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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.

Well defined trail. Easy but good variation. Beautiful.

Beautiful hike on a well maintained trail.

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.

Hiking 10/19/18 - Beautiful area! The trail was marked great in most places but missing several important places so that we were wandering around looking for a direction- losing time and adding 3 miles to the hike. Finished in 9 hours with moderate speed, stopped once for lunch for around 45 minutes. The alltrails app was a life saver! No ticks, very few bugs/spiders as mentioned in other posts.

Very easy trail, beautiful year round, but can be crowded with people on the weekends.

Beautiful 60 degree day, very sunny and windy. Trail was in excellent condition. Awesome hike with lots of elevation change and some cool creek/drainage crossings.

quick trail but can easily spend hours here after a good rain looking at the waterfalls and rock formations

backpacking
27 days ago

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

Pretty, but poorly marked. Saw the USFS guys out there mapping the trail properly, so maybe it’ll get fixed up. Standard National Park Rec Area donation fee. Two bucks in the old stump.

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

Went out there today. The temperature was perfect. Really nice quiet stretch of woods with quite a few streams/river crossings. Was pretty easy too. Took me 1 hr 15mins. Trail is clearly marked.

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.

Trails are horribly marked.. we spent hours going in circles trying to figure out which way to go..

hiking
1 month ago

My first time hiking and I thought it was not only easy enough but beautiful. I saw the bluffs with the river view and a creek bed. Lots of great photo opportunities

backpacking
1 month ago

The weather was amazing. Trail seems unkempt; we counted 20-30 downed trees across trail. Trails were narrow, in some areas less than a foot wide. Seed burrs were a real issue, our poodles, standard and toy had several hundred each. Poison ivy covers about 25% of trail contact area. Most of trail (75%) was difficult to hike, 3-4” stones, and roots presented continuous ankle challenges. With trekking polls it was safer. Maybe in late fall or winter leaf coverage might make it better? Blazings were exceptional; never had a doubt, lots of markings. And creek crossings, starts as at crossing; why not put bridge to start? There were at least 10 crossings, most slippery, and often challenging to keep boots dry.

hiking
1 month ago

‘Twas a tiring but good hike.

backpacking
1 month ago

one of the most horribly blazed trail I have ever been on, blazing is good through the first half right up to about 300yds from the road then you have to walk out of the woods and find the horse R2R trail to take you back up, no blazes, then at the top of the BIG hill where the trail splits, do not follow the the red/white trail blaze it will walk you 3/4 of a mile out of your way to a horse trail, instead stay on the R2R trail at the split and you should be fine. I ended up walking 9 miles to a 6 mile campsite. I was there 9/29 and little water on late trail get your water early.

When I was a child, I had the blessing of seeing this waterfall running, it is SO worth trying to see. that being said, I've hiked this trail probably 10 times and only got lucky once. one of the most breathtaking falls I've seen.

hiking
1 month ago

Quick hike; good hill factor and the views from the top are soooooo worth it!

A nice walk through the woods. I was caught off guard by an incoming cold front and the temp dropped nearly 20 degrees when I was halfway in. I had decided to shed some weight before heading out and not pack my down. That was a huge mistake that I won't make again.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a great rugged area overall, but the map associated with it on this page wasn't accurate as far as I could tell. We did attempt to follow the marking on the GPS, however getting across to the dam was not happening as the rocks are very slick and the water was moving pretty quickly. I had a pack on with towels and books and didn't want to risk soaking everything so we stayed on the east side of the river. With that said, this is a great place to find a smooth rock along the river and chill out, which is exactly how we spent most of our time here.

They also charge $2 for parking, which had I read here more in depth I'd have known, however I didn't and it caught us by surprise. We did have the cash, unknown what the repercussions are if you don't. But what are we paying for exactly, rocks to park on? It sure isn't trail maintenance because there was trash on it such as cans and bags. The trail is also not really marked, I saw zero blazes and only one sign at all, there are a couple of junctions where without any GPS you could certainly get off track. If it's just for some guy to mow the campground (as another commenter mentions) nearby then I can only chalk it up to greed, because I did see them patrolling to get their cash, which is a really sad practice.

hiking
2 months ago

Giving two stars due to the abundance of TICKS! The first mike of this trail is narrow and through scrub timber. The creek bed is cool - neat rocks, sometimes you have to take the bank - no clear trail through these sections - no way to avoid walking through brush and weeds. We got 2 miles in and turned back because we realized our legs were covered with tiny ticks. Would not do this one again.

Easy trail, flat, and short. Beautiful year round, but the falls are only active after a rain. Otherwise it’s just a trickle of water falling.

this is a beautiful fall. very easy to access.

trail running
2 months ago

Loved it!! Saw a turtle!!

Beautiful rock formations. Want to return in the spring when the water fall is running

Great mix of hilly and more level terrain. gets your heart rate up without being too steep.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail on the edge of the suburbs! Very active park, there was a trail race event going on while I was there, but still I had plenty of room to hike this route comfortably. There's some good bits of elevation gain and fabulous bluff views along the South edge. Most of the trail has plenty of room to let mountain bikers pass, but do keep aware for them coming around corners.

I was amazed by the wildlife. Deer were grazing by the side of the road as I drove into the park, as if it was a zoo, and I encountered another one which let me get within 20 feet before casually trotting away. Lots of birds flying around. I was VERY glad I brought bug spray, so don't forget yours!

Only reason it's not 5 stars is the vehicle and train traffic noise you can't really get away from. Not bad, but always there.

hiking
2 months ago

When we did this, it was tough to stay on trail in spots. If we do it again, it will be in late fall or winter. I was picking ticks off constantly.

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