounds. James was a notorious outlaw who used this region as a hideout, and hikers can see the site of his old hideout as well as the jail where his brother Frank was once incarcerated.

Other unique features of the Bushwhacker Trail include its natural beauty, such as stunning views of the Little Osage River and plenty of opportunities for wildlife spotting.

Is the Bushwhacker Trail difficult?

The Bushwhacker Trail is considered moderately difficult, with several steep inclines and declines over its 18-mile length. However, the majority of the trail is relatively flat and easy to navigate. Hikers with some experience should have no trouble completing the trail in a day or two.

What should I bring on the Bushwhacker Trail?

In addition to standard hiking gear like sturdy boots, water, and sunscreen, hikers on the Bushwhacker Trail should also bring a map or GPS device. Although the trail is well-marked, there are few amenities along the way, so be sure to bring enough food and water for the journey. Finally, be sure to pack bug spray, as ticks and other insects can be common in the area.

Is the Bushwhacker Trail safe?

Like all hiking trails, there are inherent risks when hiking the Bushwhacker Trail. Hikers should be aware of their surroundings and be prepared for any emergencies that may arise, including snake bites, heat exhaustion, and falls. In addition, hikers should use caution when exploring historical markers and landmarks, as old structures and buildings may be unstable.

Overall, the Bushwhacker Trail offers a unique way to experience the history and natural beauty of southwestern Missouri. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a new outdoor adventure, this trail is not to be missed.