Apr 30, 2021Irish Wilderness

Irish Wilderness – There’s no Google Street View on HWY J, so I took a picture. of the Camp 5 Pond access road at Irish Wilderness, Missouri. Copyright © 2021 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

I’m running out of wildernesses to visit in Missouri. Irish Wilderness is named after a group of Irish immigrants who lived in the area. The settlement was destroyed and subsequently abandoned during the American Civil War.

I’ve been working most weekends for a while, so I claimed a couple of days ‘Comp. Time’ for my four-day trip.

I’d forgotten about Irish Wilderness until earlier this year a friend asked if I’d hiked it. That started me researching. It’s one of the larger wildernesses, and a one-hundred-and-fifty-ish mile drive from Springfield. According to the write-ups I’ve read, it’s a difficult trail to follow. So the extra time might come in handy. Water is also an issue, there’s not supposed to be a lot on two of the longer sections of the trail. My plan was fairly simple, take the White’s Creek Trail counterclockwise starting with the North Loop.

Given the trail’s reputation of being hard to follow, I deliberately picked late spring for this hike in the hope that a lot of people would have already hiked it this year, making it easier to follow. The trail map I had was based on the GPS coordinates provided by Ouachitas Maps, which despite being over ten years old, proved to be excellent, and very accurate.

Just to give myself a challenge, I was considering starting with an eight-mile hike to Bliss Spring. As I arrived after midday, I needed to get moving.

Copyright © 2021 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

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