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The Ozarks offer a different kind of charm in the winter


Whether it decides to stay mild, or drift into a more frigid form, the year’s final month presents outdoor travelers with some unexpected winter gifts. Ozarks.

The lack of leaves rustling and insects buzzing creates a whole new level of silence that outdoor enthusiast are typically drawn to – especially during such a hustle-n-bustle time of year. Trails and campsites are generally less crowded. The prospect of a bug free outing should put a smile on experienced campers face. And perhaps best of all, your chances and opportunity to see more wildlife improve significantly, as it is easier to spot and track animals while the trees are bare.

Time by the campfires has a special scent and glow during the winter. As cold becomes more prominent, a certain respect and adoration for the warmth grows. Sweaters, scarves, beanies, and gloves become equal parts fun and essential to tote along. Warm food serves a purpose beyond nutrients as its heat seems to fuel your own internal furnace. Not much needs to be said about a hot tea, coffee, cocoa, or cider (with or without a splash of rum) on a colder winter morning to illustrate its value – as it stands as one of life’s most universally loved simple pleasures.

There are a lot of ways to embrace the cold. It all starts with your basecamp, and when and where you will centerpiece your outdoor experience.

There are a lot of roads to go down, whether it’s a day trip, an evening or two in one of the Ozark’s incredible cabins, overnight car camping, or multi-day backpacking.

Decide which route you want to take, pick the time and day, and get moving. The Ozarks are waiting for all in Arkansas and offer plenty to explore.

Day Trips

Simply driving out and into the Ozarks is a positive experience in itself. The road and open skies unwind you more and more the deeper you drive. Set your sail towards Buffalo Outdoor Center, a proper gateway to the Ozarks. There, you can find first hand information, directions, and maps to many of the Ozark Mountain and Buffalo River treasures.

For day trips, any outing to Lost Valley, the Goat Trail, or Whitaker Point is one of value. And there is plenty to explore beyond that as the Ozark National Forest offers years worth of day trips to any adventurer out there.

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Devin O'Dea (@devinthe_____) is an outdoor adventurer, yogi, and the co-owner of Fayetteville-based outdoor culture company, Fayettechill.

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