dogs on leash
Get away from the bustle of everyday life by seeing some of Missouris finest karst features such as the rock bridge or by exploring the forests, streams and restored grasslands of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. While walking the half-mile Devils Icebox Boardwalk, visitors can view the rock bridge, have the opportunity to explore Connors Cave on their own, and see an underground stream, small spring and sinkhole. The 15 miles of trails that traverse the 2,273-acre park are always open to hikers and are conditionally open to bicyclists. Hikers and horseback riders can enjoy the serenity of the 750-acre Gans Creek Wild Area. Before riding, visitors should call the trail condition hotline. Groups can make arrangements to receive a rock bridge/Connors Cave tour or other interpretive programs. Devils Icebox Cave, with over seven miles of passages, can be explored on park-led wild cave tours by advanced registration only. The parks orienteering course will challenge adventurous visitors. Picnic sites, a reservable picnic shelter, and playground equipment make the park a great place for family gatherings. Primitive camping for non-profit youth organizations is available by making advanced reservations.
Sydney F. on Deer Run Trail
Beautiful place and very lightly trafficked
Ok, very moderate effort required, a romp in the woods, needs better marking though, bridges across creek are highlights, does it really take that much to apply some decent trail badges? Picnic and staging area at trailhead are in excellent condition, clean and kept; why not pour about 2 hours' effort into letting hikers know where to go on this hike, since there are other trails in the complex?
Erik M. on Deer Run Trail
Best trail in the Columbia area for nonstop fun and challenging terrain. My favorite trail system thus far. Will be back...Goodtimes!
This trail got better and better as my hike progressed. It did seem longer than the posted 3.75 and it took me just over 1.5 hrs to complete (including stops for pics and to marvel at the dozens of bluebirds and woodpeckers). I hiked it counter-clockwise, and I'm glad I did because more of the climbing took place in the first half of the trail, and the latter half had more scenic features like several creeks. The trail is quite rugged in places, with plenty of rocks and tree roots. There are a couple of stretches with heavy woods--which I enjoy--and even in January, it was lovely. I can only imagine how beautiful the park is when the trees are full.
Overall, I was delighted to find how large and varied the entire park complex is, considering that it's just adjacent to a college town (I had my doubts as I approached it, driving through the Mizzou athletic complexes and thinking "no way there's a great state park so close to a big small town.") It took me a while to figure out how to access other trails in this complex--I started at Deer Run Trail b/c it was the first TH I found from the road. I drove further down the road to discover Gans Creek, Grassland, Devil's Icebox, and other trails. Definitely make time to do more than one trail at Rock Bridge, if you can. The variety is great.