dogs on leash





kid friendly


In the mid-19th century, settlers found Bennett Spring to be an ideal spot for grist and flour mills. Today, most people come to Bennett Spring State Park to struggle with the rainbow trout, or just to marvel at the 100,000,000 gallons of clear, cool water that gush from the spring each day. The spring valley - once a popular camping ground for farmers waiting for their grain to be ground at the mill - still attracts visitors interested in camping, hiking and canoeing. A Bennett Spring "hike" can be a leisurely stroll along the tree-shaded spring branch, or an invigorating seven miles to tour an interesting natural tunnel. Those looking for less rugged pleasures will enjoy the rental housekeeping cabins, the public swimming pool and the park's rustic dining lodge. Fishing enthusiasts will be found casting their lines along the spring branch, while others visit the exhibits interpreting Missouri's springs and natural environment at the nature center. Now, at 3,216 acres, the state park that arose around Peter Bennett's spring continues to delight all comers.

1 month ago

Well blazed and maintained trail entirely through the woods. It can be rocky in places and there are a couple of mild ascents and descents.

2 months ago

Beautiful fall hiking trail!

We hiked this trail twice during the last week of October, 2018. The first day was a perfect sunny fall day. Two days later, we hiked on a cloudy day. On Monday, we saw 8 other hikers on the trail. On Wed, with a threat of rain, we didn’t see any other hikers. The fall colors were beautiful both days and the hike was very enjoyable. There are a few places that are pretty rocky, but other places with very few rocks. Most of the trail is fairly level, but there are a few easy hills and one hill that is pretty steep and rocky. You will likely be breathing hard as you climb that hill on the way back to the TH. Most people willing to hike almost 8 miles should be able to handle it OK. The tunnel is neat to see and walk through. I would advise taking a flashlight to help make your way through the tunnel, as there are some rocks that could trip you in the dark. There are several rock formations/bluffs and small holes/caves along the way to view and or explore also. We crossed several dry creek beds on this trail. If you hike this trail in early spring or after heavy rains, these creek beds might have water in them. We hiked in and out on the east loop, as I had read the west loop wasn’t as pretty or worthwhile. There were no bugs or ticks on our late Oct hike and only a few cobwebs. We did search a little while the first day trying to find the trail head. Drive to the spring, but don’t go over the bridge. Take the road that veers slightly to the left. From there it is a short distance to the TH. Great trail!

Really great trail! Easy to follow and the tunnel at the end is worth the hike.

Great view, make sure to go all the way through the tunnel!!

This was a wonderfully marked trail. Our family enjoyed the all of the flora. Spray for ticks. Some in our crew were "attacked" while others had none. Highly recommend this trail!

4 months ago

Excellently maintained and well marked with a great natural feature to keep you moving forward. I’ll definitely return with my kids next time.

4 months ago

Nice clean, well maintained trail. May have some issues during heavy rain.

This was a great trail that both my dogs and I enjoyed. The natural bridge at the end was beautiful and fun to walk through. The only downside I found was that it was more heavily trafficked than I tend to enjoy and I had forgotten repellant so I spent about an hour getting seed ticks off of my body. Highly recommend using repellant here!!

5 months ago

We enjoyed our 2 1/2 hike on Saturday Aug 4th. The weather was perfect for hiking. The map read that there "would" be ticks and to use tick repellent but of course that's the one thing we didnt bring. Half way through the hike we got seedticks up to our ankles Even my dog got seed ticks on her legs. So what I would recommend is to bring tick spray and a change of shoes for after the hike. After our hike, we went to Moon Valley and waded around in the water. That helped our ankles

paddle sports
5 months ago

Great float river. Very busy, do during the week to miss the crowds We did 26 miles talking out at Lead Mine.

We just hiked this trail two days ago and really enjoyed the cliff caves, rocky creek beds and tunnel at the end. We took the East trail and it took about 4 hours there and back. However, we all returned with horrible, itching rashes on our ankles despite wearing long pants, heavy socks and bug repellant. I think seed ticks may be the culprit after doing some research as we all had tiny black specs freckling our feet and ankles after hiking. I don't know how to protect oneself from seed ticks but I would certainly look into it before hiking this trail again.


There was spider webs everywhere, with spiders all at face level, we didnt make it very far before we had to turn around , the trail was over grown in had parts, and it was not marked very well. it was very disappointing.

Super fun! The spring at the end of the tunnel is good for wading in. Not much elevation gain but there are a few steep climbs. A lot of tall grass and shrubs so definitely bring bug spray.

Great trail, was really clear and we'll marked. Natural Tunnel was terrific. Trail was 7.4 miles round trip. This is a out and back trail and not a loop. The trail ends at the tunnel.

6 months ago

This was s nice warm up trail along the river before going on the Bennett Natural Tunnel Trail. We parked at the Trailhead, went up and down the river, and then continued on to the Trailhead for the Natural Tunnel.

What a great trail! It is every bit of 8 miles and well marked. The trail to the tunnel is not a part of the main loop; you follow a spur to the tunnel and then hike the spur back to the main loop. The tunnel is amazing! We hiked late May, and it was humid! Bring plenty of water!

8 months ago

Really liked this trail. Lots to see on this spring day. Forgot to record.

Had a wonderful hike on the Natural Tunnel Trail. Went early, 7:00am, to avoid the crowds. Definitely a moderate trail, with some steep climbs. Plenty of beautiful scenery to fill your camera.

Beautiful weather, nice trail, easy to find, easy to follow, sparsely populated and a nice "surprise" at the end.

8 months ago

A Blackpoll Warbler was a surprise along this river edge trail. People watching the trout fishermen in the river was fun.

8 months ago

Nice nature center at the trailhead followed by a walk up through the woods and down along the river to an old bridge.

8 months ago

The nature center at the trailhead has several interesting exhibits.

Very pleased with this hike. I went with my father and his dog and my two dogs, and everyone had a good time! The scenery was nice, the natural tunnel was neat, and the hike was a great length for a day hike for us. There are a few water crossings, but they weren't bad.

I have hiked this trail several times in recent years, but I have never seen so much water in so many of the creek beds as I saw today. I was surprised that the early spring rains created so much runoff. It gave me such a different experience--I loved seeing and hearing the rushing creeks and it was a fun challenge to cross some of them (thank goodness for waterproof hiking shoes!). The area just past the natural tunnel usually has plenty of room to sit; today, that area was under water! I spoke to another hiker who recalled a visit when the creeks were even higher than today and he couldn't navigate many of them. This has become one of my top 3 favorite Missouri State Parks. The caves, high bluffs, creek beds (with and without water), natural tunnel, and changes in elevation make for a solid workout and lots to look at along the way.

Good brisk stretch your legs walk !

Great winter hike.

11 months ago

Decent enough trail that's probably best traveled during the spring or fall when there is some more color to appreciate. There were a surprising amount of armadillos surrounding the trail!

Nice trail, there are a few caves on the way. The tunnel is pretty neat. I ate lunch on the back side of the tunnel.

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