Explore point to point - 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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backpacking
12 days ago

Did this trail last weekend but had to stop at the creek. Water sources along trail are low because lack of rain and smelled so I would not filter.
Going south bound from Ozark Outdoor, at the 2.5 mile mark there are trees down over the trail and will require you to climb over them.
Overall great hike and beautiful views.

Our first impression of the horse camp side was pretty dismissal. 2pm and there's an extremely intoxicated guy carrying a handle of vodka and yelling obscenities at someone else at another site, shortly after he passed out in a camp chair. The two young teens with him came over to us and invited us to party with them later - they looked like they might have been old enough to drive, maybe. They said they camp frequently there. That was enough to make us not interested in spending any time here.

We didn't get far because you literally have to wade through the river to begin the trail. However, I did it . It was only knee deep and not slick - just be ready to take off your shoes and wade across. So, we spent the day climbing around the beautiful waterfall and up the mountain beside it. We were able to see quite the view just there! It was so worth it!

paddle sports
5 months ago

Great river. Lots of caves and springs to explore on the upper section above Alley Spring. Great swimming and fishing for the whole family.

hiking
6 months ago

it is a lovely place with wonderful views i give it the 4star for the average person a 3.5star for the more fit person would not recomend rainy season just cause of the valley's and a creek bed that you must cross

Beautiful hiking !! Nice people an great for dogs also!!!

Beautiful trails and definitely worth it. Not good for the winter months due to the creek crossing and if you have a dog, the shooting range isn’t great, especially if they’re jumpy. Guns were literally shooting the entire time we were hiking.

First two miles of the trails were great, but was not able to continue due to the lack of trail markers. The switch backs we were suppose to encounter were not visible from any point, and poor signage led to a bad experience.

Good trail. There are a lot of other trails (appx. 20 miles) in Swan Creek Wilderness.

There are several more trails in this area than shown here in the Swan Creek Wilderness Area - approx. 20 miles.
LInk to map of all trails here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd516654.pdf
I followed trail #6107 which I believe is the trail shown here from the east trailhead off UU Hwy to the creek and back which took me approx. 4 hrs. I didn't have any issues finding my way and found plenty of trail markers along the way.
As others have noted, a lot of trash in the parking area. I was bored on my hike back and decided to make a game of counting the pieces of trash (mostly beer cans) seen from the trail - 134 :)
Of course this doesn't include all that is laying in the parking lot. I don't know how anyone can get lost on these trails as long as you follow the beer cans :)
There is a larger parking area on the west end off Hwy 125 at the Bar K Wrangler Camp but you may have to tread some water to cross the creek to get access to the trails depending on water levels.

backpacking
7 months ago

There was some trash at the trail head. Mostly beer cans and probley from kids using this as a party spot, but it cleared up down the trail. Great place for hiking with some up hills, down hills, and several flat areas. I thought the trail was worn well enough and didn't have too much trouble seeing the trail. There a couple of times I kind of lost the trail, but it's fairly obvious where the trail is at. Very few trail markers along the way, but I got to Swan Creek with no problem. The trail is a doosey (fairly steep) on the way back so be ready. Overall it was really pretty and really remote. I would recommend this trail, but give yourself about 5 hours to get to the creek and back.

the trail is well marked and maintained very well. can't wait to get back there.

backpacking
10 months ago

We backpacked this section of the Ozark Trail last week on a hotter than usual day. The scenery, cave, and water crossing was fun. we camped at Bass River Resort and then canoed/kayaked back to the trailhead the next day. Would do this again.

Nice walk through Ozarks rolling hills!

We did the 2 1/2 mile section from Lower Narrows trail head, North to the Courtois creek crossing / Bat Cave. We were just messing around, looking for a hike to do while our friends were floating the Huzzah. We had our 5 and 7 year old kids with us. The hike wasn't difficult, but it wasn't really what I was looking for. I was hoping for something more scenic with views of the Huzzah and Courtois rivers. Next time I will do more research to find a better section. It was around 5 miles, there and back. One bonus was that we actually had decent AT&T cell service while on the trail, unlike the campground we were staying at.

hiking
Monday, July 31, 2017

One of the volunteers that helps upkeep this section of trail and has been involved in the Ozark Trail for a number of years has a kickstarter going to help publish a book that highlights many gems along the Ozark Trail.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2019427560/the-ozark-trail-images-of-missouris-longest-hiking?ref=category

horseback riding
Sunday, June 18, 2017

I take issue with the man who stated horseriders left trash and cans ... more likely towners that deface our trails and camps...

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Gave it a 1 star because we drove an hour to specifically hike the Chief Illini trail and at the trailhead there was a sign saying "closed-do not enter". Nothing on any websites, nothing at the entrance to the park...

We did hike other trails in the park and they were ok. A lot of maintenance needs to be taken care of (overgrown trees, bushes and weeds) and the trail mileages are listed but the trails themselves criss-cross and are hard to follow. Another awkward situation is that the smaller trails cross right through people's campsites...

We had a nice time but probably won't go back...too far for potential closures and high maintenance needs...

hiking
Sunday, February 26, 2017

This is a beautiful section of the OT!! It doesn't get as much traffic as the Northern sections, but man it is awesome!

backpacking
Sunday, February 26, 2017

One of my favorite sections of the OT!! It doesn't get a lot of foot traffic, so it maybe a little faint in areas, but a really beautiful hike! If it works out, the scenic overlook of the 11 point at the boom hole would be an awesome place to camp for a small group!!!

backpacking
Wednesday, February 22, 2017

First time to Missouri and I was not dissatisfied. Trail conditions were good considering the amount of leave cover, only real downfall was amount of traffic even this early in the year. The weather was unseasonably warm as I'm sure that played a part. I would consider another trip down the Ozark Trail again. Many other sections to explore.

horseback riding
Monday, February 20, 2017

Great place to ride a horse

river perfect but beware if you own personal equipment the private campgrounds and canoe outfitters will refuse your business and try to make your life rough

horseback riding
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Beautiful moderate trail with a few BIG hill climbs.

hiking
Friday, October 21, 2016

A taste of everything here. Can be tough in spots but plenty of calm terrain as well. I recommend a night at Bass.

hiking
Saturday, September 10, 2016

Smooth walk from McCormack Lake dam to a bluff with a great view of the 11 point river. Nice picnic table to have a seat and relax up there as well. Only about 2 miles until the views!

Must add that the waypoint that the app shows is no where even close. The trailhead is actually south on highway 19 out of Winona. You will drive 10-15 miles until turning on the county road.

hiking
Friday, September 09, 2016

Amazing view about 2 miles in

hiking
Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Hiked from McCormack to first bluff view. about 1.8 miles in. Was amazing. went to check out before overnighter at end of the month. Can't wait.

One of my favorite canoeing rivers in southern MO. The traffic was lite the last time we went.

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