Contributed by Joy Cressler
Backpacking the Shores Lake/White Rock Loop Trail snuggled deep in the Ozarks is for hikers looking for a moderate to strenuous adventure. The length of the trail is 14 1/2 miles, and it requires anywhere from 12 hours to an overnight excursion. This trail is located about 14 miles north of I-40 at Mulberry off Hwy 215.
The loop trail connects two of the more popular Forest Service recreation areas — Shores Lake and White Rock Mountain. The Forest Service describes it as an excellent opportunity for a weekend hike up a picturesque creek drainage to the top of breathtaking White Rock Mountain, which then returns through another creek drainage.
Camping is open along the trails and there are campgrounds available at each end. White Rock also has cabins or a multi-person lodge available for rent. Visitors might choose to spend the night on White Rock as it offers one of the best spots in the state to watch the sunset.