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#19 of 689 state parks in Missouri

Best trails in Big Sugar Creek State Park

154 Reviews
Explore the most popular trails in Big Sugar Creek State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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.

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Map of trails in Big Sugar Creek State Park
Park information
2,082 acres
Helpful links
Top trails (1)
#1 - Chinquapin Trail
Big Sugar Creek State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(154)
Length: 3.4 mi • Est. 1 h 35 m
This is a beautiful uphill walk to the top of the hill. In the autumn when the leaves fall, you can see to the creek. The rock formations along the bottoms give a good idea of the erosion that has occurred. There are many overhangs and small caves in the area as well.Show more