Yesterday was our first hike with my daughter, Megan. We had a blast! I think I might’ve passed along the hiking bug to Megan. She was a total leader and was the first one to ford the flooded Math Branch. She went all in — that’s the way to hike your own hike, Megan!
We went to Swan Creek Wilderness east of Branson, Missouri. This was our second trip to Swan Creek. You can read the first post about Swan Creek here which will have a little more in-depth information about the terrain than this post.
We took both of our dogs with us and between that and the fact that there had been a LOT of rain in this area in the recent day or two with the trails being flooded and the creeks and branches being flooded, we hiked a mere 7 miles. But it was a fantastic 7 miles. We all had a lot of fun, including the dogs!
The flooded Math Branch:
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The only downside, once again, is the fact that there are a lot of beer cans here. I absolutely hate it, and I don’t understand why people who ride horses cannot carry out their beer cans with them. For goodness sake, it’s not like they are really working. They are just sitting there drinking, smoking, and doing nothing. Can someone who trail rides on horses explain to me why you can’t carry out your own trash? Please?
This time I came prepared and brought several trash bags to pick up the cans that I could. Unfortunately with the extra people and dogs in my car, I was not able to haul out everything we picked up. I’ve notified the forest service and asked them to swing by and pick up the cans, but if anyone lives in the area, can you swing by the Tin Top trailhead off of highway UU and pick up the sacks of cans that we had to leave there please? I’m so sorry that we couldn’t carry them all out; however, we did pick up about 100 or more cans, bottles, etc.
I applaud whomever picked up the trash at the “hunter’s camp” that I had previously remarked about. It was pretty nasty and right off of highway UU. It’s all gone now; so a big thank you to whomever picked that up.
With all of that said, Swan Creek is by no means trashy at all. Without the cans, there would be no trash but there are a lot of cans unfortunately and I just simply don’t understand why us hikers are obligated to “leave no trace” but lazy people on horses just trash up a beautiful place. They apparently don’t appreciate having the opportunity to ride their horse somewhere for free?
The trails at Swan Creek are beautiful and there are so many to choose from. We mainly stayed on the ridge on the north side. We didn’t make to Swan Creek as planned; however, we spent a lot of timing trying to get around the extremely flooded waters of Math Branch.
Here is Megan toward the end of her fording of Math Branch:
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Swan Creek is part of Mark Twain National Forest and does allow dispersed camping. My next trip to Swan Creek I plan on camping but so far it has just been day hikes. It’s a gorgeous place and offers views, a variety of hardwood trees and pine trees, and has plenty of options for filtering water for camping.
Swan Creek is a don’t miss for hiking in Missouri!
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