Explore the most popular trails in Buford Mountain Conservation Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

We hiked up to bald knob and back it was 6.4 miles because 9 miles was just too much for our first difficult hike. The view is awesome. Just wanted to let everyone know we saw a 5 foot rattle snake on bald knob. He was hidden under a rock right where we step down so keep your eyes open. He quietly went the other way when he saw us.

horseback riding
over grown
rocky
18 days ago

Nice views, paths are overgrown. Trail was very rocky. Great shade! Easy to get to and follow!

hiking
bugs
over grown
19 days ago

Nice views from Bald Knob, but the rest of the trail was pretty boring. very overgrown along the right side of the loop. And so many ticks!

hiking
over grown
rocky
1 month ago

This trail is a real test. The location is very remote. The path to the right is less traveled and a little overgrown. The views are definitely magnificent. Trekking poles were key for stability and knocking down the many cobwebs that will greet you. Overall great experience.

hiking
muddy
rocky
3 months ago

Definitely a challenge. The first .75 miles and the first half of mile five were a good test. The view from bald knob though was great.

Two stars because it does offer one great view with an interesting campsite close by. The campsite has a fire ring that is partially protected from the wind by rocks to its south. As well as providing a +/- 7’ high windbreak the rocks offer a few places to sit. The trail itself is like an atv width equestrian trail chock full of loose orange and grapefruit sized rocks just waiting to roll your ankle. It offers a good workout with lots of elevation changes, but overall it’s just not worth the effort.

Trail was difficult with lots of elevation gain. Grabbed some water from a small creek on the eastern portion of the trail and cooled lunch while taking in the view at knob point. Great hike with a great view.

A great work out!! Took the loop counterclockwise. The trail for the most part was easy to follow, even being snow covered. Be careful around around the creeks towards the bottom, you could lose the trail there.

hiking
muddy
rocky
6 months ago

To start, the trail begins in a weird spot. It's at the end of a gravel road in a Conservation Area. I would suggest wearing some bright colors as this area is open for hunting. I didnt see any other people or hear any gun shots but I would just to be safe. The trail was pretty rocky and muddy but that's because the recent snow melt. Most of the trail is basically a logging road for ATVs and trucks which kinda takes away from the whole hiking aspect. I did the entire thing and made a waypoint to the Peak which added a little but it was about 9.7 miles total. Unless you are looking for the challenge and accomplishment of finishing the trail, I would make a left at the loop, get to Bald Knob and come back. The rest of the loop doesn't offer much, pretty boring. That view though, may be the best in Missouri!

Beautiful, beautiful views.

Old double-track trail. Very old, though, so not as unpleasant as double-track sounds, although you could drive a car along most of the trail. Very rocky in the initial ascent, but only for that first mile. Beautiful glades. Only saw one other party, although it was a Thursday.

trail running
Wednesday, July 04, 2018

A bit rocky for a trail run this long but no problem for hikers. I was fighting with spider webs strung across the trail about every twenty strides and almost stepped on a copperhead so be sure to stay on the lookout for that. There was a really nice view about 2.5 miles in that you can also stop at on the return trip. All in all I enjoyed this challenging run and would recommend it to anyone looking for some really good hill workouts.

hiking
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

I enjoyed the entire experience as it is hard not to when out in the beauty of the world. More water would be valuable if you are looking to spend some time on the summit. An epic hike, I will be back xo

Solid loop with everything a regular hiker could want. The full loop is 10.5 miles with most of the climbing out of the way early. The hike starts with a steady climb straight up to the highest point of the hike. Once to the top of Burford Mt you follow the ridge line to summit at 5 different peaks. The first peak is the highest point but is covered in small trees with no view, the second peak has large glades and rock structures to cross. The third peak is similar to the first. After the 3rd peak you will reach the portion of the trail where the actual loop starts. Keep left to reach Bald Knob in about a half mile or stay right to reward yourself with the views at Bald Knob at the end of your loop. The hike from trailhead to Bald Knob is just over 3 miles. Bald Knob is located on the 4th summit of the ridge. Continue on to the fifth summit and then back around the loop to peak #3. The trail does not have switch backs so expect steep and rocky conditions. Hiking poles come in handy for the trip back down Buford Mt for extra stability.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The bald Knob has an awesome view, everything else on the trail is just a long stroll through the woods. Don’t waste your with the loop unless you are doing it for the exercise.

hiking
Tuesday, January 23, 2018

It's pretty hard if you aren't a habitual hiker, but the bald knob is worth every step and drop of sweat.

hiking
Wednesday, October 18, 2017

This trail is a nice challenge for beginners. The trail is a bit mundane. A plus is that at the end where you can see the overlook over the valley. This is a great time to eat lunch if you started early enough. Not many other places to do this. Most of the trail is enclosed in the woods and is not much for views. I will frequent this one to stay on Appalachian trail shape.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

I love the view from the top, and all the large granite boulders. And I like that it's a hard trail, you feel like you are really getting a good cardio with the bonus beautiful setting. I also like that it is a loop trail and it's easily navigable.

hiking
Saturday, August 26, 2017

Fun, 10 mile trail with pretty decent elevation changes. Bald Knob is a beautiful bluff, but there isn't really any other nice vistas. Good shakedown trail for the AT.

hiking
Sunday, June 25, 2017

I would rate this trail just a step below "hard". My family with 2 boys 11 and 13 were able to get through it on a hot day. It does has some difficult spots at the beginning/end due to steep slopes and loose rocks. It is a rather long trail with not much to see or do along the way. The one viewing spot on Bald Knob is awesome but I wish there were a couple of other spots to see something interesting.

Nice intermediate hike. Full loop. GPS 9.56 miles. We took it easy & did moderate pace. Did full loop in 3hr 10 min. Ground cover and vegetation pretty. Natural Missouri. Views leave bit to be desired. Only decent views at bald knob. Bring long pants.

I did the full loop Wednesday. I enjoyed the entire experience but the view from the bald knob was by far the highlight of the hike. I'm new to this site, and like the hikes being rated, although I might have been scared into not doing this trail if I knew upfront it had a hard rating, so now I'm ready for another, any suggestions? Has anyone tried permethrin? I got several tick bites even though I used Deet.

hiking
Thursday, May 18, 2017

Good all day hike that will leave you exhausted at the end. The first uphill section feels like it will never end. After that it is just up and down. Bald knob look out is beautiful. I would recommend bringing lots of water and food to have a picnic up at the top. We took lots of breaks because of the steep inclines. The trail is full of spider webs and lots of mosquitoes so bring bug spray!!! Also wear good shoes and watch your step because there are a ton of little rocks that make the trail hard

hiking
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Beautiful area, and a very solitary hike. Bring plenty of water.

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