Explore TO DO - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.


Very short hike. Cool rock formations that are easy to get to. I'd probably give this trail an easy rating vs. moderate. All trails are gravel so kind of hard on your feet.

Amazing trail. It is difficult, but definitely worth it.

The trail is short, but beautiful. There are benches along the trail to sit and enjoy the view. I went in March. The view in summer or fall would be even better.

Don't underestimate it. Starts off easy, then gets much more difficult. We picked a good day for this trail, but it would have been a lot harder if it was rainy or icy.

I must be a terrible hiker. People on here claim to start at the Bell Mountain Wilderness (Highway A) and get to the peak (Taum Sauk) in 6 hours with 30lbs packs and what have you. Bell Mountain to Taum Sauk is a 30 mile trail. That's 10 minute miles. Plan ahead and give yourself some time. It took us about 14-15 hours to complete across two days. Saw some boars, very pretty waterfall, amazing viewpoints. Everything you can need to know about this trail is located on the OzarkTrail website.

Awesome hike. The land bridge makes this well worth it, but hiking along the low river was also nice. There would be difficult areas to cross the river after heavy rainfall, but this is an exemplary short hike.

5 days ago

This is a really enjoyable hike. The overall hike is challenging not only in length but in terrain. For perspective I am 55 but in good shape. I have recently completed a triathlon and two half marathons in the last year.

I started from the highway A trailhead on the Ozark Trail. There is an initial climb with several switchbacks as you climb the trial is very rocky. I had trekking poles which I found to be essential. You climb about 1.5 miles until you hit the bell mountain trial. The trial continues to be uphill and rocky for another.7 mile when the trial starts to go through a wooded area. At about a mile on the bell mountain trial you come to the loop. At this point you can choose to go clockwise or counter clockwise. Counter clockwise is a much longer hike about 8 miles to the best camping sites on the mountain. You will reach Joe’s creek at about 3 miles. This is the best water source by far. There are several access points over a mile or so. If you go clockwise when you reach the loop the hike to the best camping is much easier. About 4 miles with limited hills to climb. There is a small pond before the camping on the mountain and another about 1/2 mile past the camping area. I used that one. Not as clear as joes creek but fine with a good filter. The view from my camping spot was awesome. There are a lots of sites to choose. I went on a Thursday night in March. There were two campers on the entire mountain.

Couple of things to note. I saw post where people said they did the entire loop in 4.5 hours. I made pretty good time and did not take long breaks and it took me 9.5 hours total including the 1.5 miles on the Ozark trial each day. Also watch for the Orange ribbons that mark the loop. If you go clockwise there is an orange ribbon the marks the loop trial at about 5.5 mile. Follow the loop to left with orange ribbon. if you go straight will take you to north Bell trailhead.

Nice little hike with some elevation, but not much in the way of views. Trail was marked with signs and easy to follow. It was a bit muddy, but nothing you can't easily maneuver around. The trail has you go clockwise, which puts the creek views near the end of the hike.

Loved this!! I went from Rocky Falls to the mill and back. Didn’t see any horses but plenty of manure. Also elk droppings. Be sure to take a pic of the flyer before heading out. Several times around the open field areas I lost the trail. The paper gives you things to look for along the way. It was so pretty.

trail running
6 days ago

Great challenge!! It was a little difficult to follow the white diamonds to reach the other side once you got down into the canyon, but other than that it was a wonderful workout and a lovely hike.

Favorite trail in the state. It wasn't difficult, though it had a ton to offer. Great views with elevation and beautiful creek crossings. Plenty to see through the hike.

This is my favorite spot. So peaceful. If you are quiet and pay attention on this trail you might be able to see the rocky spring wild horse herd.But I ask you to please clean up after yourself. I have seen trash at Klepzig to many times

11 days ago

I have been here twice. I can not get enough of this beauty.

Beautiful, quiet trail. Cool rocks, nice views from the hilltops, lovely little creeks, and towering pines.

This Trail Is small VERY SMALL! but worth the stop it is listed in the Smothsonia as the top 50 in the USA! On Smithsonia.Com and top for Illinois very Beautiful place. if you trail it it dont take long but in my case it lasted for almost 9 hours .Put me in a Wilderness and I'll stay as long as possible and cry when I have to leave. There are a few folks walking around but I seem to be able to figure out where to go to get away from them plus I went in the middle of the week so that helps. beautiful place I was there in Oct 2017 for the fall colors PERFECT!!!!!!!!

Definitely harder than I anticipated!

21 days ago

Great workout. Beautiful scenery.
Really enjoyed this hike.

Short and sweet. Beautiful formation

23 days ago

My husband and I hiked this trail last summer and it was a great experience! Definitely a rugged trail, and any visitors should be fully prepared with water and water filtration systems if they're planning on a longer trek. The views were worth any difficulties!!! We were also surprised by several cleared campsites along the way that weren't on the MO State Parks map.

I did Bell Mountain Wilderness to Taum Sauk Mountain State Park. This portion of my trip was absolutely beautiful! It was rocky, rugged, and steep; give yourself plenty of time. I planned to camp here; it took me 6.5 hours to finish this portion with a 30lb pack. I recommend doing this in the fall, winter, or early spring as there will be some overgrown areas. Ketcherside Mountain had some amazing views. Please leave no trace!!

Beautiful area, we had the entire summit to ourselves for the night a few months back.

Excellent trail/camping area!! I recently hiked this trail, doing approximately 11/12miles. We camped on the trail overnight also. The scenery is fantastic. It had recently rained, so the creeks were flowing pretty good. We have have hiked sections of the Appalachian Trail, so comparing this trail to the AT, similar in areas but not as difficult. For an inexperienced hiker, this trail would be perfect to start on. Highly recommended and I will go back and do different routes. I’ll give it

28 days ago

Visited this trail on a nice Sunday morning. Trail was nicely marked and cleared. Gave 3 stars because we weren't able to find the rock structures and there were constant gun shots towards where the rocks were so we turned around and left.

1 month ago

Beautiful hike. On the strenuous side of moderate. So worth it for great features. No traffic noise. Seriously quiet, except for occasional gunfire from what I hope are firing ranges (heads up for those with PTSD). Water may be a challenge in the spring. Looking forward to it.

Found a great cave on this trail

Was a great hike, this year was the first time I hiked it during winter. Personally I enjoyed this trail better during this time period. The frozen waterfalls off the bluffs, and being able to see more exposed rock face. You just don’t get that when the leaves are on in the warmer months just made it for me. Highly recommend.

Completed the entire loop in 4.5 hours. Was going to camp, but Mother Nature ruined that:) I saw numerous bear paw prints, feral pig tracks and deer tracks. Could have sworn i heard an elk bugle, but maybe my mind was playing tricks on me

Most of the trail is moderate but does become a bit steeper and rocky as you climb up the ridge then it levels out. The terrain changes when you get to the west section of the trail and very pretty. I advise hiking boots and if you're not in moderate condition you might find this trail a bit challenging. It's one of my favorite trails because of light traffic.

I only did a mile and turned back because I have bad ankles. The trail was pretty but not out of the ordinary from what I saw. Luckily the ground was frozen because had it been wet or damp I would have been slipping and sliding all over due to the slopes and slants.

1 month ago

I love this trail. Super clean and not heavily trafficked. There also sections of the trail that are different than others and I really loved the variety of the trail experience. Also, if you’re not up to do the whole trail (north loop), they offer a south loop that’s just 3.75 miles.

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