Heavily forested hillsides, clear-flowing streams and solitude are all features to be found within Big Sugar Creek State Park. Nestled deep within southwest Missouri, Big Sugar Creek State Park preserves a portion of the Elk River Section of Missouri's Ozarks. This area of the state has a distinct natural history, featuring many plants and animals that are less common or absent in other areas of Missouri. Some typify the southern plains, including armadillos, while others, like the Ozark chinquapin tree, are restricted to the Ozark highlands. The Elk River watershed, which includes Big Sugar Creek, is a portion of the Arkansas River Basin that extends into Missouri. It brings with it a unique fish population, including the Neosho orangethroat darter. Because of the park's natural significance, 1,613 of its 2,082 acres have been designated as the Elk River Breaks Natural Area. Ozark Chinquapin Trail, a three-mile loop trail through the natural area, follows a small bedrock stream, between towering hills, before heading up into the upland woodlands and glades. Big Sugar Creek State Park is still in the development stage. Future amenities planned include a day-use area, a special-use camping area that will be available for use by organized youth groups and a canoe launch.

hiking
27 days ago

The trail was better than I expected. It had a few nice rock formations, small rock outcroppings, followed a creek for a while. I hiked counterclockwise and recommend that direction.

hiking
1 month ago

It’s a lovely single track hike, but even in the middle of winter it just feels “ticky.” I’m guessing in July you’d seriously regret wearing shorts.

I really enjoyed this trail, though the leaf-strewn path, combined with recent rain, made the steep parts a bit treacherous. Also, it’s easy to end up on a different path and wander around for a few additional hours, but we enjoyed that part!

hiking
2 months ago

It was 29 degrees and sunny the morning I went out. Saw 4 couples on the trail and one very large spider. There was virtually no water in the creek which made it easy to cross the three or four time that is needed. The riverbed was fun to check out. And I imagine if you go in the spring it would be great for bird watching. If you mountain bike bring your bike. There are a lot of fun trails for bikes in the area.

hiking
4 months ago

We really enjoyed the trail, even the dried out parts that should have had water. I think it would be really pretty when the rain brings the water, but there were definitely downsides to the trail in the form of spider webs and seed ticks!! We used repellent but it didn't do anything to keep them from under our shoes and on our legs. if you hike here be sure to wear long pants and either tall boots or long socks under them...maybe even rubber band those suckers.

Enjoyed this trail. Trail runs through the trees keeping it well shaded. It wasn’t anything difficult but it is long and depending if you go right or left at the start will determine if you go more uphill or downhill. The trail is well marked and easy to follow.

5 months ago

Good moderate trail .. well marked .
At the beginning of the trail go to the left for a more up hill hike . Stay right it’s more down hill walking !

hiking
5 months ago

Pretty easy hike. Unfortunately all of the streams and river were dried up so it made for dull sights. Trail was easy to follow and well marked. We were covered in a bunch of tiny ticks by the end of the trail even though we wore tick repellent. Probably a better hike to do in the spring when water is flowing and there aren’t as many ticks.

hiking
6 months ago

Nice easy hike. Make sure to bring tick repellent as we were covered when we left. Also keep an eye out for snakes. We ran into a large rattler on the trail near the river.

hiking
8 months ago

Ticks,ticks, and more ticks. Great hike and well marked. Don’t bring your dog. We pulled over 50 seed ticks off ours. Places in the creek to cool off. Tall grass around the trails so be sure to bring some repellent. Parking has bathrooms.

We hiked this trail with a 6 year old and it was great for all of is! Most creek crossings were dry or more puddle-like. It was a beautiful trail and can only be prettier in warmer months!

hiking
8 months ago

We had a blast on this trail. It was very scenic and well marked. Be prepared for wet feet because the trail meanders around a couple of spring creeks. The rock formations and cliff overhangs were awesome. We would highly recommend this trail to anyone with an interest in nature. Many wildflowers and dogwood trees in bloom. 4/2018

Beautiful!! I walked this trail February 2018. Caves, waterfalls, bluffs, well marked trail. I would recommend sturdy shoes or hiking boots and there are multiple creek crossings. It's hard to miss the bluffs regardless of the direction you start the loop from.

Beautiful area and trail. Pay attention to the flora as you hike the trail. Awesome to see how it changes due to elevation differences.

hiking
Thursday, December 28, 2017

Nice winter hike on well maintained trail. Hikes along Creek with some
Nice rock bluffs. We hiked counterclockwise which gave us the best sights at the end. Lots of icicles on this winter day.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Nice trail, some trees down across, but not too bad. Really nice rock formations on the west side of the hill. Very fun trail.

hiking
Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Hiked this on Labor Day afternoon. No water in creek on either side of the loop, I believe this would be a beautiful hike when the streams are running, but multiple crossings would be necessary.

hiking
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

I hiked this trail on Memorial Day, 2017. I loved it because of the creek. Be prepared to get wet because you will cross the creek about 10 times. It's clearly marked where I hiked but I didn't follow the loop for two reasons: 1) a large tree was down and crossed the trail and I couldn't tell if trail continued; 2) I did this hike on a day when I just got out to get out and did not have tick spray with me. There are a lot of grass/shrub/forbe areas so I ended up with a lot of ticks on me. The creek helped me rinse off the ticks on my way back to the trailhead. I work with streams and wetlands so I enjoyed this beautiful creek. There are a lot of bedrock regions in the creek with many stepfalls. The water is cool to cold and clear. Serene. The creek makes this hike one of my favorite so far. I only encountered one family and two couples on the trail. It was private which is a plus.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Nice trail. Took about 1hr 30 minutes for the 3.5 miles. Trails are marked and well kept.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Nice family hike

hiking
Saturday, March 25, 2017

My son and I made this trip today and it was very enjoyable. The terrain was pretty easy. The path was clearly marked. The trail crossed the creek back and forth all along the trail. There were a few tricky spots that would be more difficult if the creek was up. Overall a fantastic hike!

hiking
Monday, February 13, 2017

Trail was in good shape. You follow the streams which were dry in most places. I would like to go back when the streams are running. A good hike for dogs!

hiking
Sunday, January 29, 2017

Easy trial to follow. Would definitely do again

hiking
Monday, November 07, 2016

Our visit was on a drizzly Monday in November, and the gloomy weather didn't spoil this trail one bit. The creek bed, rock formations and bluffs, and varied vegetation make this trail a "must." I feel like a visit in winter might reveal some neat small waterfalls and cascades if the creek fills up.

The trail gets a little hard to find at one point, but the dog knew right where he was going. Other than that one spot, the yellow blazes make this a very easy trail to follow. There are restrooms at the trailhead, and the ranger was cleaning them when we arrived - thank you!

hiking
Tuesday, September 27, 2016

loved how secluded it felt. peaceful trail.

hiking
Sunday, July 17, 2016

Really secluded trial. The trial is very narrow with foliage over it at parts. It also zig zags across the creek bed. Definitely be aware of ticks. Good trail for some peace and to break a sweat!

hiking
Monday, June 20, 2016

I would recommend taking the loop to the right going counterclockwise which will give you the least uphill climb. however, the left side is my personal favorite side I would recommend checking out if you do not plan on finishing the entire loop.

hiking
Tuesday, April 26, 2016

fun little hike when you want something nice and fairly easy. Expect encounters with ticks, so bring bug spray.

on Chinquapin Trail

Sunday, April 10, 2016

I was blown away by this trail. it was harder and easier that I thought all at the same time. Beautiful and secluded. I would be nervous taking children(especially younger) the full length, especially the back half, due to rugged terrain and drop offs. There are many, many areas where you have to pay attention while walking. Make sure you load up on the tick repellant and sunscreen and you're good to go!

Sunday, April 03, 2016

you will cross water be prepared!

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