Explore long trails - 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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I give this trail a five because one section of it is outstanding. Overall it is a 3.5 because of poor trail marking ,erosion, roughness, and deep ruts caused by horses.
To get to the really nice section start at the church at the south entry point and head north, down into the valley. After you cross the small creek (probably dry in summer), continue 50 yards or so and look to your left for a inconspicuous trail headed down the creek (towards the west). A tree was marked with surveyors tape at the entry point. Follow this trail all the way to Cedar Creek. I think you will enjoy. Not as many horse ruts and the stream and moss covered boulders and bluffs are beautiful.

hiking
12 days ago

Great area for hiking. Unfortunately the lack of trail markers caused me to hike 15 miles instead of the 13 that I expected. So glad there was no snow today or I may still be there! Most of the trail is easy except one area called "the stairs", so I believe it should be categorized as "moderate", not "difficult". I'll definitely use this trail again.

This trail needs some maintenance. There are 20-25 fallen trees that are down on the trail. For someone day hiking this is not an issue but there are camping sites along it which requires more gear and larger packs.

My favorite trail in Eastern Missouri. It has every terrain and elevation you can think of. From the low wetlands that flood after rain to mountain climbs at 20* of angle. Amazing.

backpacking
1 month ago

Great views, poorly marked trail and deep horse ruts. Great camping spots.

Great technical trail. Loved it.

This is one of my favorite trails in Missouri. Beautiful views, great for an overnight backpacking trip. Great length for taking out first time backpackers.

Unfortunately, someone broke a window on our vehicle with a rock. There was nothing in the car and beer cans left in the parking lot.

Just wanted to leave a heads up here for people heading that way.

I will definitely hike this magical trail again despite this misfortune!

Beautiful, beautiful views.

Lmao what a joke. Yes a good trail for this part of the country, but THE DRAMA of inexperienced hikers/reviewers. I get it, not everyone has climbed a mountain or even done a 14er. But the clamorous reviews of some group needing to come down because of a little rain and thinking they were about to die...really ridiculous.

Fairly easy hike, can be done in 1 day, more fun in 2.

4 stars because it’s the best you’ll get down there. -1 for the drama, but if this was in any other part of the country...it would be 1 Star. Btw there is some wildlife, no bears but “little bears” that may get into your pack. So pack smart!

Great hike. Definitely a good work out. Due to the time of year though, the trail is very easy to lose because it’s completely covered by fallen leaves. Definitely be aware of where you are and periodically check the app if possible. Topographic map was very helpful. The view was great and very pleasant.

1 month ago

Beautiful area for hiking many sections of the OT

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.

Did the section as a day hike from the south to Onandoga Cave SP. Found the north half overgrown, but nice trail, rock formations, views, and capped the trip touring the cave.

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.

2 months ago

Beautiful fall hike in rolling hills.

road biking
2 months ago

Would have given it a 5 star but poorly marked. Markers are only every mile. A simple blaze system would eliminate this. Started at the West end. The first half mile I was off trail and had to back track and then drove to Lone Elk lot to restart. Hiking rated difficult but only moderate at best. Completed the entire 13 miles plus. Will retry. Positives: very few on trail, peaceful, hills.

Good hike, not overly scenic, but typical of area. Couple bluff views, some water crossings. backpacker camps exist along trail.

backpacking
3 months ago

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

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

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

hiking
3 months ago

I'm not sure I would rate this as "Hard," but it's definitely rugged (and certainly hard if you do the entire 10.5mile trail!). Blazed in orange, with white connector trail blazes.
I found the trailhead from the main road, easy to spot. Small gravel parking lot at the TH, and others parked on the road's shoulder. I loved being alongside the lake for the nice views for nearly all of my hike. I completed 3 miles one way, then turned around to return to the TH to leave. I'd like to visit again and complete more of the trail, perhaps from a different TH. Pretty fall leaves, very quiet, and I spotted a huge blue heron gliding along the lake shore. It was a bit muddy, but not problematic (lots of rain earlier this month). It's heavily wooded for most of the trail, but it does open up to a big grassy glade that is at the foot of the lake's dam. I crossed this, following some markers, and picked up the orange blazes again. I crossed a few small creeks, nothing too tough.

Go in the fall. In July I got covered by seed ticks even wearing deet.
Whole loop was tracked as 12 miles by our phones. It took about 5.5 hours, 7 with breaks. Beautiful cold, delicious fresh spring in the back of the long loop. We were able to refill water bottles and wade our tired feet.
Some steep ups and downs. Terrain changes often from crushed rock, dirt, grass and back again.

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.

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.

nature trips
3 months ago

Easy walk on a gravel road. Some wildlife. Can see downtown St. Louis.

wide diversity of flora + types of terrain. wouldn’t say it was a hard or difficult hike - perhaps moderate largely due a lot of vegetation or fallen trees coupled with narrow pathways at times. fairly quiet + unpeopled.

In the sun, but absolutely beautiful! Worth it if you bring sun tan lotion and water. Enjoy!

There are pretty views and rock formations, mostly shady woods with open sunny glades closer to Johnson Shut-ins. Oh and rocks, rocks, rocks.

We hiked from the Taum Sauk trailhead to the Highway N trailhead, 13.5 miles. We did this over 1 ½ days. We have done several day hikes but this was our first overnight backpacking trip so we wanted it to be fairly short. We traveled from St. Louis to the Highway N Trailhead with two cars then shuttled ourselves to the other end. We didn’t start hiking until lunch time so stopped a couple miles in at Mina Sauk Falls to eat. It was just a trickle of water that day but still a neat area to eat and explore.

Based on other reviews we expected the trail to be rocky and it sure is! Really only a few short sections the whole way were without large rocks. It got to my hips the second day. (I’m 49). My college age son and his friend faired better than my husband and I but after a section with a lot of rock slides they commented “that section sucked”. We did a lot of training preparing for a different hike and were used to 40 lb. packs and a 2mph pace. I had a lighter pack but we only managed about 1.5 mph.

There were two nice camping areas by Taum Sauk Creek and one a little further down. We tried out our water filtration system at the creek but camped further on at the last spot. It is by a ravine with a storm creek that may have water some of the time but didn’t when we were there. We expected to dry camp though and had brought extra water. The map we got from the Ozark Trail Association showed all the water sources and was accurate.

Chiggers and spiders were pretty much the only wildlife we encountered. After about four miles in we didn’t encounter other hikers either. I’m sure the hot August weather had something to do with that. We enjoyed the solitude and quiet at our camp site.

The trail was really well marked. I read a previous review before going that said the trail was not well marked. Someone must have done some maintenance between those times because we didn’t need our map or compass at all. Many of the blazes looked new. When we got to the end we car camped at Johnson Shut-Ins State park and enjoyed the shut-ins the next day. Overall a nice three day weekend.

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