dogs on leash
Pretty trail in winter when the leaves are down and you can appreciate the views of surrounding hilltops. Double track trails mostly. Too treacherous for trail running w all the leaves on the rocky trail. Saw some pleasant horses with riders and no one else. Consider 4-wheel drive or other high clearance vehicle to cross rocky streams en route to park area.
I camped here the last week in October, 2016. PLUSES: The campground was pretty normal, but the restrooms were very clean and frequently stocked. The table and lamp post were sturdy and in good shape. The fire pit was tall with a swing over grill and a removable lower grate. There is a nice park with swings and climbing things and two picnic pavilions. Easy access to the Piney river for fisherman. Three easy hikes have trailheads in the campground. CONS: I heard highway traffic all night, and there was no wood available on-site for a campfire. $8/night for non-electric site. I was underwhelmed by the "sping" of Lane Spring..although there is concrete sidewalk all the way up to it.
I hiked this trail the last week in October 2016. The terrain was moderate, and it was a short loop of about 35 minutes. The "blossom rock" was a fun site. The trail was cleared fairly well but the track was pretty thin and covered in leaves in some spots, but followable. However, there were no markings or blazes for the trail. Most of the trees that have fallen on the path have been cut, but there were 2 or 3 climb-overs. The trail has two entrances, one by the host campsite (shown on the topo here, and one between campsite 16 and 17. The only difference is about 75 yards of trekking on the north of the Lane Springs campground (shown by the straight line on the topo track.) There were 2 or 3 good views of the river.
You need to download the track from OT.com before attempting this trail. Too many fire roads criss crossing and topo maps show some roads and not others. Their depiction of the Ozark Trail is more than a quarter mile off in some places. The downloaded GPS track is perfect though. With that said, the trail is nothing special. Lots of woods walking, very little in the way of views or special stuff unless you continue on the the Crane Lake loop a the end of the Marble Creek. trail. Other than the beginning and end of the trail, there is only one small man made stale pond to get water from where the trail crosses over road 2120 about 2.5 miles from Marble Creek TH.
Hiked Taum Sauk to Shut-ins. Beautiful Hike. Very rocky typical ozark. If can catch it after a rain the falls are awesome but was bone dry this time. The view about 8 miles in was without a doubt the best so far in Missouri. took us about 8 hours to do the hike.
The trailhead was easy to find but make sure you have a map for all the trail choices along the trail. Only picked up one hitchhiker - but had long pants and long socks on. Overall a well maintained trail minus the first half mile but even that wasn't too bad. A definite decent outing worth the drive.