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Nice trail! We took our small dog and had no troubles. the trails are marked well at the creek crossings. as I go along the trail you will creeks, a small water fall (that is a perfect place to take break.), and the trail goes along the bluffs at one point.

hiking
1 month ago

Very overgrown with lots of trees across the trail. Only 1 tick despite the underbrush. Some truly beautiful areas. Came across only one other family.

we really enjoyed this hike. we went on July 23. it's very pretty, lots of creeksnand streams both big and small. there is a pretty waterfall about halfway through. you do have to cross water multiple times, there is rocks at all the crossing to walk on but there's a good possibility of getting your feet wet. at the waterfall half way through there Is a trail following the creeks that you can take to get closer to it. can be a little steep but the terrain isn't bad. we had a fun time on this hike.

Nice trail. Should be fairly easy for everyone

trail running
2 months ago

Definitely run this trail in the winter up to early spring or be sure to wear pants. The majority of the trail is narrow and has foliage growing over the path. I wore my very short running shorts and a tank top and ended up with some pretty raw legs. I had 8 or more ticks from the hour and half it took to run it but that was to be expected. If give it a 5 star rating for hikers and 4 for runners.

Beautiful! Steep to start. Worth the climb

Scenic views overlooking the Big River from the bluff overhangs, well beaten path, beautiful vegetation.

Absolutely beautiful scenery, the creek has many mini waterfalls, the water is crystal clear. Rocks on the path are slippery but have small paths to navigate around them.

Great hike - waterfall was running enough to create a pond for my dog to play in - it’s a short hike but lots of beauty out there

A little steep in spots, but a nice hike. Very pretty scenery! Wear your bug spray! Trail is narrow in spots.

Great trail, marked well for novice.
Good variation in terrain, several areas with natural wildflowers. Could vary depending on time of year. Took trail in May and areas that had undergrowth burned and new growth coming up were cool. Several runoff crossings, so pay attention to weather.

This is a good trail, not too long for an afternoon hike. A bit rocky in places, but well maintained and well marked. Definitely worth the drive to St. Francois State Park.

hiking
4 months ago

Unfortunately the weather was too dry and the waterfall was nonexistent. The hike was great nonetheless with lots of rock formations. It is a very narrow path and even with the dry weather there are several small creeks to cross with muddy soft banks and slick rocks. Definitely a little more challenging for older hikers.

hiking
4 months ago

Very pretty! It's spring so everything is bright green and bushy. The river is up due to recent rains, so we couldn't take a dip, but it was still great. We took the route that goes to the left of the fork, which takes your through most of the inclines first and brings you around by the river the second half, if seemed to work out well bc we got thw tiring part out of the way early.
The huge sinkhole was pretty cool, I was able to toss a rock in to hear how deep it was.

we love going there. its beautiful lush dense woods. beautiful falls after it rains. can be muddy and slippery. bring extra socks.

The trail is beautiful and well maintained. Not too crowded (Sunday afternoon on sunny 66 degree day). Hilly, rocky, and certain parts require you to cross the stream to continue the trail (not a lot of rocks/shallow points so expect to get your feet wet!), making it an active walk.

Very well groomed trail. I would rate this as a moderate trail. This trail would only considered Hard if you were trying to ride a scooter on it. I agree with the other commentary, go early spring to get some nice views of the Meramec River.

My husband and I completed this 10 mile trail in a day. Absolutely beautiful! Only ran into one other couple. Lots of fallen trees to climb over and ones to duck in the trail, but it was worth it.

Both loops with water/falls. Very beautiful.

backpacking
5 months ago

Hiked here on the hottest day of the year in July 2016. It felt really good in the wilderness. It was 10 miles total. Tons of ticks! I had 5 on me within the 24 hours...1 held on for 3 days. only 1 place for water but I was not brave enough to drink it and test out my purification tablets. camped at campsite 7 and all night there were tons of some kind of very large nuts/seeds dropping on our tent and I got no sleep. Beautiful trail. I consider myself a beginner to intermediate hiker but this was my first overnight backpacking trip and it was amazing!

trail running
5 months ago

Great short trail run loop. Definitely some rocky parts, but the trail is really beautiful with moderate elevation changes, creek crossings, and gorgeous views of the park. I met only one couple hiking on the trail, around sunset time. Can’t wait to run it again!

This was a great trail for my dog and I! You will have to cross the creek multiple times so wear a good pair of waterproof hiking shoes. This is a clearly marked trail so you shouldn’t have to worry about getting lost. The trail can get rather rocky in some places and there are also areas with a lot of roots across the trail so take some time in those areas.

Great trail run!

The canyons and stream were beautiful. You're going to need to wear waterproof shoes after a ton of rain as the streams are not at all easy to cross here.

Great trail! Diverse terrain and well marked.

on Swimming Deer Trail

7 months ago

Enjoyed the variety this trail offered in terms of terrain. The moss covered rock formations were interesting. I would enjoy hiking this trail again.

7 months ago

The day I hiked this trail, it was very muddy which resulted in difficult navigating of ruts and puddles. If there was leaf coverings, one still needed to be careful of the slipperiness of wet leaves and mud beneath. I would not hike it again knowing how muddy and slippery it can be.

hiking
7 months ago

Excellent trail. Hard to follow in places, but lots of rocky pools and low waterfalls.

hiking
7 months ago

Trail was sneaky muddy...surface looked dry but it was slippery in many areas. Trail is covered with leaves, but wasn't hard to follow. Rock outcroppings throughout and some nice river views.
Trailhead is at the campground area, next to the bathhouse.

hiking
7 months ago

Excellent trail. Well marked path, not highly trafficked. Several small creek crossings add variety to the terrain.

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