Mudlick Trail is a 11 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Patterson, MO that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and horses and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Mudlick loop trail climbs 415 feet above sea level in Big Creek Valley to 1,313 feet above sea level at the top of Mudlick Mountain. Most of the trail is located in the Mudlick Mountain Wild Area, one of the most significant, undisturbed natural landscapes in Missouri. From the day-use area trailhead, Mudlick Trail begins by ascending the foot of Mudlick Mountain and continues across the eastern, rocky slopes, over Millers Ridge and through one of the most significant remaining old-growth forests of the St. Francois Mountain, where large white oaks, black oaks and pine exist. Roughly two miles into the hike or ride, the trail intersects a .25-mile spur that leads to the parks fire tower. The fire tower is closed to the general public, but the area still offers picturesque views and a great place to rest. Continuing north another .50 mile, there is the Mudlick Hollow/Hollow Pass intersection. Mudlick Hollow is accessible to hikers only due to rough/steep terrain not safe for equestrian passage. Mudlick Hollow is also where backpack camp #1 can be found. Equestrian riders, as well as hikers wishing to bypass Mudlick Hollow, should continue west along the Hollow Pass portion of the trail. Next, the trail begins the gradual climb to the summit of Green Mountain. The view from Green Mountain is best during the fall and winter when the trees in the thick oak-hickory forest have shed their leaves. From the southern end of Green Mountain, the trail descends rapidly, via a series of 'switchbacks' into Logan Creek valley. A dense stand of red cedar grows in the valley, providing a cool shaded corridor for the trail. A second spur at this point leads to backpack camp #2 for overnight hikers. Once through the valley, the trail begins a steady climb to the top of Mudlick Mountain, where Millers Ridge takes users north back to the day-use area completing the main loop or gives the option to continue on the 4-mile campground spur that takes hikers to campground #1 and equestrian riders to the equestrian campground.
Great hike! This place has it all. Great trails for both hiking and horseback. Stayed in one of the hiking shelters that had a fireplace and offered amazing views of the valley and river. Well worth the trip and time. Trails definitely live up to their rating as "rugged" and there are many elevation changes which add that extra challenge for serious hikers. Will be going back to complete the entire 16 mile loop.
Did the big loop, about 13 miles. Went counterclockwise and stayed at the last shelter making for a quick one mile out the next day. Moderate trail, a little rocky, well marked. Plenty of shortcuts on inner trails if you're with a group. River is very nice, as are shelters.
Tough! It was our first backpacking trip. A lot of steep inclines but overall was great. We stayed at Backpack camp 2 near the creek. The hike out of the camp was tough. Next time we will definitely stay in one of the shelters - shelter 1 has the best view.