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.

birding
14 days ago

hiking
26 days ago

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.

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

Nice family hike

hiking
3 months ago

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
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

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
4 months ago

Easy trial to follow. Would definitely do again

hiking
7 months ago

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
8 months ago

loved how secluded it felt. peaceful trail.

hiking
11 months ago

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.

hiking
Sunday, April 24, 2016

hiking
Saturday, April 23, 2016

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!

Friday, February 26, 2016