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Had a great time trailrunning with a couple friends this entire segment on 01/06/18. We found it very runnable with just a few trees to hop. We ran point to point starting at Council Bluff lake, running 4 miles to the beginning of the Middle Fork section ending at Hwy J parking near Oates. My Garmin Fenix 3 recorded this section point to point SoBo as22.89 miles with 2800ft of gain. Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/2060795375/shareable_images/map_based?hl=en-US&v=1546811321

Great overlooks, beautiful water crossings!! Everthing a hiker wants. Some steep inclines and rocky areas as well as long flat walks though the trees. My favorite trail!!!

The trail was an easy walk especially with small children. I didn’t find the trail overly scenic and there was a fair amount of garbage.

Waterfalls were beautiful! Fun trail! Great day for a hike.

My wife, daughter, granddaughter, and I hiked this trail last Sunday. It was a great hike, but a little longer and tougher than we expected. The falls were beautiful! The trail after the falls was mostly inclined with lots of rocks just the right size to twist an ankle. Well marked trail.

Pretty beautiful trail but it is a little rugged! We were supposed to be on another earlier trail , but we got lost, so we were on this trail! The falls on the half way are worth to visit! Gorgeous
My 4 year old son made it! Proud of him

Some spots can get overgrown, and some smaller trees may have fallen over the trail. Nothing that's hard to step over or go around. The trails are very well marked, but keep an eye out for some spots that may cross the bigger creeks (I got turned around a couple times on one trail where the marker was on the other side and I hadn't seen it the first time.) Almost all of the trails are close to the water most of the way. This can make for good fun, but also lots of bugs and gnats in the warmer months. Pack lots of water and some snacks, as there are connectors to other trails you can do in the same day. This is a great park, and has a good variety of difficulty in the trails, and length.

The trail started off level near the trailhead and became steadily rockier as I continued on. By the time I reached the first glade, the trail was very rocky.

The waterfall was breathtakingly beautiful. It was partly frozen, but still roaring.

The trail was well marked with blazes and I thought it was moderately difficult.

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!

Ran this section with friends point to point southbound from Hwy J trailhead to Hwy P / Hwy 72 trailhead on 11/23/18. The trail was in good shape and we had no trouble finding our way. Especially liked the Sutton Bluff section. Fenix 3 GPS watch got 28.4 miles with 4200’ of gain

https://www.strava.com/activities/1981156432

backpacking
1 month ago

Great 12 miles, can be completed in one day or two.

Rugged trail.

Absolutely wonderful views.

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

Did this 6/18 . Some spots overgrown, was well worth the effort.

1 month ago

Beautiful area for hiking many sections of the OT

Great trail. It is quite rugged, but the views are worth it. We hiked it right after a snow so the falls were flowing beautifully. Would recommend having plenty of time to navigate the boulders and explore. Would definitely do again!

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.

hiking
2 months ago

One of my favorite hikes so far! My husband and I hiked this today and enjoyed the cooler temperatures and for gorgeous fall foliage colors. The waterfall was fairly dry but still beautiful. Next time I would like to hike the additional 2 miles down and back to see the Devils Toll Gate.

Beautiful views at the top and unique rock formations. I will definitely go back.

One of my favorite trails in the area!

We hiked late October, cool temperatures, beautiful skies and foliage. The natural granite formations, moss and lichen were amazing. To us, the hike was difficult; we found 80% of trail had rocks 4-12”; which made for difficult down hill hiking. The “mina” is a gradual down hill, for first half, then up hill hike for second half. We hiked with special needs son, and two dogs, in just under two hours. See photos.

backpacking
2 months ago

Wonder site. The white connector has two well done campsites that make it easy to set up camp and hike the other trails while still providing quick access, less than 30 minutes, to real bathrooms and your car if needed.

hiking
2 months 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

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.

Did this one on a cold Sunday morning. Went clockwise at the spur as advised. Last 1/3 can be tricky if you’re not paying attention. Inclines were not hard at all. Phone died at the ten mile marker but gps had me at 10.40 once I got back to the sign. Great hike if you’re looking for a longer one. I’ve now knocked Johnson shut ins off my hiking list and I’m on to the next park.

walking
3 months ago

Particularly nice trail in the spring and fall when it’s cool out. You walk along the river, and there are several places to access the river bank.

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