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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.

Be very careful during wet seasons. I hiked this trail this weekend and ended up slipping on a muddy hill and breaking my ankle. The EMTs said that they have to pull someone off the trail once or twice a month. Very beautiful trail other than that.

hiking
2 days ago

The fire tower was the highlight. The trees are taller than the tower, so there’s not much of a view from the top. The climb to the top of the tower is still worth the effort. Most of the trail is just a walk through the woods. There’s a few rock outcroppings and Bluff lines coming down the hill to the glade. Once at the glade there’s some decent views from there.

Very pretty...just a little snow on the grow and lots of beautiful leaves

Absolutely beautiful. Well used trail.

hiking
6 days ago

Beautiful trail. Easy trail. Lots of beautiful scenery. The trailhead is located behind the Nature Center with lots of parking. The fire tower is awesome.

Longest trail at roaring river great hike.

Great trail with beautiful views. Starts off on a boardwalk by the shut ins, then becomes a nice switchback over some rocky terrain. Loops down the valley for a ways then ties in with the Ozark Trail for a short distance before heading back up and out a different way than it came in

10 days ago

Beautiful fall hiking trail!

Lovely gravel trail around the youth facility. When passing the school building bear left immediately and go through the stone gates. Climb the 118 steps to get your floors.

We started our hike behind the Nature Center, where you can park and pick up a map. There are also other places to access this trail. The first half mile from here is all uphill, but levels off after that. About midway is an old fire-tower that can be climbed if you want. In the winter, you would probably have a nice view from the top, but leaves on the trees blocked our view on Oct 3. There are some pretty rock formations along part of the trail. When you are going back downhill, you will walk through an area of glade type terrain, before crossing a highway and reaching the river. A short distance from there takes you to a campground and along the park road to return to the nature center. Nice hike!

We hiked this trail twice during the last week of October, 2018. The first day was a perfect sunny fall day. Two days later, we hiked on a cloudy day. On Monday, we saw 8 other hikers on the trail. On Wed, with a threat of rain, we didn’t see any other hikers. The fall colors were beautiful both days and the hike was very enjoyable. There are a few places that are pretty rocky, but other places with very few rocks. Most of the trail is fairly level, but there are a few easy hills and one hill that is pretty steep and rocky. You will likely be breathing hard as you climb that hill on the way back to the TH. Most people willing to hike almost 8 miles should be able to handle it OK. The tunnel is neat to see and walk through. I would advise taking a flashlight to help make your way through the tunnel, as there are some rocks that could trip you in the dark. There are several rock formations/bluffs and small holes/caves along the way to view and or explore also. We crossed several dry creek beds on this trail. If you hike this trail in early spring or after heavy rains, these creek beds might have water in them. We hiked in and out on the east loop, as I had read the west loop wasn’t as pretty or worthwhile. There were no bugs or ticks on our late Oct hike and only a few cobwebs. We did search a little while the first day trying to find the trail head. Drive to the spring, but don’t go over the bridge. Take the road that veers slightly to the left. From there it is a short distance to the TH. Great trail!

hiking
15 days ago

Awesome trail!!!

Nice little place to go for something more local

beautiful fall variations of color during this time of year.

Really great trail! Easy to follow and the tunnel at the end is worth the hike.

very pretty, and a great place to take pictures.

hiking
18 days ago

Excellent little hike! Very well maintained.

Great view, make sure to go all the way through the tunnel!!

My husband and I really enjoyed this trail. Varying terrain, views and moderate difficulty kept it interesting. I suggest bearing right at the trailhead instead of left on the paved path. You'll reach the shut-ins at the end of the trail which is kind of like the grand finale of the trail. We hiked during the first weekend in October and encountered 2 -3 couples on the trail and that was it. Most people were swimming the shut-ins.

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.

Really beautiful. Short distance to get to shutins

I've hiked and ran both the Lewis & Clark. It is by far the best trail around! As others have discussed, depending on the time of year it can be muddy and mosquitos can carry you away. The trails can get a little busy on the weekend but it isn't normally very bad. Parking can be an issue.

The Clark can be hiked in around 2-2.5 hours.

I really like the trail, the history, and the grand staircase! Just make sure to follow the map on here because it was really easy to get confused.

The signage was way to inaccurate. The sign said we were .1 miles away, but it was closer to to 2 miles. I would not hike here again.

Hiked on 10/16/2018, and there were no mosquitos (yeah!!). I have hiked the Clark Trail, and the longer Lewis version. Trees are starting to turn. By 11/1, this will be an incredible hike with beautiful bluff views.

For a special treat, hike about 1 mile to the first bluff for the sunset. Easy hike back with a head lamp.

By far my favorite hike in Missouri

The only sign was something like "trail parking." The rest was a guessing game. Somehow we ended up on the main road but if we had extra time, we would have explored more. Signs, however, definitely would have helped. Still plan to go back to try to find the rest of the trail (where the historic site and steps are).

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

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail, love getting to the bottom on hot summer day to feel the cooler air from the cold spring water.

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