The Ozark Trail: Marble Creek Section is a 11.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Ironton, Missouri 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
This nine-mile trail is a pleasant day hike and an excellent mountain bike trip. This section will eventually connect to the Taum Sauk section via Ketcherside Mountain. The Marble Creek trail is the little orphan of the Ozark Trail, laying half-way between the Taum Sauk and Wappapello sections, waiting to be connected. Private land blocks the path in both directions, so until easements or purchases are negotiated, the final route between the two is uncertain. While the trail is point-to-point from Marble Creek Campground to the Crane Lake trailhead, it features a loop around Crane Lake. The southern-half of the loop is considered more scenic, as it passes by the shut-ins below the dam and features great rock formations. The trail from Marble Creek Campground to and around Crane Lake has been completely sawed recently. There are still some large root balls from May storms, so be careful and keep a look out for them. Portions that were subject to logging may be difficult to follow at times. If you are unfamiliar with the trail, you should bring a topo map and compass or GPS.
You need to download the track from OT.com before attempting this trail. Too many fire roads criss crossing and topo maps show some roads and not others. Their depiction of the Ozark Trail is more than a quarter mile off in some places. The downloaded GPS track is perfect though. With that said, the trail is nothing special. Lots of woods walking, very little in the way of views or special stuff unless you continue on the the Crane Lake loop a the end of the Marble Creek. trail. Other than the beginning and end of the trail, there is only one small man made stale pond to get water from where the trail crosses over road 2120 about 2.5 miles from Marble Creek TH.
Like others said, this map is wrong. I submitted a correction. The trail is rocky around Crane Lake, and poorly marked to Marble Creek in some spots. It's easy to get onto a logging road. The trail does share a portion with a couple of them, though.
That said, I did enjoy the trip back. It was raining hard but still did it in a little over 3 hours. It was better marked. If it's been raining, you'll cross a couple creeks.
Completely awesome and convenient
It a house
A word of warning to those wanting to hike this trail. THE GPS LOCATION IS INCORRECT!!! I went to the location that showed where this trail was and it was just someone's house
This is a nice walk through the woods, with a few obscured views of the hills nearby. It may have been better in the spring when some of the creek beds were flowing. This hike definitely has a remote feel to it. Like most of the OT it has rocky, rough terrain. The nearby marble creek campgrounds are a good place to camp. The crane lake trail connects to this section of the Ozark Trail at the opposite end from the marble creek campground.