Bennett Spring Natural Tunnel Trail is a 7.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Windyville, Missouri that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from October until December. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
This trail is a 7.5 mile round trip trail that takes you through Spring Hollow to a 300 ft. long natural tunnel. It is about 15 ft. wide. This is a very unique natural feature. The trail to the tunnels takes you through creek beds, meadows and wooded hills. The Trail head is in the parking lot just south of the spring. Trail maps are available at the visitor center.
Very well maintained and marked trail. Map was not needed but I still stopped at the visitor center to get one. I did not find the trail to have much in elevation, nonetheless a great day outing. The natural tunnel is well worth the journey.
Fun trip out to the natural bridge. Instead of the out and back, we took the west trail and it was poorly marked. We ended up on a service road with no recollection of ever passing an option to turn or did not see any blue blazers. Trail wasn't worth the added mileage. Would just do the out and back if we do it again.
We went in on the natural cave trail and tried to complete the loop instead of going down and back. We wound up on a service road and I still don't know how that happened. Luckily the service road ran back into the west trail and we were able to finish the loop. Next time we'll be going down and back since there really wasn't much to see on that leg of the loop.
Beautiful, well marked, take a flashlight. Lots of picture opportunities. Not so hard that you can't have a great conversation about everything and nothing.
This trail had a mix of everything and the payoff is definitely one of a kind. Lots of dry river beds and wide open grassy paths spread around. All depending where you begin, this trail would be excellent for families.
My daughter (9 y/o) and I hiked this trail 6/30/2016. We are what I would consider hiking novices, but I have lived in the Ozarks for 37 years and I am very comfortable romping around outdoors. We started in on the western side and unfortunately had to skip the tunnel loop itself and head out on the east side of the trail due to incoming pop-up thunderstorms. However, coming out on the east side the trail was poorly marked in several spots and at least one part of the trail was completely occluded by dense, waist high vegetation for a bit. We could not see where or what we were stepping on. We have hiked other "moderate" skill trails but this one was significantly more difficult than others. The terrain is rough in places and there are several steep inclines/declines with shifty footing. Numerous large logs to cross. I would definitely recommend shoes/boots with good ankle support if your ankles are not accustom to uneven terrain. Also use a good bug/tick repellant. TONS of ticks and chiggers. Ticks checks are a must.
We completed approximately half of the trail in just under 2 hours. We will definitely return to complete the trail and to see the tunnel. But we will go in cooler weather perhaps when the vegetation is less dense and fewer ticks/chiggers.
This was a great after work hike! Loved it and the natural tunnel is very cool! I will warn about the tics. I went home with 30+ tics stuck in me.
On a warm 70 degree day in February, I hiked this trail with my dog for the first time. I would rate it more challenging than "moderate" due to some of the steep climbs and rugged terrain almost throughout.
I was fascinated by the variety of the scenery: woods, lots of stream beds, steep hills, rocky trails, and crazy-looking cliffs. It's hard to say a trail looks beautiful in the dead of winter, with nothing green or leafy, but I can image this one being pretty amazing in the summer or fall. I started on the west loop. It had one very steep climb and at one point I seemed to be up very high on a bluff.
The Natural Bridge is a real treat. If it's a warm day or you're overheated, the cool temperature inside the cave is delightful. I exited the back of the cave to pick along through the stream bed for a short while--there's no marked trail beyond the Natural Bridge.
We loved the cool water in many of the streams and at the Natural Bridge.
I returned on the east loop, which also had one very steep climb. A large section of this trail is a rugged, rocky path that must have been a creek or stream at some point. Even though it was flat, I really had to watch my footing on all of the rocks.
I did the full 7.5 miles in about 3 hours. I would definitely return and do it again, perhaps reversing the order of the loops.
**ignore the captions on my photos...somehow the same caption was applied to every photo.
Nice hike with some steep areas - took the west loop in which is poorly marked. At about 2.25 miles in you arrive at an old service road with no marking or signs - I thought it was the intersection of the east loop so I ended up traveling about 1/4 mile in the wrong direction on a clearly well traveled trail. I back tracked since I had seen no blue blazes. Until I reached the east/west intersection 1/2 mile later (clearly marked) I was not sure I was heading in the correct direction. Wonderful scenery, just wish it was better maintained on the west loop. Next time I will take the east track in and out.
We hiked this trail in January with a high temp of 42 coming off a below freezing night. A chilly start but a warm walk once we got the blood flowing. Lots of wildlife tracks some looked like big cat prints. There are some caves and good elevations an enjoyable hike. Don't eat the chili at the visitors center.
Hiked it on 8/8/15. East side trail is the best bet, because it seemed like the west side trail coming back from the tunnel was over grown and not very well marked. Be sure you take plenty of bug spray because the ticks were pretty bad. Great trail, and awesome scenery with the tunnel.
Hiked it yesterday. Took the east loop to the tunnel which was way worth it. Had lunch at the tunnel which had hanging icicles that came in handy as a water resource for the dog. The trail was well marked. Took the west loop back which was easier.