Many visitors believe that Hawn State Park is the loveliest of Missouri's state parks, with forests of pine and oak, sandstone bluffs and canyons, and clear sand-bottom streams. The park's many trails, picnic areas and campground are well suited for visitors wishing to enjoy the splendor of nature; it is truly a nature lover's paradise. The 4,953-acre park preserves some of the finest areas for viewing Missouri's wide variety of natural wonders. The 2,880-acre Whispering Pine Wild Area offers excellent opportunities to backpack, bird watch or study nature. Covered with pine, oak and flowering dogwood trees, the area is home to a diverse set of plants, animals and birds. Pickle Creek, because of its high quality and pristine nature, has been designated as a state natural area. It is also one of the few places in the state where visitors can see such a wide variety of rock types exposed at the surface. Enjoy a quiet lunch at one of the many picnic tables that dot the sandy, pine-needle-covered forest floor. Hike along some of the most scenic backcountry trails in Missouri. Hawn State Park is the perfect setting for visitors eager to explore the unspoiled natural beauty of the Show-Me-State.
Easy to follow, well marked trails that weave through a very diverse area made for a great weekend trip. The WCs that don't connect to campsite 1 (I forget their numbers definitively) may are may not be worth it, but Pickle Creek and both loops provide great visuals.
What was supposed to be an early December backpacking trip with an easy 6 mile hike in and 3 mile hike out; morphed in to a half-day 11-1/2 mile hike along both the Orange and Blue loops of Whispering Pines trail at Hawn State Park.
Thanks to Daniel Maners for joining in the fun and pushing me to go a further than i would have tried solo (longest day hike to date was 8 miles before this trip). In the end, this was my most rugged hike to date, with plenty of stream crossings and elevation changes.
In total we hiked 11.68 miles and climbed 1682ft, and descended 1697ft over the course of the trail, the whole hike took just over 6 hours with stopping for photos and playing on some rocks.
I will definitely be back to this trail and state park.
Jeanette B. on Trail Through Time: Pickle Springs ...
good hike. well marked.
Kathy P. on Trail Through Time: Pickle Springs ...
Beautiful trail with beautiful rock formations!