Explore Backpacking trips near STL - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Backpacking trips near STL Map

Not sure why it says 13.7 out and back. It is a loop that is close to 20 miles. My cousin, my dog and I hiked this Nov. 3rd and 4th. The leaves were changing and we lost track of the different varieties of mushrooms we seen. There was an abundance of places to filter water so there wasn’t a need to carry more than a couple of quarts and probably could have got away with less. There are some caves and a natural spring to check out along the way but one cave is closed during the winter. I would suggest taking a map and compass as the trails are not well marked and can be easy to lose during leaf fall. We tried using gps off of a couple of different apps but found non of the recorded tracks to be completely reliable. I would definitely hike this trail again.

Me and a buddy did the loop starting at Camp Five Pond Trailhead heading CCW. The trail was fairly well traveled (met 2 couples doing the same trip we were doing) which made it easier to pick up but was still tough in spots. The leaf fall is late this year so we didn't have a lot of new leaf litter to deal with. That would have likely made it pretty difficult. There were still some tough spots. We had a compass, this map: http://www.ouachitamaps.com/Irish%20Wilderness.html and a GPS for backup/redundancy against our orienteering skills. The map from Ouachita Maps was very accurate, even more so than the trail that the GPS showed (I think that was USGS data). Even so, we lost the trail a couple of times but were able to pick it back up fairly quickly with a little scouting around. Be careful coming out of White's Creek after the float camp (heading CCW). The ascent is tough and the trail is really easy to lose there! There was a curious 'encampment' at the Fiddler Spring access, we weren't sure what to make of it but it wasn't a backpacker's set up. Didn't see any of the inhabitants, though.

Beautiful wilderness area with great views/scenery as the trail goes along the river. We did it in 2 days, camping only 1 night. About 11.5 hours total hiking time. Map and compass/GPS (and the ability to use them effectively) are critical - I wouldn't do this trip without them.

One of my favorite trails in the area!

21 days ago

Wonder site. The white connector has two well done campsites that make it easy to set up camp and hike the other trails while still providing quick access, less than 30 minutes, to real bathrooms and your car if needed.

23 days ago

My friends and I started at Greer Rec Area with the intent to hike up to the bluff overlooking the river. (This would be hiking west towards McCormack Lake.) It was so overgrown we were unable to tell where the path was and unable to see trail markers so we had to turn back. That makes me sad. My family hiked from McCormack Lake to Greer every summer when our kids were young. And we still talk about the stinging nettle we encountered on one of those hikes!! :-P

Did this one on a cold Sunday morning. Went clockwise at the spur as advised. Last 1/3 can be tricky if you’re not paying attention. Inclines were not hard at all. Phone died at the ten mile marker but gps had me at 10.40 once I got back to the sign. Great hike if you’re looking for a longer one. I’ve now knocked Johnson shut ins off my hiking list and I’m on to the next park.

1 month ago

one of the best places to hike in the state. the pines are incredible

1 month ago

great trail for a day hike or short backpack. gorgeous views

Easy peasy. Nice little trail.

Well-marked. Great views. One of the best in Missouri

This is a great trail. There were a couple of overgrown places and come trails aren't marked well. This trail had great sites to camp.

Beautiful and quiet. Did all of North and South loop. Camped at campsite #3 which was very nice. The trail has great variety and is well marked and maintained. Some parts of South loop are little overgrown and you have push through the grasses but it never last for long. Would recommend and will return. Happy Hiking

First backpacking trip for me. It was challenging in some parts but the experience and views were well worth it. Stopped for the night at Camp 2 which was by a water source; it provided nice sounds to fall asleep to. Went out to see if I liked backpacking and this trail made me fall in love with it!

1 month ago

Kim and I completed the North loop 6+ miles in 2.5 hours with three short breaks for water and snacks. We are a 50 something couple who walk 4 miles a day minimum. We found the trail delightfully different; most of the trail was clear soft sand, pine needles, soil/leaves. About 1/5 of trail was rugged with larger stones (3-10”); would rate this area difficult, all other parts easy. Trail was well blazed; when we were confused, bam, a blazing! The variety is stunning and remarkable; tall pines, deciduous trees, grasses, wildflowers, creek beds, granite formations, scenic views. See photos.

The trail is in rough condition; very overgrown and easy to lose with no markings. It is definitely low on water right now, but plenty of spider webs! I think I took home most of them on my face.

1 month ago

This is a well maintained trail. Lots of gravel as expected in this part of Missouri so the trail drains well after rain. Thanks to everyone that maintains the trail. It looks great and has no aggressive up or downs. There seems to be confusion about the mileage.. printed map says 24 miles, Trails indicates 25 miles, our GPS recorded 27 miles, the trail is marked with mile/half mile markers, last one we passed was 26.5. We took our backpacking gear and were using this trip to gauge our maximum mileage per day. It was a surprise when we hit mile marker 24 and still had an unknown number of miles to go. The next 3 miles were a real mental challenge. So we completed the 27 mile loop in one day with our backpacking gear and realized we are no longer 18 years old..if you try this in one day get started early and take enough gear to get through the night if you need to stop. Next time we do this trail we will split it into 2 days.

1 month ago

Good times, camped on the side of a bluff in a hammock.

great variety of terrain, flora + fauna

Great hike! Did the north loop today and it was great. Some parts of the trail were a little overgrown but nothing to crazy. Would love to go back and see what it looks like in later fall.

2 months ago

Two friends and I did the combined north and south loop trails for an overnight backpack trip. I've never seen so many different varieties, shapes, colors, sizes of mushrooms in my entire life. The trail is very well traveled and well marked. We didn't start until 2p and made it to the 3rd camp by 7p. The 3rd backpack campsite was the best one, in my opinion, after seeing the first ones. It is worth it to make it all the way to this site to set up for the night. There is access to more water at the creek just past this campsite as well, which would have been helpful to know instead of filling up so much at the previous point. A few spots on the south loop are slightly more overgrown, but nothing impassable, just because it is less frequented. Overall, a beautiful park with lots of different terrain and scenery.

We saw an armadillo and they are gross. MORSHMA!

Old double-track trail. Very old, though, so not as unpleasant as double-track sounds, although you could drive a car along most of the trail.

Very rocky in the initial ascent, but only for that first mile.

Beautiful glades. Only saw one other party, although it was a Thursday.

2 months ago

Trail was great !!! Super glad I had the pro version of All Trail and was able to view the downloaded map the entire trip. Otherwise for me it would have been impossible to stay on trail. The markers are all throughout the trail but I felt might have been a little misleading because of all the other trails that intersect with the Mudlick Trail.

The trail definitely was a challenge even though the gain was not terrible tough.

Overall I really enjoyed the trail and experience !!

North loop. 6 1/2 miles

3 months ago

Excellent view and great hike.

Spent a weekend out on the trail. Great trail! Well marked and lots of opportunities for water. Really scenic for trails around here.

3 months ago

Not bad trail to overnight— very easy and quick, pretty good for a Missouri trail

A bit rocky for a trail run this long but no problem for hikers. I was fighting with spider webs strung across the trail about every twenty strides and almost stepped on a copperhead so be sure to stay on the lookout for that. There was a really nice view about 2.5 miles in that you can also stop at on the return trip. All in all I enjoyed this challenging run and would recommend it to anyone looking for some really good hill workouts.

It’s a good one day hike if you start in the morning or a a late evening with one night of camping, it’s pretty but not a lot to do if you plan on spending a day there. There are a lot of ticks!

5 months ago

We turned this into a three day hike because we wanted more time out there and it was worth it! at the 12 mile mark you can go off to the left and about .1 off trail is a great campsite with a decent little creek. it was nice and secluded great for a first night stay. when you get to Brazil creek fill up your water as there are not many options after that.

Great trail with a beautiful view from the summit. Also sort of busy on the weekend-expect at least one other person/group to set up camp at the top with you if you plan to backpack.

Most of the trail is pretty rocky and steep, so bring good boots and minimal other gear. If you go on the left, expect to go downhill quickly to a river and all the way back up again both ways. Good to refill on water. The left side to camp took is about 4 hours of hiking and going down on the right side of the loop, a more steady decline, took about 2hours.

Be careful of muddy spots caused by horses churning up the path (waterproof your shoes) and also horse poop.

Lastly, make sure you take lots of precautions to protect yourself from ticks. It seemed like Lone Star and seed ticks were everywhere.

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