Matson Hill Park Trail is a 3.8 mile loop trail located near Defiance, MO and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking and is accessible from May until October.
Happened to stumble across this trail and we happened to be at the top...very fun walk down! Don't think I would have been so thrilled had I found it at the bottom. Will certainly be back to check out other trails in the immediate area solely based off this one.
Great trail... a little tougher than I expected, and we ended up doing 3.6 miles somehow??
Lol, there is nothing easy about this trail on a mountain bike. I love it because it has some great fast downhill sections and some really technical sections. I reiterate.....this trail is not easy. I took my wife there and she literally cried she was so frustrated.
Enjoyed our hike on this quiet, well groomed trail. Saw 4 adult deer grazing on the hillside. Encountered one other hiker and a couple of cyclists, on a 70 degree day! Great views and loads of blooming wildflowers!
I love this trail, one of my families favorites.
Just there two days ago and took this trail. Well groomed. Watch out for roots and rocks trip hazards though. Wide, no weeds, no brush, no ticks or chiggers. Only four bike riders and no other hikers. Peace, solitude. Nice views from the top of the hill at trail head.
Great hike, took the extra loops and trails and made it a good workout. Had fun with a couple bikers who passed me and then they would stop to rest and I kept catching up. As soon as they saw me they would take off again. One said I was motivating him to hurry on. I will visit this one again
Great trail for the kids
Great easy to moderate effort hike... would be great for kids. The trail meanders around a cute, rocky creek multiple times, there are great rocks and lots of mushrooms, for a happy mellow hike with no views it was very pleasant. We did the Matson Trail linked with the Oxen Trail. There are three trails at the park that you can link together to get around 6 +miles total. Nice grave parking lot, box full of maps, trails are marked well, even a port a potty at the lot. Directions on the sccmo.org page were spot on... i've attached a link
The Matson Hill and Oxen Mill trails make for a nice five-mile hike. I took my seven and nine-year-old daughters on what was the hottest, most humid day so far of the year and they made it just fine, so this is an easy trail to take kids on. This was their first five-miler. We met only two other hikers and two bicyclists during the late Sunday afternoon hike. If you like trail runs, St. Charles County Parks sponsors three runs with one being through Matson Hill Loop. The run begins at the Katy Trail parking lot at Hwy. 94/Matson Hill Rd., up to the park and around the Matson Hill Loop and then back to the starting point.
Beautiful moderate day hike.
I also had issues getting to the trail, and used Christine's directions instead of AllTrail's instructions. Following Christine's, though, I found myself tackling a very steep gravel road from the Katy Trail/Route 94. This road ends at a paved road, which I used to get back down the hill after my hike. I found there a less (scary) route to get to the trail head, by taking Defiance Rd or Howell Rd. and coming in from the north end of Matson Hill Road. This part is paved. If you are interested in a drive through wine country, you can come up from the south by taking Schluersburg Rd from Route 94 to Duke Rd (slight right at fork). Duke Rd then turns into Matson HIll Rd about a 1/2 mile from the trail head (still on paved surface). Where Duke Rd turns into Matson HIll Rd, the gravel portion of Matson Hill Rd branches off. Don't turn there, but continue on the paved portion, to the trail head. Here is a link to the area: http://goo.gl/maps/kjXDL . Bring the bug spray! High population of ticks on this trail.
The directions to this trail through the Program are not accurate. Take hwy 94 west to Matson at Katy Trail biking trailhead. Make a right on Matson Hill Road and follow the road up the hill to park and trail on right. To follow the program directions takes you to a farmer's field on the opposite side of the highway!
This trail is nice and easy with the exception of wet, muddy weather. We went in February after a thaw and the trail was dry on the beginning. There are some muddy areas towards the end of the loop that can be slick, so walking poles are helpful. Lots of various birds and woodpeckers. We were the only ones on the trail which was closed to bikers. Very peaceful.
Great beginner's trail with lots of variety. @ Mary thanks for the tour. It's nice that the Hey wineries are close by for refreshments! Lot's of up and down with plenty of roots to step over. The Sunday I hiked there were plenty of bikers on the trial going in both directions. Have to pay attention.
wow - Sunday morning bikes galore! Fun little hike otherwise but very busy on the weekends.
@Susan - it gets used - I hiked it today and as I was leaving someone was getting on with his bike. It is wider and possibly easier than it was the last time I was there but still a nice 2.7 miles and as long as you stick to the 'Matson Trail Loop' markers you can't go wrong. This one is it's best in the Fall and even winter when no snow.
I used to run this trail a few years ago when I lived with my parents down the road. It was a great trail to run in the middle of the week. No one was around, just my dog and I running through the woods. It was hard sometimes during the winter- the bicycle tracks would make it difficult to run when the ground was frozen. It used to be harder until they changed the route. There were more hills and switchbacks. Haven't been there in a year- hope that it still gets used.