We just got back today from our hike at Bell Mountain. Had a wonderful time and I thought it was marked good and had plenty of dead wood for burning. Excellent camping spots and an awesome view at the summit. We parked on the north end and made our way around clockwise. It's 4 miles from the parking lot to the summit. I saw where there was a split off for the south parking lot and it was marked with an orange strap and 2 metal pieces. I knew which way to go, but it could be confusing if someone didn't know the map well. Personally, it was tiring, but worth it. I appreciated the fact that there was no trash anywhere, hikers/campers are doing a great job picking up.
great trail. poorly marked. incredible variety of terrain. friendly hikers. saw a horse trailer but no horses spotted on the trail. started at north bell mountain trailhead, got twisted around and came out at a trailhead 6 or 7 miles from the one we started on. finally found our way back with the help of other hikers.
Beautiful loop through some of the Ozarks finest! It is a Wilderness area, so obviously there's not a lot of blazes, but I had no problems finding my way around the loop. And there were very few step-overs! I done the loop as a day hike, but I would like to go back and camp at the top, and then watch the sun come up the next morning.
The views at the top were so pretty and made me realize how nice Missouri is. However, the trail isn't that well marked and we went a mile on the north trail instead of being on the loop. Our total distance was 15 miles and it took us 6.3 hours to hike but we did stop and take some breaks. The trail itself is very hard to see in the winter because the leaves are covering everything. But it was a fun trail for beginners that can easily be completed in one day!
The views from the top make it all worth it! I usually hike 12 miles a day no problem, but the suggestions in the comments boxes recommended camping and staying the night. They were right!! It was so beautiful from the top, we didn't want to leave. I hiked counterclockwise and suggest grabbing water in one of the creeks while you can, because if you loop around there is only one "pond" on the way down that offers hardly drinkable water. The trail is fairly easy and smooth all the way to the top. This trail does require some uphill effort though, which is probably why its rated as moderate. Will definitely hike/camp again!
Awesome trail, we did it after a rain so it was basically a stream running down the trail which made it a higher difficulty. The views from the top were amazing even on a cloudy day. The sun peeked out on our way down so we stopped to take in the sunset. I'll definitely be back.
My new favorite trail near St Louis.
Well carved trail, easy to navigate. Slopes are pretty mild and easy to ascend/descend. Beautiful views at the top, with several fire rings and places to set camp. Water sources more limited near Bell Mountain; most creeks I ran across with water were on the western section of the trail.