Explore Camping Trip - 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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backpacking
9 hours ago

Loved this trail. I hiked from Barkshed to Allison and was impressed by the scenery. Massive bluffs, rock outcroppings and formations much like you would see along the Buffalo River, only on a slightly smaller scale. Ended up camping at a great spot by a big bluff and possibly the smallest waterfall on Earth about 1.5 miles from Blanchard. I got a shuttle from Sylamore Creek Camp which works great just note they are located one mile from the trailhead. I would also add this is possibly the best marked trail I’ve been on.

Hiked west from Johnson Shutins trail in the day use area of the park, to the Ozark trail junction. Then we followed the OT blazes west over highway N and north toward Tom Sauk mountain. Very rugged terrain most of the way. Trail blazes are difficult to find in more than a few places. Keep an eye out for the hikers cairns, they kept us from getting lost more than once. Also if you don't see any blazes for a while look for two horizontal nails in the trees about 4 inches apart. They mark where a blaze used to be. That also served to keep us on the trail a few times. Very nice hike other than the trail not being very well marked in some places. Watch out for hogs. My brother and I jumped a small herd rooting right in the middle of our path.

backpacking
6 days ago

Butterfield Hiking Trail 10-11 Nov 2018

Hiked the BHT clockwise doing an overnight. Weather was great with lows in the high 20s and highs in the mid 40s. No bugs, snakes or ticks. Foliage was about a week or two past peak.
Prep: No specific prep for this hike.
Hike: This hike is could be moderate or could be strenuous depending on how you hike and your experience level. The trail is generally easy to follow with sufficient blazes. Follow the natural line of drift and you shouldn't go too far off the trail. The only potential issue is where you may end up on another trail that crosses the BHT. If that's the case and you stop seeing the blazes retrace your steps and you'll be fine. There are mile markers, but while useful for landmarks, I would not take the actual distance as gospel. You will go 35 minutes to cover a mile while and with similar terrain and pace the next mile will be 15 minutes. There are some places where the trail is rocky, not as in you climb up rocks but a bunch of brick sized rocks littering the ground. Throw in the leaves covering the trail and this could be tough if you have knees or ankles that susceptible to being tweaked. I didn't use poles but some in my party really needed them to avoid bodily damage.

You need to stop by the visitor center and they will log you in and give you a parking pass for your car if you are overnighting. They will give you a copy of a sketch map and talk through any nonintuitive areas of the trail (get to the start, and the finish). With the map and a simple compass you are set as the trail is fundamentally a box bounded by two creeks. Once you start there is a some incline as you head up the ridgeline until about mile 2.5. You run the highground for a while and then by about mile 5 you are back by the creek. Once you pass mile 7 the trail becomes covered with the brick sized rocks. I edged up to the west (up the slope a bit) to see if conditions improved but they didn't. Around mile 9.5 the trail goes up and there is one chute of about 20m where you need to use your hands (about mile 10) but I wouldn't really call it a scramble. Then the trail rides the ridgeline. A little past mile 13 you have a downslope that gets you down the ridge and then you are at the creek. There is caution tape where the trail is closed by slide. Go about 50m left (as you face the creek) and there are some rocks where you can cross. If the water level is higher I could see getting your feet wet. After that another .5 mile and you are back at the parking lot.

Camping Sites: The great thing about this park is that there are primitive camp sites sprinkled throughout. Some are set along the creeks and some are in the higher ground. There are good concentrations about mile 5 and mile 9.5 (Junction Creek). We stayed at Junction Creek. It sits about 400m off of the main trail and the intersection to the trail that leads to it is marked. Previous campers have made 7-8 fire circles, stone furniture etc and there was plenty of deadfall to make a nice fire. About 5 groups ended up camping in the area. If you are looking for complete privacy JC isn't the place for you (at least on a weekend).

Gear: Standard overnight gear. Some reviews reported water resupply was an issue but you are near creeks for a lot of the route and the water levels looked good at this time of year. I used about 3l including camp stuff and rehydrating meals.

Additional notes: Check and see when hunting season is. We found out it was going on when we checked in. The visitor center will give you a flourescent vest to throw on your pack but the savvy folks brought a blaze hat or something similar. A lot of the trail in in the Forest where hunting is permitted and not the park . While we did not see any hunters you can hear them shooting fairly often so you know they are there.

There are some caves in the park but currently they are closed due to some disease that the bats are getting. If caving is your thing call the park for updates.

Overall a good hike with great camping opportunities.

hiking
10 days ago

Easy hike even if very poorly marked (marking the trail would at least give novice hikers an opportunity to learn). Lots of good fall foliage and trickles of water over the bluffs. A few small trails beginning at the very back of the campground road; those were better time investment (I’m fickle; I like the payoff). Day was cool and damp with thick fog impeding any view. But felt amazing at the top!

hiking
10 days ago

The trail is OK at the best. We got there on Nov 7 and it was 2-3 weeks too late. Leaves are mostly down and it made very rocky trail even less pleasant. But if leaves would be still there - the view has nothing unique or breathtaking about it. If you are going to walk it make sure to give yourself plenty of time especially now, when at 5 pm it is already very dusky and at 6 pm is very dark! If you'll walk it clockwise, decent is very rough and rocky. Makes very unhappy ankles. Very short distance after beginning of decent trail crosses a road. Walk it down till you get to a point of re-entry to the trail. Your ankles and your back will thank you.
Keep in mind that there is no phone/internet service at the trailhead and on most of the trail. LTE was at the top and in a few places on the east side of the trail.

very enjoyable and great overnight trail.

Hiked this trail from Cripple Turkey trailhead to Allison Nov 4-6, 2018. It's a wonderful trail with massive sandstone bluffs rising from creek level. Higher up, the trail travels along the bottom of high bluffs. There are countless beautiful hollows and side creeks. The fall colors were spectacular. On this trip it had rained the day before and rained during our trip, so water was plentiful in the main creek and side streams. The entire trail was clear, well-maintained and not overgrown. The section from Cripple Turkey trail head is less used than the rest of the trail, so it is not as much of an obvious trail in some places.

This is a beautiful trail. I will edit this with track and pics soon.

Very well marked. Hope to do an overnight soon and visit the entire trail.

we did it in the rain. it was a great trail. loved the stacked rocks area by the river. there is no other trail like it in the state. will definately do it again.

Beautiful trail and views. Devils den has an amazing camping area as well. They have multiple trails in the area that will easily keep you busy all weekend.

We loved this hike, it was challenging!

hiking
20 days ago

Beautiful trail featuring multiple creek crossings and swimming holes. But very overgrown with brush varying from ankle to waist high - perfect for ticks! Pulled over 150 ticks off me after hiking from from Allison to Gunner Pool. Got Lyme disease. Would not hike this trail again unless there is some serious trail maintenance.

Amazing

beautiful fall morning very easy hike

hiking
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

very fun hike. started at white rock abbs went down to shores lake. lots of steep narrow ridges. it's a tough hike but my 6 year old boy made it.

I'm not exactly sure why the this section is so different from every other trail in Missouri, it just is. Great time, just bring water. You may have easily done a 5 mile trail without needing water before, but there's 5 miles and then there's 5 miles on the Taum Sauk.

One of my favorite hikes

backpacking
26 days ago

A good trail with rewarding views at the top. You must put forth an effort to see the views, but that’s why we hike, right? Once you’re at the top make sure to check out the rim trail with great views all around. Rocks here are covered with beautiful, vibrant moss a lichen. There is also a water spigot at the top with clean water if you want to fill up. Do not camp at the top if you are backpacking.

backpacking
26 days ago

A nice walk in the woods. Some nice elevation changes that will get your heart pumping. The highlight of this trail are the fantastic camping spots by the creek. Several have pre-made chairs made from rocks with good back support. The trail has nice rock formations with moss and lichen: typical Ozarks.

A really nice hike. Many great views, the water level is high as a result of the recent rain, but the trail has held up pretty well, waterproof hiking boots helped

Rugged. Lots of ankle turners. Best views in the state.

Spectacular views after easy hike. We did not have kids but definitely recommend keeping close eye on them when on bluffs. Did see some kids rock climbing on our hike.

Great trail! It’s for sure rugged. Expect to be looking down a lot, but, make sure to stop and take in the scenery. My wife, daughter, son, two dogs and I did a quick 3 miles in from Taum Sauk mountain and stayed the night. The waterfall was a trickle, however, still a pretty awesome site for Missouri. We saw a lot of fence lizards and turtles. The coyotes were also having a great time throughout the night, but, never came very close. All in all a very nice and well marked trail.

Fun over nighter!

Super short. Amazing views.

backpacking
1 month ago

This is one of my favorite conditioning hikes to do in the early Fall. I completed it for the 5th time this past weekend. I hike the West side loop and come down the East side. I usually hike past the East side spur trail down the OHT a little further and camp next to Salt Fork Creek making this a wonderful overnighter. The first day you will hike along White Rock Creek which has a beautiful water fall and the 2nd day you will be hiking along Salt Fork Creek although you won't see it much. Be prepared for a lot of ascending on the first day. It's a real good workout! Thanks to the OHTA, too, this past weekend. They had done lots of underbrush weed-whacking so the trail was clear.

on Sam's Throne Trail

1 month ago

Nice hike with amazing views.

This was my first ever over night. It was a fantastic 2 days on the trail. beautiful scenery and a great trail to test your skills! Can't wait to do it again.

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