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Went here on a whim and DID NOT REGRET IT. Drove the quick hour drive from St. Louis and got right to it. NO BATHROOM AVAILABLE AT TRAIL HEAD.

My friend and I absolutely loved climbing on everything! Every corner was a new view and adventure. I cannot wait to go back!!

Tons of bugs :( nice hike for kids and dogs but the bugs are so bad

Beautiful trail! My dog loved playing in all the water and there are some amazing views when you get to the top of the rocks! However the trail is very poorly marked and I probably would've been lost for awhile if I hadn't have downloaded the map to my phone. We will definitely be back!

The trail was very easy with a moderately trafficked gravel pathway. We went in the afternoon as that morning there was heavy rainfall. We noted that the creek leading up to the waterfall was dried up and once at the waterfall found that it was dried up as well. There is a split path that allows you to climb to the top of the waterfall to explore the rocky area. There were fellow hikers at the waterfall when we arrived and we were informed that the waterfall only runs in the spring time despite recent rains. We did bring both of our Siberian huskies and found it was easy to navigate.

We have hiked this trail in years past and I truly do not remember it being so poorly marked. It is really easy to get off the trail. While I enjoy exploring, I had not planned for such a long trip out. Next time I will be sure to pack more water. A positive is that this trail is the first one my 2 year old son started hiking on his own. Definitely beautiful with lots to see, but might not be for all little people. We did end up carrying him quite a bit as we were off on lots of non-trail paths. Saw a few abandoned strollers from past hikers... definitely don't bring your strollers. Happy we had this app and were able to rescue a few other hiking groups when we had coverage. Download the map!!

sloops, lake, deer

hiking
27 days ago

Great views

1 month ago

beautiful trail

Fun trail but has little in the way of signs. We took a wrong turn and ended up on another trail. The whole area was beautiful!

Wonderful scenery although trail is hard to find in some spots.

Trail would be much better if maintained. Most of the time we couldn't see the trail. We definitely followed tha trail markers on the trees. It became a trail blazing game for us...which one of us would see the next trail marker on the tree first? For a lot of the trail we went from marker to marker because the trail was covered in leaves, twigs, fallen logs, etc. LOTS of ticks. We must have removed 40-50 crawling ticks from our dog.

WOW!

hiking
2 months ago

The only reason why this is a 4 star trail for me is that it's paved. The LOCATION and SCENERY is amazing. A good pine scent can be found shortly after the trailhead, and there are small chunks of the trail that can be traveled on a dirt path. Once you get to the shutins there's all sorts of spots to climb around on.

I went on a 80 degree Sunday evening and only saw two other people. It does say no swimming, so maybe that keeps a bit of the public out. Cannot wait to come here with friends!

This was a nice moderate hike. Beautiful scenery with a lot of the sounds of nature. I think the elevation might be a little misleading as there were a lot of hills and I’m pretty sure it was more than advertised, but all-in-all I would do it again. They also have a nice welcome center with facilities and essential items you can buy if you forgot sunscreen, bug spray, water, etc.

we were the only ones who walked thr trail was very peaceful. we seen 6 deer during the trail. Trail isnt marked so if you start from spring lake sure you turn right and not left and end of trail or you will be walking the current river trail

Will definitely do this hike again. The trail is paved until you reach the Cats Paw, which is the lookout, then gravel trails split off each side. We walked around the lookout and down the rock to the St. Francois River rapids. Really cool area. We hung out on the rocks for about an hour.

Grrrrr, Arrrrh, Urrrrr!

I hiked this trail along with the full Whispering Pines loop. Well marked and easy to follow.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful rock formations and well kept trails... plus a lot of off shoot trails

love this hike also there is a cave here quite big I have marked on my trip for all to be able to find have fun be careful

Easy hike. Waterfall is beautiful when leaves are green. be careful and don't climb on the waterfall it is very slippery.

This is a great little trail that leads to a beautiful waterfall. I went a day after heavy rains and it seemed to be the right time to go.There are 2 ways to start this trail, there is a moderate trail head by the campsites and an easy trailhead by the picnic areas. Both leading to the same place. If you start from the Picnic areas it is graveled/ dirt path to the waterfall, pretty flat, but there are numerous trails that go up into the rocks and waterfalls along the way. the main trail I do not believe is 2 miles, but I did a little exploring on the extra paths which made it longer. Very doggo friendly,my doggo loved it. through out the park and other trails I went on, not many trail heads,but more then likely you will always find a good path that will lead the way.

hiking
3 months ago

We loved this hike—so much beauty packed into a short, easy hike! I agree that it’s fairly easy to get off the trail so best to download the map. There are some white paint markings on trees but apparently not enough. Another cool place in the area is Hickory Canyon. Both are beautiful!!

It’s definitely one of the most beautiful hikes we’ve taken in the area, and we loved the views. Really gorgeous! The only criticism we had was that there are no real trail markers except some sand on the paths, and some false trails that led us astray. Due to some minor physical limitations, we chose this hike because of the shorter distance and the moderate terrain, but 1.9 miles ended up being 3.3 miles with the unintentional detours, and one hour became two and a half. We encountered three other couples/families that were also unable to locate the trail in places and had gotten turned around. If I had not remembered I had the AllTrails app on my phone, we would have really been lost. Just a few signs to indicate the direction back to the parking area would be beneficial.

Now that we actually know the layout of the trail, we will definitely return.

on Shut-in Trail

hiking
4 months ago

Enjoyed the hike very much and would love to go again in the warmer months to cool off in the Big Creek. The paths were well traveled, but we went long stretches without seeing markers to show that you are continuing on the right path. The waterfalls and grottos were a nice pit stop along the way. The markers going up to the first shelter were more frequent, but once the vegetation grows further into the season, they may also be tougher to see. The view is beautiful at the backpackers shelter. We met a group there that was going to camp there over night. The temps dipped into the low 20s! That’s dedication! It’s a must-do Trail if you’re camping at the park and want to get out further and enjoy a nature hike.

Still to date my favorite hiking trail I've ever been on inside Missouri.

Well-maintained path. Perfect for an easy walk. The waterfall was beautiful today.

Magical hike!! Absolutely beautiful and for the adventurous hiker, so much fun! I saw many hikers sticking to the trail versus veering off just a bit to explore and they missed so much!! Take the time to explore the mini caves and rock formations. I wouldn’t recommend this for small children. Not too crowded. Beautiful streams, clear water, and almost like being in Neverland.

Fun little trail. My kids loved the bridges!

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