Big Piney Trail

MODERATE 27 reviews
#1 of 2 trails in

Big Piney Trail is a 17.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Licking, MO that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

17.8 miles 3827 feet Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

mountain biking

horseback riding

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

bugs

muddy

old growth

rocky

Paddy Creek Trail is a rugged 17 miles through typical Ozark forest of hardwoods and pines with rocky outcroppings, and with seasonal waterfalls. It has several creek crossings over Paddy creek and several scenic bluffs overlooking the Big Piney River. Considered one of the best trails in the state.

backpacking
20 days ago

The trail was moderate. Had a great time. The trail at the eastern end is not well marked. Need to pay attention when getting ready to turn around at that point. Water is much more scarce in the fall. Suggest to back in what you need, except when next to Big Piney Creek. Definitely would do the hike again.

6 months ago

awesome trail with some beautiful scenery. could use a few signs at some of the intersection.

backpacking
6 months ago

poorly marked intersections, ended up doing a figure 8 between both small loop and large. amazing views and plenty of campsites. the water crossings were all under 8 inch deep water.

hiking
6 months ago

Have to pay attention to walk this one, quite a few unmarked intersections. There are some good views on the eastern end, water to filter throughout.

horseback riding
6 months ago

great, long, few more trail markers would be nice. but didn't get lost

hiking
7 months ago

Went down south loop to waterfall. it is pretty there. had lunch not a lot of bugs but we were well covered and bug sprayed. lots of big rocks on tail so you send a lot of time looking down to avoid tripping. Great Day Hike and we are beginners.

7 months ago

Not a bad trail. Kind of rough with a 60 pound pack on your back and finishing it within 24 hours. The trail can be kind of confusing at some places but nothing too bad. I did hear what seemed to me like a larger predator that wasn't scared off by my loud noises wandering around at night. It's very secluded and the sounds of of the forest are amazing when it's calm out. This was very early spring so not a ton of vegetation.

hiking
8 months ago

I did the trail over a 2 day trek. I did the trail counter clockwise. There was a lot of different nature scapes along the trail, creeks, waterfalls, and forests views. The main waterfall is toward the end of the North loop (or beginning if you start there first). There is a much smaller one on the beginning of the South loop. A lot of nice places to camp along the way and water sources if you bring a filter

8 months ago

Great Trail! Tall cliffs, waterfalls, and multiple creek crossings. Plenty of water to filter at creeks and waterfalls. We hiked counterclockwise (south loop first). Don't follow the pink ribbons. The orange blazes later in the trail were accurate. Backpacker Magazine's waypoints (on their website) were helpful. Comfortable three day hike with perfect weather!

hiking
9 months ago

Great trail, pretty easy for average fitness levels. Watch your step! Horses use this trail regularly enough. Even in February, the primary creek/stream with the waterfall was running. Didn't need water, but would have felt safe enough drawing from it. But there were numerous creeks dried up for the winter, so buyer beware depending on the time of year you hike. Plenty of dead wood on the trail for fires and ample space to set up camp anywhere on the trail. The camp sites at the trail head are nice too; right next to the lake.

hiking
10 months ago

A group of three of us did the entire loop as a 3 day, 2 night backpacking trip in the winter. We did the loop counterclockwise beginning at the Roby Lake trailhead. Overall it's a very nice hike with typical Ozark mountain terrain. Small creeks intersect the trail as it rolls over hills of pine forest. The trail seemed tailored to equestrians. The designated campsites on the south trail of the loop were far from water sources and mostly on top of windy plateaus. The north trail was similar. I would rate it a 5 but the trail is NOT marked. We used a paper map and GPS to stay on trail. This is important as you cross the creek to do the north loop. Also, someone marked alternative trails with pink ribbons--these do not mark the trail. The waterfall at the end is really pretty.

Loved it! We went in the fall and everything was dying off so I can only imagine how wonderful it will be in the spring!!! Can't wait to do it again. Trail is fairly well maintained. There's a couple areas that may be a little questionable as to where to go but if you prepare before hand you'll have no problem!!

hiking
1 year ago

This is a beautiful trail. I used to live in Licking and this one is the trail I remember most. Beauty does have a price however: it is rocky, poorly marked, You may encounter copperheads and water snakes and it is a long trail. Don't expect to do this in one day unless you are in super trail shape. It is not so much the 17 miles as the rocky and hard to follow trail. A lot of people get lost here, so have a backup plan to get out if you lose the trail. I don't know if tracking works in here because it did not exist when I hiked this trail. It was almost 15 years ago.

hiking
1 year ago

This was a welcome change from the civilized trails of the state trails. The more remote and less manicured trails added to the adventure. There are a great many stretches of trail with large, loose screen covering it; expect to wear sturdy shoes and pay extra attention to where you place your feet. The scenery is breathtaking in places and dreamy in others. The Lee ovation changes make this a good hike for exercising. I'm not so sure the distance I hiked (I've got to get a pedometer), because of the primitives and number of trails. I believe I made a third of my return on a well worn game trail. This was a wonderful trek!

hiking
2 years ago

They're some great views and this is a good hike to go on, the only problem is there are many trails not on most maps, it can get confusing and it's easy to get lost. The map you get offline and the map the park gives you are different . So if you're going to hike here be careful navigating! Other than that great hike!

hiking
2 years ago

This trail passes through a few creeks that are fun to rest your feet in. I am not 100% sure we even stayed on the train the whole time. Path is completely overgrown in some areas so it is really just a guess. It was great seeing wildlife though. We even had a whitetail deer cross our path in a full sprint. Trail seems to be very light as far as traffic goes, so not much trash except for the occasional coke can. The area is just so beautiful that despite the trail being not well maintained, I would still go back.

hiking
2 years ago

Lost the trail because of how poorly maintained it was. Had to turn back. Lots a scenic areas but not worth the terrible trail.

2 years ago

overall a good trail. started slow but over the course of it I enjoyed the hike and the scenery changed a few times adding to the enjoyment. just be cautious, the trail can be hard to see and the map at the TH was very poor.

hiking
2 years ago

Lots of good views. Rocks cover this trail, making it a little dangerous. Good spot for pictures on the creek, by the waterfall.

hiking
3 years ago

Very interesting trail! A lot of rocks so make sure to wear ankle support. Very good overlooks. The waterfall on the creek was also very interesting!