Since its founding in 2002, the Ozark Trail Association (OTA) has donated over 141,000 hours to developing, maintaining, preserving, promoting, and protecting the rugged, natural beauty of the 430-mile Ozark Trail, a National Recreation Trail.

That effort was recognized by the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) when it named the nonprofit, which is based in Potosi, Missouri, as its 2019 Conservation Organization of the Year. The award was announced during the 84th Annual Conservation Federation of Missouri Awards Ceremony in March.

“The Ozark Trail Association was honored to accept this award from such an esteemed organization and looks forward to continuing trail work here in the Ozarks,” said a news release issued by the OTA.

Each year, CFM recognizes outstanding achievements in conservation activities such as conserving our air, water, soil, and wildlife resources, an ongoing challenge that requires a continuing commitment by all citizens.

The Ozark Trail, one of the 20 longest backcountry trails in the nation, traverses 12 counties and is a gateway to the interior of the Missouri Ozarks. It is a family-friendly resource for all individuals from a multitude of backgrounds and interests, including hikers, runners, mountain bikers, and equestrians.

The OTA welcomes volunteers of all ages and abilities, as long as they don’t mind getting a little dirty. Learn more at

Photo cutline (left to right): Ozark Trail Association representatives Scott Hedrick, Alicia Brehe, Kathie Brennan, Abi Jackson, and Don Schulte.