Explore best of mo - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

best of mo Map

Hiked the “Low Water Trail” in 3/14:18 and it was muddy...but fun! The middle part of this trail (which follows along the Meramec) is mostly flat and at this time of the year is bug-free.

Great for all ages

Loved the hike!!!

The bald Knob has an awesome view, everything else on the trail is just a long stroll through the woods. Don’t waste your with the loop unless you are doing it for the exercise.

Explore the cave!!

9 days ago

Went here a few times for the lake and white sands. Beautiful place. Peaceful and serene. Added pics for everyone to see. If you want to see more and other trails I’ve been on follow me at wdp_phoographyinstructor on IG.

It was very short but very fun. Interacting in the cave and seeing it up close was worth the trip from St. Louis.

Very pretty...super easy to get off the trail, though.

This Trail Is small VERY SMALL! but worth the stop it is listed in the Smothsonia as the top 50 in the USA! On Smithsonia.Com and top for Illinois very Beautiful place. if you trail it it dont take long but in my case it lasted for almost 9 hours .Put me in a Wilderness and I'll stay as long as possible and cry when I have to leave. There are a few folks walking around but I seem to be able to figure out where to go to get away from them plus I went in the middle of the week so that helps. beautiful place I was there in Oct 2017 for the fall colors PERFECT!!!!!!!!

Definitely harder than I anticipated!

It was amazing. It was a little hard to follow the trail at some points.

I cannot express how much I LOVED this hike. Lots of different rock formations and elevations changes. It was rough and rugged yet nice and well maintained trails. Yes, parking was tight, but it was more than worth it. I did not find it too crowded on the trail at all even though parking was full plus some. This trail is worth it and you won’t be disappointed.

16 days ago

Great trail for the day after a good rain! Some parts weren't paved but for the most part it was, which was nice to not have the hike not be as muddy! Will definitely visit again.

17 days ago

My husband and I hiked this trail last summer and it was a great experience! Definitely a rugged trail, and any visitors should be fully prepared with water and water filtration systems if they're planning on a longer trek. The views were worth any difficulties!!! We were also surprised by several cleared campsites along the way that weren't on the MO State Parks map.

I did Bell Mountain Wilderness to Taum Sauk Mountain State Park. This portion of my trip was absolutely beautiful! It was rocky, rugged, and steep; give yourself plenty of time. I planned to camp here; it took me 6.5 hours to finish this portion with a 30lb pack. I recommend doing this in the fall, winter, or early spring as there will be some overgrown areas. Ketcherside Mountain had some amazing views. Please leave no trace!!

Beautiful area, we had the entire summit to ourselves for the night a few months back.

Wonderful hike.

18 days ago

Nice loop trail that connects to the other trails. You can easily do all 3 trails here looping back to the cave within a couple of hours. We took our 10 year old nephew out on them and he had no problem whatsoever. Very nice! One thing to note is when we got to the open field near the Loutre River section, the mosquitoes were horrendous! Make sure you do not skimp on the bug spray!

Awesome to see and climb on. The rocks make narrow crawl spaces and is a lot of fun to explore, kids had a blast. This is a must do in Missouri.

Had a few cool little look out spots, generally easy trail, waterfalls were cool and there is a bathroom at the trail head.

Great trail. Easy to follow. Had a nice day here with my kids.

trail running
26 days ago

Super fun trail to run. I have two GPS watches (Garmin and Epson) going, mine and my dogs, and didn't go "off trail" but for 0.2 tenths of a mile and both watches showed 10.55 miles, so it is longer than advertised here, but the trail head shows 10 miles. I followed the recommendations from below and ran counter clockwise and feel it was a good choice as you have more "fire roads" on the west side and lest boulder fields. The hogs have done a number on the trail though on the west side, but still runable. Took a little over 3 hours at an easy pace. Trail is CLEARLY blazed and not an issue to follow as you can almost always see the next blaze once you are at the current one. Only place that was a small issue is the creek bed area at the start as the normal spring floodings over the years can make it not quite obvious where the path is, but it's not hard to find it again. Nice views on the east side but more rock fields. Good, good trail to experience, did it with my pup and had a great time.

1 month ago

An absolutely beautiful spring! The road from south of Alton (160) is quite curvy. The sign to the trail is very small, so don’t miss it! The trail is actually only 1 mile and the elevation change is 450 feet. The spring is clear and peaceful. We saw a bald eagle soaring above the spring today!

Was a great hike, this year was the first time I hiked it during winter. Personally I enjoyed this trail better during this time period. The frozen waterfalls off the bluffs, and being able to see more exposed rock face. You just don’t get that when the leaves are on in the warmer months just made it for me. Highly recommend.

Completed the entire loop in 4.5 hours. Was going to camp, but Mother Nature ruined that:) I saw numerous bear paw prints, feral pig tracks and deer tracks. Could have sworn i heard an elk bugle, but maybe my mind was playing tricks on me

on Lime Kiln Trail

1 month ago

I ran this trail twice, back-to-back; first clockwise(CW), then counterclockwise (CCW). The first mile of the CW loop was very rugged and rocky. This section of trail was a lot of “rock hopping”. I would say, depending on what your workout plan is, that the CW loop is a bit more anaerobic vs aerobic; i.e. your legs will few it! I prefer climbing this type of terrain as opposed to descending. The CCW loop has two climbs at the beginning. The first is rocky and rugged also, but not as bad as the CW loop; plus it is shorter. The second climb is not rocky or rugged but is much longer and steady. If you like rocky, rugged trails, then you will like Lime Kiln.

I love this trail. This was my favorite as a little kid and is still one of my favorites. Maybe it’s the memories.

It’s pretty, paved, and not too hard...but does get steep in some areas.

Been 15yrs since last here and that was on a MTB. Still as rugged as I remembered. Good stuff though.

I'm hesitant to write a review, as the trail is getting trashed from over-use, but this really was an excellent hike. I took my 5 year old daughter and she loved it. It was the first trail she's hiked without being carried once, and we completed the whole 3 mile loop in 4 hours. (That should give you a good measure of the difficulty). Right now the trail has a lot of icy spots, so I would recommend bringing a walking stick or trekking poles to help with balance on the canyon descent and ascent. Please practice good trail ethics. Pick up after your dog, don't leave trash, don't pee in the middle of the trail and leave your toilet paper marking where you peed, and be mindful of the effect your boots are having on the trail when wet. Leave no trace.

At times as you proceed down the trail in the wet, rocky canyon, it is so steep that it looks impossible. However, the next step and handhold seem to appear at the last moment. I wouldn’t want to do the trail if it was raining.

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