Searching for a 5-ish day trek within 5 to 6 hours of North Dallas

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TimeOutside

a.k.a. Andrew
Joined
Apr 16, 2019
Messages
14
Noob here (see my introduction post here).

I'm looking for input on where I might go for a multi-day outing. I'd like to take a 5-ish day trek that's within a no more than 6 hour drive from my home in Allen, Texas (just north of Dallas). I'm trying to stay close to home simply because I don't want to be spending two days of my excursion driving.
  • I'll be going solo, so I'd prefer a circuit type trail, although I'll do an out and back if needed. I'd rather not need to hitch or pay for a ride to get to or from my car.
  • I enjoy camping too, so I'm not necessarily looking to crush the miles or hike from sunrise to sunset, although I'm not opposed to doing that on occasion.
  • The ability to do a little fishing along the way would be bonus.
  • I'm really not sure what is a reasonable per day distance goal. I know it's apples to oranges with comparing running to backpacking, but I am a trail runner. I don't have any issues with back to back 15 mile trail runs and I've done 15 mile obstacle course races in Breckenridge, so I'm guessing that I'd be okay with backpacking at least 15 miles in a day, even in rough terrain. Plus, I'm flexible with timing. A four day excursion turning into to 5 days or 5 days turning into 6 wouldn't be the end of the world.
  • I prefer camping solo and just off the trail, but I'm also okay with designated campsites.
  • I'm not looking at needing to resupply. Taking what I need for 4 to 6 days isn't an issue.
  • We're in the process of moving, so it's likely going to be early June before I can get away for this outing.
I'd appreciate any suggestions and input. Internet searches have produced a bewildering list of options. I'm hoping the wealth of experience on this forum will help me greatly narrow down the options to some really quality outings.

Thanks in advance,
Andrew
 

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LarryBoy

Hiker Trash
.
Joined
Jan 4, 2015
Messages
1,780
Either the Ouachita Trail or the Ozark highlands Trail would fit the bill. they're probably each too long to do in its entirety in 5-6 days unless you're truly a beast, but pick a random section of one of them! There are a bunch of shuttle options listed on HikeArkansas.com

I also self-shuttled in the area using a combo of commercial bus service, Uber, and hitchhiking, but that earned me a free ride in the back of a paddy wagon, so maybe don't do that :)
 

TimeOutside

a.k.a. Andrew
Joined
Apr 16, 2019
Messages
14
Either the Ouachita Trail or the Ozark Highlands Trail would fit the bill.
Excellent! Thank you. Both are well within my driving range. I'll avoid hitchhiking in Arkansas :) and look into the shuttle services. If they don't cost too much that would be sweet. If they are too costly then I'll just do an out and back on a segment. I'll certainly be doing some more investigation into both of these trails.

Again, thank you.
 

TimeOutside

a.k.a. Andrew
Joined
Apr 16, 2019
Messages
14
I was looking into the Ozark Highlands Trail (OHT) last evening. It looks perfect. The drive distance is near ideal. I've done a fair amount of trail running in the Ozarks and I love the area. But from what I've read in a few posts, it seems there is a big tick and overgrowth problem as we move into summer. Is that your experience? Fighting brambles and ticks isn't my idea of fun. I was thinking I could take a five to six day trek in June, but am I right that might not be the best idea for the OHT? I may be able to get away for a long weekend at the OHT later this month and hit a short section just for some fun and a quick dry run. Then do the length of the Cap Rock Canyons Trail in June and save the OHT for next winter. But then there may be an issue with doing Cap Rock Canyons in June as it would be hot and there isn't water along the route, so I'd be toting quite a bit of water weight.

@LarryBoy or anyone else, do you have any thoughts on this matter? (I haven't yet looked into whether the Ouachita Trail might be a better candidate for a June trek.)

Again, thanks in advance,
Andrew
 

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