Irish Wilderness

Irish Wilderness Outdoors Guide

Irish Wilderness is a rugged 16,221-acre region of the Ozarks that is part of Mark Twain National Forest and offers hiking, camping, horseback riding, and other outdoor activities.

This area was settled by descendants of immigrants from Ireland who were running away from poverty or persecution.

Fleeing persecution in St. Louis, a group of Irish immigrants settled in the area in the mid-1800s, led by Father John Hogan (an Irish priest). The group disappeared during the Civil War, when the area became a battle zone.

The area is home to numerous Ozark plant and animal species including deer, squirrel, rabbit, raccoon, fox, snakes, bobcat, coyote, turkey, vulture, hawk, and owl.

Irish Wilderness Hiking

Whites Creek Trail, the primary trail through the wilderness, is a moderate 18.6 mile hike that meanders through wood forest, dry creek beds, springs, glades, grasslands and hillsides.

This hiking trail offers terrific views over Eleven Point River, which was named a National Wild and Scenic River in 1968 because of its unique character. The hike eventually brings you to the river, the location of Whites creek Cave.

The area has over 36 miles of hiking trails in total and horses are allowed on the trails, but motorized vehicles are prohibited in the wilderness area. There is a picnic area and a vault toilet at the Camp Five Pond Trailhead for Whites Creek Trail

Getting to Whites Creek Trailhead

To access the Camp Five Pond Trailhead: It is accessible from Doniphan, Mo. Via Highway 160, west 20 miles to State Highway J, then north 7 miles. This same trailhead may be accessed from US Highway 60 to the north by traveling 16 miles south on Highway J to Camp Five Pond.

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