Outdoor Adventure Journal

Off Road Camping Club

Caddo Lake State Park

posted Aug 31, 2017, 9:13 AM by ORCC Off Road Camping Club   [ updated Sep 1, 2017, 7:29 AM ]


Caddo Lake State Park - Texas

"You'll feel you're back in prehistoric times among the cypress bayous of Caddo Lake State Park"

Located near the Louisiana border on Texas' only natural lake,
the park is rich in history and scenic beauty.
Caddo Lake State Park is named for Caddo Lake, a sprawling maze of bayous and sloughs covering 26,810 acres (10,850 ha) of cypress swamp. The average depth of the lake is 8–10 ft (2.4–3.0 m), with the deep water in the bayou averaging about 20 ft (6.1 m).  Information provided by Wikiped

This lake was the only natural lake in Texas until it was artificially dammed in the early 1900s when oil was found and for flood control in 1914. A new dam replaced the old one in 1971. From its freshwater marshes, backwater swamps, and majestic moss-festooned bald cypress, Caddo Lake provided plenty of inspiration for the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s who constructed landscape-friendly structures, including the quaint cabins still in use today. Activities enjoyed by visitors include camping, birding, hiking, paddling trails, picnicking, nature study, fishing and boating.

Information & Pictures Credit To - KARNACK: CADDO LAKE STATE PARK


DirectionsTravel north of Karnack one mile on State Highway 43 to FM 2198; go east for 1/2 mile to Park Road 2. The park is 15 miles northeast of Marshall.

Location:  245 Park Rd 2, Karnack, Texas, 75661   Phone: 303.679.3351

Latitude: 32.680233  Longitude: -94.176361

Caddo Lake State Park:  Link


Comment:  Our family has been going down to Caddo Lake for the past twenty five years, with the last trip taking nine bass boats and eighteen guys/gals for a week long adventure.

We stay at the State Park cabins built by the CCC  "Recently remodeled Log Cabins". Very nice units with Bedrooms, Kitchen Units, Bathroom and Front Porches to kick back and relax in the evenings. The lake is beautiful and loaded with Lily Pads. "Picture This"  Floating in your boat, casting a stick bait near the roots of a Big Cyprus Tree, give it a twitch or two and exploding out from underneath of a Lily Pad comes a Large Bass or Chain Pickerel splashing and clamping on to your bait!  "Yippee".   Wait!  At the same time you will be thinking your going to see a Sasquatch or a Dinosaur Creeping through those Big Cyprus Trees loaded with Spanish Moss!  Good Stuff!   Get a five day fishing license, fish all week, and have a Fish Fry on Friday!   

Note:  You will need to pick-up a Caddo Lake map "Maps are available at the Ranger Station".  This lake is lay'ed out kind of like a hiking trail with markers at every turn "Like A Trail in Water" Believe me you can get turned around on this lake.  The map makes it easy to navigate, you will want to pick up a map!

Note: They have a nice campground too, check it out on link provided above.

ORCCGear.com  Online Store Shop: Camping, Hiking, Paddling, Survival, First Aid, Ref/Coolers, Portable Solar Panels, Tents, Water Filters, Stoves, Camp Furniture, Vehicle Rack Systems, Vehicle Equipment, Etc.


Quachita National Forest - Camping

posted Jul 24, 2017, 4:41 PM by ORCC Off Road Camping Club   [ updated Jul 25, 2017, 2:54 PM ]

Quachita National Forest - Camping 
Mena, Arkansas  

Dispersed Camping Ouachita National Forest 

The Ouachita National Forest is located primarily in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas and Oklahoma.  Outstanding mountain views coupled with picturesque streams, rivers, and lakes provide a unique and highly valued setting for outdoor recreation.  The forest offers high quality nature related-sightseeing, scenic driving, hunting, fishing, and dispersed camping.  Learn about the areas rich history at wayside exhibits along a scenic drive or experience unique botanical, mineral, and prehistoric resources featured in information and educational programs.  An extensive trail system provides for all types of uses including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and off-highway vehicles (OHV) riding.  A variety of services can be found at developed campgrounds ranging from rustic tent pads to full-service RV hookups.  Enjoy exceptional water-based recreation opportunities including fishing, non-motorized boating, and passive enjoyment of streams, rivers and lakes.

Mena-Oden Ranger District is a fast paced, complex, multiple use district consisting of approximately 43 permanent employees, several seasonal employees and a large volunteer program We manage approximately 400,000 acres including five recreation areas, two Wilderness areas, two ATV Multi-use Trail Complexes and Historical Tower Sites.  Come experience Shady Lake, Bard Springs, Dragover River access, Big Brushy, Shirley Creek Access, Caney Creek Wilderness, Black Fork Mountain Wilderness ,Wolf Pen Gap Trails, Fouche Mountain Trails, Bee Mountain, Rich Mountain and Tall Peak Tower.

  • Mena/Oden Ranger District - Mena, Arkansas, 71953
  • Ranger Station | Phone:  (479) 394-2382
  • Contact: Ranger Russel Standingwater
  • Location:  Latitude 34.5861389   Longitude  -94.2143167

ORCC Off Road Camping Club

Video:  Dispersed Camping Ouachita National Forest

Camp Location: Latitude  34.429907  Longitude  -94.138831

Note: This is approximate location Forest Dispersed Campsite
along CR81 (Gravel/Forest Road) a few hundred feet from low 
water bridge crossing Cassatot River.  Great Place to Explore!

Note:  Click Map to Enlarge

"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom"  


Alley Springs Missouri

posted Jul 24, 2017, 12:57 PM by ORCC Off Road Camping Club   [ updated Jul 25, 2017, 2:55 PM ]


Alley Springs Missouri 

Alley was home, farm, and school for people who lived here a century ago. Dances, baseball games, and roller skating were all part of Alley’s busier days. John Knotts purchased the 80 acre site in 1902 and diversified the enterprises to include a well-stocked store and blacksmith shop.

A mill was vital to community life, where grain was ground to provide the daily bread. The present building was constructed during 1893-1894 by George Washington McCaskill as a merchant mill. It was larger than most mills in the Jacks Fork area and replaced an earlier mill on this same site that was built by 1868. Originally unpainted, it was first painted white with green trim, then later the famous red color associated with Alley Mill today.


The Mill:  The process of converting wheat into flour was lengthy and time-consuming. The farmer brought his grain, either wheat or corn, to the miller who made an agreement to either buy the grain or make a trade. Often he would take a “toll” or percentage of the grain in exchange for grinding. Since the water supply of Alley Spring was constant, it seemed to be an ideal place for a mill. Free water power provided energy for the machines; however, recurring floods made the operation only marginally successful. The Alley roller mill was designed to process wheat flour in an area where corn was the main crop. This marketing error presented another setback for mill owners.  


The Back Porch:  Located under the back porch is the turbine pit. In it sat a thirty five inch Leffel turbine. Belts from the turbine brought power into the basement. A control wheel on the porch allowed the miller to control how much water entered the turbine and thereby control its speed. This ability to control the speed was one of the innovations that made turbines preferable to the old water wheels.

Basement : This is where all power was transmitted to the machinery. Elevators and belts operated from a driveshaft running the length of the building. This section of the mill is not open for public visits.

First Floor:  Whole grain (corn or wheat) entered the mill here. The grain was put into bins, then elevated to chutes that were connected to milling machines. These are the large iron and wood machines near the back of the room. Here the grain was ground, picked up in another elevator, taken back up and dropped down into the next machine. This process allowed the grain to be ground repeatedly to a fine flour suitable for baking. Bins for storage were also located on this floor, as well as the miller's office.

Second Floor: Sifting was the main activity here. The large cube shaped machine was called a swing sifter. It shook the ground grain through a series of sieves to achieve a uniform consistency. The rectangular machines were an earlier way to do the same thing. In these machines, flour was filtered or sifted through silk.

The Attic:  Belts that operated the second floor machines were located here. The attic is not restored and is not open for public visits. Alley Mill is an example of over 100 historic structures found within Ozark National Riverways. By protecting this landmark, we are preserving the heritage of all Americans. Please help by respecting all historic and archeological artifacts in the park. It is illegal to remove artifacts, including arrowheads, from Park Service or other Federal lands. It is also disrespectful to the memories of those who went before us. Please leave them for the next person to enjoy.

by Cindy Von Halle  "Great Article Cindy"


The Alley Community... A Gathering Place!



Put Alley Springs on your to do bucket list of Great Sites to Explore!

Alley Spring, Missouri

Alley Spring is an unincorporated community in Shannon CountyMissouriUnited States. It is located six miles west of Eminence on Route 106. The scenic Alley Mill, or "Old Red Mill" is located there on a spring and is located in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. The Mill is operated as an Ozarks history museum. Nearby a one room schoolhouse and general store add to the feeling of the restored historic hamlet. It once had a post office, but it is now closed and mail now comes from Eminence. The community is named after John Alley, a miller. It was originally named Mammoth Spring and later Barksdale Spring. These names were deemed too long by the Post Office Department of the time, so the village was renamed after a prominent local citizen, John Alley.  

Information From Wikipedia.

Video - Alley Springs Mill

ORCC Off Road Camping Club

Alley Spring & Mill is located in Eminence, Mo. This is one of the Ozarks, most famous landmarks.  The spring is a deep blue gem & the old grist mill is over a 100 years old. It's worth the scenic drive, to go explore history in the presents.

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"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom"  

Elephant Rock Missouri - State Park

posted Jul 24, 2017, 10:59 AM by ORCC Off Road Camping Club   [ updated Jul 25, 2017, 2:56 PM ]

Elephant Rock State Park 
MO Department of Natural Resources

If you live in the Eastern Missouri area or if you are visiting Missouri, you will want to take the time to visit Elephant Rock State Park. The entire family will enjoy this Natural Wonder!

An easy way to see the rocks is from the Braille Trail, which was especially designed for people with visual and physical disabilities. The trail winds through the main area of rocks. An extension off the trail leads back to the ruins of an old railroad engine house, a remnant of the area’s quarrying and railroad history.

Pack-A-Lunch:  Enjoy a picnic lunch among the giant red boulders. Picnic sites are scattered throughout the park, creating an inviting place to have lunch under a shady tree and not far from an "elephant."

Huge pink granite boulders, some of them weighing over 600 tons and standing over 20 feet tall, are strewn across a few acres like a giant natural playground. These rocks were formed 1.5 billion years ago by the slow cooling of molten rock, magma, as it bubbled up into the earth’s crust. Later the Ozark plateau warped upward causing stream down cutting and erosion. The granite was slowly exposed and began to slowly weather along joints – vertical and horizontal cracks in the hard rock. Today these rocks continue to slowly weather away.

Much of this pink granite was quarried beginning in the 1840s. The nearby town is named Graniteville for this reason. This granite was used for paving stones on St. Louis streets (still visible at Laclede’s Landing), piers for Eads Bridge in St. Louis, and columns found at the Missouri Governor’s mansion in Jefferson City. Thanks to a generous gift in 1967 from John Stafford, retired chief geologist for St. Joseph Lead Co., this site became a state park and designated natural area for its outstanding geologic features.

As you walk and climb around these rocks know that you are at the geological heart of the Ozark ecoregion. Be careful of damaging fragile and slow-growing lichens and mosses which cling to the rock faces. Lichens, a symbiotic organism consisting of an algae and a fungus, can take years to grow just a half inch. Growing on shallow soils and in nooks and crannies with enough soil developed are blackjack oak, winged sumac, and farkleberry. This vegetation, as it grows, assists in the slow weathering process of these magnificent rocks.

Enjoy a leisurely paved trail hike, wandering through the Giant Granite Rocks! 

ORCC Off Road Camping Club

ORCC - Short Hike Through Granite Stone Formations.  Missouri State Park.

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"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom"  

Eleven Point 3 Day Float Trip | Greer Springs Hike

posted Jul 23, 2017, 4:30 PM by ORCC Off Road Camping Club   [ updated Jul 25, 2017, 2:57 PM ]


Eleven Point 3 Day Float Trip 
Greer Springs Hike 

Mark Twain National Forest & Irish Wilderness Area

The Eleven Point River is a 138-mile-long (222 km)[1] river in southern Missouri and northern ArkansasUnited States. It originates near Willow Springs, Missouri. It more than doubles in flow when Greer Spring Branch runs into it, adding over 200 million US gallons (760,000 m3) of water per day to the river. The name derives from the Mississippi Valley French word pointe, which is a wooded point of land marking a river bend. Voyageurs marked distance by counting these points of land or river bends.[2] The river flows into the Spring River southwest of Pocahontas near the small town of Black Rock.

In 1968 a 44.4-mile (71.5 km) stretch was named the Eleven Point National Wild and Scenic River, one of the original eight rivers chosen to be part of the United States National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.   Information provided by Wikipedia.

Directions: From Winona, Missouri (Hwy 19 & Hwy 60), take Hwy 19 south for 17 miles, turn left on Forest Rt. 3188, follow road to boat ramp. (Entrance to the Greer Crossing Rec. Area, is just before crossing the Eleven Point river bridge).

Eleven Point 3 Day Float Plan:

Day 1
Location: Greer Crossing Recreation Area-Mark Twain National Forest
Place: Boat Ramp
Mile Marker: 16.6 

Unload your gear at the boat ramp/Greer Crossing Recreation Area. Then drive up to Richards canoe rental, park our vehicles on the Richard family property. Pick up last minute supplies, rent a canoe if needed and shuttle back down to the boat ramp. Hopefully be on the water by 10:30 AM. Allowing for a late start, we will float approximately (7.4) miles the first day. This will give us time to fish as we float and still give us enough time to set camp in the evening.

Note: Richards Canoe Rental will shuttle us from the Riverton Access back to our vehicles on Saturday, pre-determined time. 

The first night, you can set camp on a gravel bar, before/after Horseshoe Bend 
(Mile Marker: Approx. 24.0) 


Day 2: 
You will float approx. (7) miles.
The second night, we will set camp at the Greenbriar Float Camp. 
(Mile Marker: 31.0)


Eleven Point Greenbriar Float Camp


Day 3:
We float approx. (4.7) miles. and finish at the Riverton Access (Hwy 160 Bridge) and shuttle back to your vehicles.

Comments: Before and after float trip

Wednesday Night: 
Suggestion - You might want to come down the night before (Wednesday) and camp at Greer Recreation Area. This is a National Forest campground and is the same location you would be launching from on Thursday morning. This makes for a relaxing start on Thursday, you get the driving out of the way the night before.

Saturday Night:
Suggestion - Then you can be shuttled back to your vehicles at Richards Canoe Rental. Then drive to Alton, Missouri to the Alton Motel. This is a small motel in Alton, get a room, shower and clean up. Then walk down the street to the Burger Palace for dinner and ice cream. 

Sunday Morning:
Sunday after all rested up you can walk down to Grandma's Kitchen for a great country breakfast.  

Suggestion Sunday Hike - Before departing on Sunday, you can hike down to
Greer Springs. Greer Springs is the second largest spring in Missouri. This is an easy hike (Under 1 mile). If you have never hiked into this spring, it is so worth it!
(Bring Your Camera)

ORCC Off Road Camping Club

Greer Springs off the Eleven Point River

RECAP Float Comments:
  • Greer Crossing Rec. Area: Mile Marker 16.6 
  • Gravel Bar Camp: Mile Marker 24.0
  • Greenbriar Float Camp: Mile Marker 31.0
  • Riverton Access Point: Mile Marker 35.7
Note: This is a fishing float, not about how fast you can make float mileage
Note: Everyone is responsible for their own gear, food, drinks, etc. (Be prepared).


           Richard Family Owned and Operated Since 1976

Note:  ORCC Members have taken this 3-Day Canoe|Kayak trip many times and 
believe me your going to have a Good Time and catch some Nice Trout!

ORCC Off Road Camping Club


"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom"  

Marble Creek | Crane Lake | Mark Twain National Forest

posted Jul 23, 2017, 11:14 AM by ORCC Off Road Camping Club   [ updated Jul 25, 2017, 10:23 AM ]

Marble Creek Recreational Area 

Mark Twain National Forest Camp 

Great Places to Go Camping!

This area with its beautiful creek, camp and picnic grounds is located between Fredericktown and Arcadia, MO. Marble Creek, rushing 20 miles through the rugged St. Francis Mountains, is named for deposits of attractively colored dolomites which were mined and used in the building trade as “Taum Sauk Marble”. Within the recreation area, you can see the concrete remains of a grist mill dam and building foundation. This dam was the third to be built here and was operated until 1935. This quiet campground and recreation area is the main trailhead for the Marble Creek Section of the Ozark Trail. This 8-mile segment goes to Crane Lake and is open for hiking, equestrian and mountain bike use. Horses are allowed at trailhead, but not within campground or picnic area. 

Directions:  From St. Louis, take Hwy. 21 south to Hwy. E just south of Arcadia, Missouri, then, east to Marble Creek Campground.   Latitude : 37.4511628   Longitude: -90.5428632

Campground Camping:

Campground facilities include 24 single sites and 2 double sites, each with table, fire ring and lantern post.  Two centrally located vault toilet buildings serve campers and trail users.  There is no drinking water, but  the campground is adjacent a year-round stream.  Trash service available April - October. Sites are first come-first served. Horses are allowed in the trailhead parking area, but not in the campground and picnic areas.

Number of Sites:  24 Singles | 2 Double Sites

Fires:  Fires must be contained within Fire Ring, Grill, Stove or Other Device.

Reservations:  None

The campground and picnic area is open from April thru October and the trailhead parking for the Ozark Trail is open year-round. Area Closed from 10:00PM to 6:00AM (Except for Campers)

Crane Lake Recreational Area

Mark Twain National Forest

Great Place to Go Fishing and Hiking! 

Crane Lake was originally created many years ago by impounding Crane Pond Creek with an earth fill dam at the upstream end of a “shut-ins” or narrow gorge cut in the granite bedrock.  The lake is about 100 acres in size and approximately 40 feet deep at the dam.

Crane Lake is undergoing a partial (12 foot) drawdown that will result in a lake that is approximately 40-50 acres in size. This is being done to complete maintenance and engineering studies. Once the water level begins to drop, boat launching will not be feasible.  However, shoreline fishing, hunting and hiking at Crane Lake will continue to be permitted except immediately near the dam where the maintenance work will be occurring.

Hours of Operation:  Open Year Round

Usage:  Light Hours

Restrictions:  Electric Motors Only

Closest Town:  Ironton, MO.

Operated By:  US Forest Service

Trail:  Ozark Trail

Directions:  From Ironton, MO, take Hwy E south for 9 miles; right on Iron county road 124 for 2.5 miles; left on Iron County Road 131 for 2 miles.

Latitude:  37.4240348  Longitude:  -90.6286448

Backpacking | Hiking:  Crane Lake National Recreation Trail.  Five mile double loop trail, the south loop of which connects to the Marble Creek Section of the Ozark Trail.

Day Hiking:  Crane Lake National Recreation Trail.  Five mile double loop trail, the south loop of which connects to the Marble Creek Section of the Ozark Trail.

ORCC Off Road Camping Club


Online Store Shop:   Camping, Hiking, Paddling, Survival, First Aid, Ref/Coolers, Portable Solar Panels, Tents, Water Filters, Stoves, Camp Furniture, Vehicle Rack Systems, Vehicle Equipment, Etc. 

"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom"  

Richland Creek Recreation Area | Ozark National Forest

posted Jul 23, 2017, 10:54 AM by ORCC Off Road Camping Club   [ updated Jul 25, 2017, 10:25 AM ]

Richland Creek Recreation Area 

Ozark National Forest 

The Richland Creek Wilderness was created by the 1984 Arkansas Wilderness Act and contains 11,801 acres in the middle of the Boston Mountains. One of three wildernesses on the Buffalo Ranger District, it takes its name from the main creek running through the area with the rich, fertile soil along the lower creek portion near the Buffalo River. An unusual feature of the Ozark Mountains is that the “mountains” are actually plateaus, uplifted as a unit with few folds or faults. The ruggedness of these mountains is due to erosion of the plateaus caused by swift rivers flowing between them. Topography within 1/4 mile on either side of Richland and Long Devil’s Fork Creeks is quite rugged and scenic. Rock bluffs over 100 feet high and extending over a mile along each side of Richland Creek graphically reveal the earth’s development. The forest cover is mostly second and third growth oak-hickory. Some scattered stands of shortleaf pine in old fields exist from when the Forest Service purchased the land in the 1930s and 1940s. There are no developed trails located in the wilderness. There is a system of old logging roads that run throughout the area and receive sporadic use. Kayakers float Richland Creek after rains have raised the creek water level. The wilderness area is known for its crystal clear creeks and waterfalls. Remember to take drinking water or a filtration device with you for your safety

         Directions: GPS: Latitude : 35.8364000 Longitude : -92.9737667

The most popular access point to the wilderness is at the Richland Creek Campground located on the eastern edge along Forest Road 1205. From Russellville, take Arkansas Highway 7 north for 37 miles to Pelsor, then turn right (east) on Arkansas Highway 16 and go 10 miles; turn left (north) on Forest Service Road 1205 (gravel) about one mile east of Ben Hur. Take Forest Service Road 1205 north 9 miles to Richland Creek campground which provides access to the wilderness area. Caution: Because of rough roads, visitors are not encouraged to take camping trailers to Richland Creek campground. Another access is to the north of the wilderness. Take Highway 74 east of Jasper, travel to the end of the highway about 6 miles east of Mt. Judea to a “T” in the road; go north following the pavement for 2 miles; travel to a “T” in the road to Bass, Arkansas; go east ¼ mile crossing a small creek; take Forest Road 1200 (also Newton County Road 37) for 4-1/2 miles to the junction of Forest Road 1205; take Forest Service Road 1205 for 9 miles to the campground. Caution: During rainy weather, the crossing at Bass, Arkansas might become impassable. About ½ mile north of the campground, along Forest Road 1205, is another access point with a pullout area and a visitor registration box. Another access is Hill Cemetery located in the northern portion of the wilderness. It is 7 miles north of the Richland Campground on Forest Road 1205. At the saddle of a 4-way intersection with a field on the north side of the 1205 road; take the road that is located on the east side of the field; go past the house to the end of the road about 1 mile. Caution: This access is not recommended for passenger cars. The first ¼ mile of the road is on private property so the owner’s permission is required for any travel off of the road. In addition, parking is extremely limited.

Over All Re-Cap:

This area has a small picturesque mountain stream with waterfalls, rocks, and bluffs. There is access to the Richland Creek Wilderness Area. 11 family camping units. Because of very rough roads, visitors are not encouraged to take "low clearance" camping trailers to Richland Creek, Arkansas.

Questions | Comments:  

Potable Water: The Ranger's Office told us, there is Potable Water available near the campsites "Centrally Located"

Comment: I would still haul in Potable Water to be safe. I only say this because their website states there is NO Drinking Water available. Just to be on the safe side. "Be Prepared"

Restroom: The Ranger's Office told us, there is a Vault Toilet near the campsites "Centrally Located"

Comment: I would still bring a Portable Toilet, only because their website states NO restrooms. "Be Prepared"

Road Information: The Ranger's Office told us, you should be able to get into the area with a small camping trailer, but the more ground clearance the better, just take it slow and you should be fine.

Comment: A small camper or if you are tent camping, you should have no problem. A pickup truck or 4 wheel drive tow vehicle would be good. Low to the ground passenger car, leave at home.

Note: The above information was relayed to us from the Richland Creek Rangers office. The comments were our take on the information received.

Topo Map: Richland Creek Wilderness Area 

Contact | Mail: Ozark-St. Francis National Forest, 605 West Main, Russellville, AR 72801

Phone: (479) 964-7200


ORCC Off Road Camping Club


Great Place to Camp and Explore for the entire family!

Video: "Enjoy the Full Moon rising, filmed at campsite at Richland Creek"



"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom"  


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