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.

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If you go right at the start there's a nice .75 miles with a lot of elevation although not too steep - a couple gradual switcbacks. the rest is mostly flat and beautiful terrain. no bluffs, no streams, although a nice Creek at the end.

Went here on a whim and DID NOT REGRET IT. Drove the quick hour drive from St. Louis and got right to it. NO BATHROOM AVAILABLE AT TRAIL HEAD.

My friend and I absolutely loved climbing on everything! Every corner was a new view and adventure. I cannot wait to go back!!

Fun trail to run. A couple of those hills are just plain evil which is always a plus. The trail is marked pretty well and was maintained for the most part. There was a small overgrown section and a downed tree on the path. I'll definitely come back to this one again.

Nice easy trail with great views and rock formations. Worth a look if in the area.

camping
10 days ago

Excellent view and great hike.

Beautiful trail! My dog loved playing in all the water and there are some amazing views when you get to the top of the rocks! However the trail is very poorly marked and I probably would've been lost for awhile if I hadn't have downloaded the map to my phone. We will definitely be back!

backpacking
13 days ago

Loved this trail. Lots to see and explore. Very rocky but hey what's a trail adventure if it's flat and smooth... I will be back had a blast!

hiking
14 days ago

beautiful trail. Lots of covered trail and mostly paved. it's got maybe 2 or 3 hills but nothing difficult. it's really beautiful and not a lot of traffic. very peaceful

The map on this app combines the .4 mile unpaved Engine House Ruins Trail (a point to point trail) with the 1 mile paved Braille loop trail. The Engine House Ruins Trail starts halfway around the loop of the Braille Trail at the old roofless rock engine house building and passes by an old flooded quarry before connecting back up with the Braille Trail. The Braille Trail passes by the same quarry on the opposite side from the Engine House Ruins Trail. The trail is very busy on summer weekends but gives a nice view of the Elephant Rocks in the park.

hiking
15 days ago

Wonderful wooded trail with a couple of glades. The waterfall was dry as expected for August in Missouri. The loop trail descends toward the waterfall and then ascends back to the trailhead and is extremely rocky so ankle support is recommended. There are a couple of scenic overlooks including one that looks at the new Ameren Upper Reservoir that was built to replace the one that failed in 2005.

From the parking lot, a 1/2 mile total out and back walk on a wide paved sidewalk. The concrete walk will turn sharply left and lead to a bench with a plaque in front of a large rock surrounded by trees that marks the highest point in the state at 1772.68 msl.

I took my 4 year old in early spring. We loved it! Climbing down the creek bed is difficult so take your time. Beautiful views once you get down the the bottom. Overall nice trail to bring young children or fur babies.

Meh! Not so great. It was a fun bragging point but that’s it. The walk is very easy and short. There are no views associated with the highest point. We actually passed it up the first time around. If you are looking for views then walk to this point and keep going down the Mina Falls trail! Beautiful hike but a little rugged so be prepared for rock hiking past the paved walk.

Hike this with my husband and 4 young sons ages 6-11. We LOVED this hike even though the falls were dry. The views are amazing. I would suggest to being extra water if you plan on staying. We were there 4 hours and each drank 5 bottles of water because of the incline and the amount of playing we did at the falls. Overall great hike! You will need good shoes and keep going till you get to the end. Hiked in August.

Not surprising that this is a big draw for visitors, beautiful vistas for very little work! Fun scrambling on the rocks, good late afternoon cap on a day of more intense hiking.

Did it twice, once in each direction! Not too buggy, rocks are (not surprisingly) slick in the shade but easy enough to keep your feet dry.

Museum is great, hike is nice but don't feel like you need to do it to see everything.

Beautiful area to explore. Definitely bigger than I was expecting! You’re welcome to climb on the rocks as much as you want which added for extra entertainment. Could’ve spent hours just sitting and taking in the view

backpacking
18 days ago

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

We have hiked this trail in years past and I truly do not remember it being so poorly marked. It is really easy to get off the trail. While I enjoy exploring, I had not planned for such a long trip out. Next time I will be sure to pack more water. A positive is that this trail is the first one my 2 year old son started hiking on his own. Definitely beautiful with lots to see, but might not be for all little people. We did end up carrying him quite a bit as we were off on lots of non-trail paths. Saw a few abandoned strollers from past hikers... definitely don't bring your strollers. Happy we had this app and were able to rescue a few other hiking groups when we had coverage. Download the map!!

Second review of this trail! Last one was during the dry season, which I gave a 4/5. During the wet season it gets a 5/5 because the waterfall is actually there and is beautiful!
Also I didn't miss the sharp turn this time and got to see a bit of the trail that I didn't last time lol

hiking
23 days ago

I did the CW hike of this trail on Thursday, July 26th. The first 10 minutes or so parallels the main park road. Between you and the road is a spring-fed creek. It will end at a point where you cross a little foot bridge and see water emerging out of the rocks.

As others have mentioned, going CW gets the hardest part of the trail climb out of the way near the start. Once you ascend to the ridgeline, there is a bench that you can use to take a break.

One of the nice things about the trail is that, on the ridgeline, most of the trail is packed earth with hardly any rocks (in my case it was quite dusty). It resembled a bridle path but without any horses.

Finally, you arrive at the bench marking the descent back down to the trail base. The descent of the trail sure seemed a lot shorter than the ascending portion towards the beginning of the hike.

Once you get back to level ground it's just a few minutes walk back to the trailhead.

Like I indicated, I did the trail on a weekday. The parking lot was fairly full so I can imagine that on a weekend parking might be at a premium.

I am sure almost all people do this hike without trekking poles. But if I were going to do it again CCW, they might come in handy for the descent.

I have read some reviews mentioning ticks. But the path is rather wide and so I never had to brush up against any tick bearing undergrowth.

The trailhead sign said the the trail is 3.25 miles in length. I am a leisurely walker and it took me 1.5 hours to complete the loop while stopping to take quite a few pictures.

Loved our mid-summer hike. Was steeper and more difficult than we expected but are definitely going back in the fall. It’s amazing that this beautiful area is tucked away here in the Midwest. Wear good hikers and bug spray for the valleys.

hiking
27 days ago

The trail is a great way to see the beautiful canyon! Some of the creek bed can be rather steep and slippery so be sure to wear the appropriate footwear. Once you descend into the canyon the mosquitoes do get a little bit bothersome so remember the bug spray.

Always a great trail.

Absolutely amazing views!

7.21.2018. We went left at trail head; much preferred. The beginning 1/2 mile was quite rocky, and many roots, felt like walking through dry creek bed, we almost turned back! Many narrow areas with light vegetation overgrowth. Three to four creek crossings practically dry this time of year. We brought our standard and toy poodles, sprayed Sargent tick and flee spray and they seem fine after. We used deep woods off, three hikers, no ticks!

So rest of hike was quite nice, sandstones, limestones, along most of trail, wild flowers, ferns, butterflies, some open fields (1/4 of trail?) Most of trail quite pleasant, canopy tree lined, wide path.

You know there are a few neg reviews...., but what it’s worth, it’s all opinion. I my self have been here twice once during a red flag day and once on the yellow flag. Some reviews are right if it’s during the “swim” season, then it’s probably not going to be as beautiful because there are a ton of people swimming through the natural slides of shit ins. However during the rainy or off season this park is gorgeous! Roaring waters, the smell of spruce and pine, greenish blue waters, a waterfall, traverse landscape...... I totally loved the shut ins during the red flag day. It was before the stores opened and tourist flooded it. We were one of about three couples there and it was peaceful and beautiful. I agree it should probably be rated a mild moderate. Probably not to good for kids in some places, but with a watchful eye should be ok.

I thought this trail was pretty cool. Visited it twice, 1st time didn’t have enough time to hike it fully which was a shame because the second time was very dry. The water fall was not a waterfall. It was supposed to be 135 ft waterfall. It was still beautiful country tho. Tough for someone less experienced I think. Lots of rock and elevation. 106 heat index when my group trekked it. Still it had a few areas to filter water and plenty of shade.

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