might be a little south of the area you are talking about, but not too...bad...there is Clayton, OK....
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The Mark Twain forest still has some ORV trails open to the public (and FREE...a biggie). Unfortunately, I have yet to find a perfect website or trailmap on it, so it's best to go with someone who's been, or to have a trail-loaded GPS.
I can tell you how to get to the trail head, but being there 3 times, I can't even give you an accurate portrayal of the trails. I know it is all one system of trails inside a main loop that enters and exits at this same location.
YOu might look up ARXJ on here. I've been with him and he seems to know his way around. I think he goes here fairly often. Real cool guy and knows his ****.
The trailhead is at '36.556533,-93.813801'
You can use that on your GPS, or to get a good idea of where it is, just plug that into GoogleMaps and then map "to here" from wherever you are.
I've tried a couple times to plan a bike trip up there to run the roads in the area, from southern Missouri to Hot Springs. Both times we got rained out.
When is the best time to plan a trip?
We get a good rainy Spring. It's hit or miss from late March/early April (still getting warm then, sometimes) to mid-late June. July is generally the most decent month for less rain, but not scorching.
Then, August into September is usually pretty hot and, as you know in NRH, the humidity doesn't help.
September into October is usually GREAT weather because the dog days are past and it doesn't seem to rain an incredible amount (not to say it doesn't).
Of course, I'm not sure how consistent this is...hell, last November 6-8, it was 70 degrees during the Dynasty in the Dirt at SlaughterPen.
Being in North Dallas, did you run the HHH100 this year??
I wanted to get to that this year, but we were in Dallas the weekend before and then went to Galveston for the rest of that week.
Two years in a row I was THAT close, and now, this year, I don't know if my knee will be healed enough in time.