Railroad companies were the principal loggers in this area circa the late 1800s, followed by settlers on the ridges who happily discovered that tomatoes and strawberries grew large and juicy here. Nonetheless, in the early 1950s residents abandoned the last permanent household in the vicinity of Piney Creek. The ridgetops rise 400 or more feet above hollows and drainages that dissect the area. Numerous small springs feed several waterways, but the main stream is Piney Creek which drains to scenic Table Rock Lake in the heart of the wilderness. All five miles of the Piney Creek watershed lie within the Wilderness. Shortleaf pine, oak, and hickory dominate the ridges today, and along the drainages you'll find hardwoods such as sycamore, ash, elm, buckeye, and walnut. Wildlife species are typical of the Ozarks, and armadillos also live here. Copperheads, eastern timber rattlers, and western pygmy rattlers are common. Great blue herons and pileated woodpeckers add to the local color. The major east-west trail follows Piney Creek for approximately four miles. From Pineview Tower Trailhead on the north, two paths of approximately 1.5 miles each lead south to Piney Creek. Two other maintained foot and horse trails leave the main trail to head south for a grand total of 13.1 Wilderness miles. Portions of the trail system utilize old roads.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Piney Creek Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
Colorado Wilderness Act - Public Law 96-560 (12/22/1980) To designate certain National Forest System lands in the States of Colorado, South Dakota, Missouri, South Carolina, and Louisiana for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System