ozark autumn

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hurricane creek wilderness
fall, 1997

The Wilderness Act of 1964, which laid the groundwork for the designation and preservation of wilderness areas nationwide, defines wilderness as

“an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain… which generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man's work substantially unnoticeable… [and] which has outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation….”

The Hurricane Creek Wilderness Area in the Ozark National Forest is one such area, and is one of the most scenic places in the Ozarks. And it's a wonderful place to spend time. However, for the uninitiated, anyone wanting to visit a wilderness area should be prepared to study and comply with wilderness ethics and leave-no-trace practices. The guiding principle in any natural area should be to “leave only footprints, take only memories.”