This hike is better billed as an interpretive nature walk than as a hike. My first disappointment was it was a gravel trail, which always disappoints. The trail should be hiked clockwise as the interpretive markers are best viewed from that direction. It has a nice little waterfall midway on the hike, but even that is mitigated because of the boardwalk overlook. Not to be to negative. OK to do in the area, but many more better hiking options in the area.
Hiked this in February. Very easy hike with a variety of habitat types. Pleasant but not spectacular. Used a 2001 trail guide borrowed from a friend. No trail maps at trail head. Sorry that 2 of my posted photos are sideways: they displayed in the correct orientation while uploading, but when they finished uploading they were rotated. You can see them right side up on my blog: http://www.thenatureofmissouri.com
Alley Spring Campground is a full service national park service campground. Fee camping from tent to RV, group camping area. Adjoins Jacks Fork River. Great facilities, great area. Fishing, swimming, site seeing, canoing, caving and many more activities in the area. You could spend a week easily in the area. Great campsite to stage your visit from.