A visit to Washington State Park is sure to be a memorable experience for anyone. A favorite attraction here are the Indian rock carvings found in the park. These carvings, or petroglyphs, are believed to have been made around A.D. 1,000 and give clues to the lives of the prehistoric Indians who once inhabited this part of Missouri. Washington State Park retains many of its original buildings constructed in a rustic architectural style in the 1930s by African-American Civilian Conservation Corps stonemasons. In addition to a lodge, there are quaint stone hiking shelters, a picnic pavilion, and the beautifully laid stone slabs that make up the 1,000 Steps Trail. The three hiking trails at Washington State Park provide every experience, from an easy stroll with bluff-top views of the river to a vigorous excursion through 10 miles of rugged Ozark terrain. Park visitors also can enjoy camping, fishing and swimming -- in a modern pool, or in the Big River. Available for rental are canoes and comfortable cabins with fully-equipped kitchens. Come and see for yourself why the area now known as Washington State Park has been attracting visitors for nearly a thousand years.
FYI - Trailhead starts at the lodge for those looking for it. I had to do a bit of driving around to find it, and the state park maps were not of much assistance.
Maybe I'm hard to impress, but to me, this was just an average hike. It was a clean trail with relatively well-marked blazes. It was fall, so the dropped leaves sometimes made it difficult to find the trail.
All in all, it's a nice hike, I wouldn't consider it difficult. It's a tad long for some. But really from an elevation gain, I did not find myself out of breath while hiking.
Some neat rocks and geological features along the trail as well as some overlooks. I could hear the roads and local gun range while hiking, so that took a little bit of the "getting away" feeling that I typically want. But, the trail itself was not busy at all and only ran into one other hiker.
I also agree with the rocks and tree roots. If you're new to hiking or have weak ankles, this is a trail you might want to consider some footgear with some support or take trekking poles.
If you want something to test out your new backpack\boots and trekking poles on, and don't want to get too far away from your car\civilization where you're hurting or lugging something you hate, this is your trail.
I'd give it 3.5 stars if I could.
Christopher S. on Rocky Woods Trail
One word. Awesome! Trail was very clean and well marked. My only issue was that I was looking down A LOT. Someone else mentioned that this was the trail to sprain an ankle. I agree! Take it easy and be careful on this trail.
All in all I highly recommend this trail to anyone and everyone.
Really enjoyed this hike! I disagree with the hard rating. If you have done serious hiking and/or backpacking this hike will be more moderate. There are no switchbacks. It's well marked, but 3/4 into the hike the trail abruptly ends at an outdoor pavilion. It picks up again and the other side of the pavilion, on the right. However, you won't see the orange blaze until you go down the trail a little. The steepest part is after this, when it connects to the 1,000 Steps Trail. However, it's all downhill. The trail ends at the trail head sign for 1,000 Steps, which faces the lodge. I found the trail beautiful and was happily surprised by a section with wild roses!
Very difficult to do the whole thing. 1,000 Steps Trail was closed but it was the only way back so we did it anyway. First, it is a trail that is constant steep descends and ascends. Lots of medium to large size rocks that are pointy, slick, shaky, unstable and jetting up out of everywhere. Tree roots, too. If ever there were a trail to sprain your ankle on, this is it. Ending with 1,000 steps is super challenging. This made The Chubb seem like no big deal. Great way to burn 4,000 calories. Not for beginners or people without strong will. Great for training, though. Carried 50 lb pack and found it to be great training.
Good hike. some steep areas with loose rock. the Rocky wilderness trail combines with the 1000 steps trail for a loop. right now the 1000 steps trail is closed due to a fallen tree on the trail and poor trail conditions from all the rain in that area recently. I would suggest you bring hiking poles with you if you have them. It will make the steep areas easier to climb and coming down easier also. Definitely wear hiking boots and layer clothes. I would bring bug spray for the summer, lots of mosquito's.
MartyBecky H. on Opossum Track Trail
Steep grades at beginning and end. Very nice hike.