Have you completed the Current River Challenge yet? I did last October. It took me almost two years to do it, but I finally finished it.
For those who may not be familiar with it, the challenge consists of two 4-mile hikes from Round Spring to Echo Bluff State Park, and then from Echo Bluff over to one of my favorite parks in Missouri, Current River State Park.
From Current River State Park, you then float the 4 miles back down to Round Spring.
The challenge can be done in any order, according to the Ozark National Scenic Riverway’s website, and while it could be done in one outing I suppose, I wouldn’t encourage it.
I had the floats in the (dry) bag, thanks to a series of Introduction to Kayaking clinics offered by the park I assisted with last summer.
I completed my first leg of the hikes, from Echo Bluff to Current River, in September 2020, as an escape from the pandemic.
It was a challenging trail, and at point, I even reenacted Daniel Boone’s famous pronouncement that he “was never lost but was confused for several weeks.” Thankfully, my trail confusion was only for a couple of hours.
This fall I decided to complete the challenge and earn my swag; a bright orange bandana and a sticker, suitable for laptop or Toyota 4Runner window.
My fiancée, Jenn, a Current River girl, and I decided to hike from Round Spring to Echo Bluff during a fall camping trip at Pulltite. It was one of those unusually warm fall days where outer layers are shed quickly on the trail.