Book offers guide to Ozarks hiking trails

Jim Warnock, principal at Arkansas’ Alma Intermediate School, wrote “Five-Star Trails: The Ozarks – 43 Spectacular Hikes in Arkansas and Missouri,” which was published in August.

Warnock’s guide offers hiking advice, detailed trail descriptions, GPS coordinates, driving directions and topographical maps.

A “recommended hikes” list at the beginning of the guide offers tips on the best hikes for various needs, such as for hikers traveling with children or dogs, interested in history, or looking for springs and cascades.

“When I recommend trails I usually look at what (the hiker is) wanting – do they have kids, do they want a long trip, are they looking for scenic value – and I usually suggest a part of a trail,” Warnock said. “I worry that people will go out and do too much at one time and be discouraged. It’s always better to start out easy.”

As its title promises, the book features 43 trails in the Ozark Mountains area.

Warnock and several other area residents began cleaning up the Alma trail in 2012, and markers and benches have since been added to the scenic hike. Warnock also started a hiking blog in 2012 in an effort to encourage hikers to visit the Lake Alma Trail. His book is a natural takeoff from that.

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