Swimming Deer Trail is a 3.4 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Bonne Terre, MO that features a river 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.
dogs on leash
Well marked, 2 wooden bridges, large sinkhole ,very deep This trail has a steep climb at the beginning, but is fairly level overall. There are some rocks in the trail making for tricky footing in places. There are also two wooden bridges to cross. A point of interest, is the deep sink hole located along the trail, and an old shack. Swimming Deer Trail follows Big River for approximately one mile and circles back along the hillside to its origin. Hikers will be treated to outstanding bluff overlooks along Big River for much of the walk. Also along the trail is evidence of scars left on the land from a time when settlers dug shallow surface mines by hand in search of lead deposits. A historic log sawmill reflects a time when this area was so heavily logged that hardly any trees were left standing.
I went with three 4 year old kids and three adults. It was a really nice trail. There are a few places where the kids needed help, and a few spots where they have to be kept close because of some drop off but wasn't a hassle. We saw several deer despite the kids. Also the trail is just off the river so you can swim or explore the water. We will definitely be back. The name fits this trail!
Great trail. A classic while camping there. Easy trail most of the way for kids. One spot is pretty step and rocky but kids can make it with a little assistance.
This trail had some nice diversity, an old shed, two sink holes, river views off the bluff, small cave. Worth the hike when at the park. But, the last one I would do if I have time for the others.
Lovely, well-marked trail. :)