Explore Missouri - 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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Well defined trail. Easy but good variation. Beautiful.

hiking
16 days ago

It was a nice hike in October. The leaves are changing and there’s not much to see except trees. We went north and south of Hwy K and it ended up being about 5.4 miles in a little over 2 hours.

best during cooler season,less bugs

hiking
19 days ago

Very nice trail, well marked.

This is a review of the Cannon Trail. The trailhead is at the opposite end of the parking lot from the pavilion which is next to the creek. There are no blazes but the path is well-defined and all intersections are properly posted. The trail is almost all earthen with very few areas with small rocks.

At just over 6 miles per my GPS track, this trail is much improved over my last hike here about 3 years ago. I hiked it counterclockwise this time which starts off quite flat while the trail follows Big Creek.

If you've driven the loop around the park (I recommend you do that first for orientation), you know that the front section is the low elevation and the back is the higher elevation. Hiking CCW makes the ascent more gradual but there are no steep ascents in either direction. This is a fairly gentle topography.

Kids should have no trouble on this trail. All the same, the trail is never far from points where you can easily "bail out" to the loop road running through the park. At those points you will often find additional parking areas with modern vault toilets and water fountains usable in season.

2 months ago

I’ve been coming to this trail for years and always enjoy the hike every time. It doesn’t take too long and isn’t too hard. The trail is thin, but I usually avoid going on weekends and I only have to pass 1 or 2 people. Nice to do on a cloudy day.

I enjoyed the hike, but ended up with poison ivy, 100’s of chiggers, ands tick borne illness. Would never hike this area ever again.

hiking
3 months ago

creek was dry no water but a good hike

Just hiking through trees. Nothing special. The trail was a bit overgrown

hiking
3 months ago

This trail was nice and had good views of the lake. Also is a great trail for anyone who is adverse to elevation changes. The only down side (in my opinion) is the narrow width of the trail, which made it difficult for my German Shepard to heel next to me while walking. Furthermore crossing paths with fellow hikers was tricky in some spots due to the narrow trail with steep banks on one side and the lake on the other.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail was great and had very pretty views! My only complaint is that it’s a very thin path and when traffic is heavy, it can be difficult to get around people. We had our dog with us, which wasn’t a huge problem until passing situations.

Great trail to hike with lots to see. Horses also use the trial and there was a tremendous amount of manure on the trail today. More than I've ever seen on this trail

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked CCW the loop on the north side of Highway KK on Tuesday afternoon, 7/17/18. No one else had been on the trail all day as I encountered tons of spider webs spanning the trail.

Luckily, I didn't pickup any ticks even though the trail was a bit overgrown in places. I also encountered about 7 down trees crossing the trail. The primitive campground was empty and the spring down the hill from it was dry.

I didn't run into swarms of mosquitoes, but there seemed to be at least one that nagged me most of the hike in spite of my Deet.

The wildlife were pretty sparse. I encountered two deer but surprisingly no squirrels at all. The birds in the canopy were also rather quiet.

I've hiked this trail several times since 2015. All in all, this is a very nice hike.

My GPS tracked the north part of the loop (above Highway KK) at 3.6 miles. I hiked very leisurely which took me about 1 hour and 45 minutes including breaks at the primitive campground and the spring.

hiking
5 months ago

Easy trail but OH THE BUGS!! In all fairness, not a great trail for the summertime. Tick protection did no good.

Nice easy terrain, mostly shade.

Cannon trail

hiking
5 months ago

My wife and i hiked this trail and has lunch at the backpacking campsite. we accidentally hiked it backwards. but this trail is absolutely gorgeous. one of the most beautiful trails I've ever been on. it feels like you're in a fantasy book somewhere! absolutely amazing creek bed and tall canopy trees with ferns and small undergrowth..
only con: the ticks are outrageous. 30+ in just a few hour hike.

trail running
5 months ago

I love this trail! Note that the water in the bathrooms at the back of the trail is NOT for drinking. Watch out for horse dookie. There’s a great variety of terrain and views and it’s a very fun trail to run.

trail running
6 months ago

good trail for a recovery run or anyone wanting to try trail running, whether you have logged road miles or not. either running the whole trail or a run/walk combo, this is a relatively flat trail, both wide and single track; some roots and rocks but nothing too technical. crosses the park road a few time so anyone wanting to bail has some options. I did the cannon trail for 5.5 miles. the alltrails map for 6.9 miles is a combo of cannon and one other.

hiking
6 months ago

Nice trail, very flat with cool views. A lot of beaver activity which is cool to see!

hiking
6 months ago

Nice trail that's easy to follow. Gets a little confusing right before connector 5 so pay attention to the trail markers!

off road driving
6 months ago

I need to talk to AllTrails about some serious updates here. First, there are multiple trails, about 80 miles of them, in this 12 to 13 square mile area. The primary use of the area is "off-road motorcycle riding" or "dirt biking" which isn't a category AllTrails uses, so I selected "Off Road Driving". I can eventually map all of the trails in AllTrails, but go to https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mtnf/recarea/?recid=21762 for the official information on the area.

As for dirt biking, this is definitely a 5 star place to ride trails from easy as pie to hell and back. All skill levels can have fun here. There is a lot of level trails, rocks to bounce over, hills to climb, streams to splash through, and even bridges to cross. Visit Rattlesnake Cave, Deer Trough, and good luck finding what's left of Stump Springs, but it's there. There's also a 5 acre trials bike area with no limiting trails within it - ride wherever you like.

Hikers could conceivably use the area, but I've never seen any on the trails. If you hike this, you'll have to ford creeks (in the wet season), climb some pretty steep stuff, deal with lose gravel, and above all, get off the trail if you hear any riders coming your way! Some people ride fast without much time to react.

In my opinion, hike elsewhere and have run riding here!

Lot of trees down but very nice hike.

hiking
6 months ago

this hike is not 6.6 miles more like 4 miles.

Nice place to ride, can get technical quick...

Beautiful scenery

Nice views as the trail stays alongside the lake.

hiking
8 months ago

First time at this park and on this trail. I was there on a mild winter day, but the trail was so muddy that it was more strenuous than marked. It felt much longer than the 3.5 miles, but I did it in less than 2 hours.
There are very few blazes on this trail, but honestly, you can't get lost b/c you are following the exact perimeter of the lake. You see the water the entire time. I hiked it counter-clockwise, and as I entered the wooded trail after crossing the grassy levee, there was a large fallen tree exactly on the start of the trail, and that tree connected to a beaver dam. With the mud, it was difficult to even see the start of the trail and to access it. I hope they can clear that obstacle soon...I think it would be difficult for very young children or less-mobile hikers to do this trail.

hiking
11 months ago

It was awesome until we came to a section where 3 trails met up. We followed the orange blaze because that’s what the map on here was showing but then the blazes disappeared. From there we ended up at a point with several different trails all unmarked and tried to use our best guess as to which one was the actual trail. It didn’t work and we ended up backtracking and then finally bushwhacking back to the road and taking that to the trailhead. Additionally, the trail needed some maintenance in terms of large trees across trails.

We saw 3 beaver dens and lots of beaver activity.

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