hiking

dogs on leash

forest

views

camping

river

horseback riding

wildlife

mountain biking

trail running

birding

walking

wild flowers

nature trips

kid friendly

fishing

backpacking

lake

dog friendly

waterfall

Mark Twain National Forest covers over 1.5 million acres of pine forest, scenic rivers, rolling hills, and wilderness. The forest offers over 750 miles of trails and unbeatable opportunities for a wide variety of outdoor activities like hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and motorized vehicle recreation. There are also plenty of picnic areas and campsites and places to canoe or kayak in this recreation area's spring fed rivers. The Recreational Sites are broken down by Districts which are located in 1 of 4 zones. Each zone has unique outdoor recreation opportunities. Zone 1 Cedar Creek, Houston and Rolla Ranger District Zone 2 Ava, Cassville and Willow Springs Ranger District Zone 3 Eleven Point and Poplar Bluff Ranger Districts Zone 4 Potosi, Fredericktown and Salem Ranger Districts

hiking
5 days ago

An absolutely beautiful spring! The road from south of Alton (160) is quite curvy. The sign to the trail is very small, so don’t miss it! The trail is actually only 1 mile and the elevation change is 450 feet. The spring is clear and peaceful. We saw a bald eagle soaring above the spring today!

Finished this yesterday with a friend from work. A hair longer than 12 miles. Looking to do it again on a warm spring day.

Nice winter hike! A scenic lookout, but mostly trees to look at. Old growth Sycamores, tall straight Pines, twisted, bent and a lot of dead trees. the 137' climb up the stairs was hard on us and our 3 old dogs, but we all made it!

16 days ago

love this app and trail !!

This area is quite possibly the most beautiful stretch of Missouri I have experienced. As Cory said pleas take care of this place. Pack in/pack out, practice safe fire use and watch out for snakes in the warmer months.

my favorite spot in the state. very remote and serene. not for anyone afraid of venomous snakes or four people looking for an easy path. please take care of it. pack in/pack out

This canyon and surrounding bluffs are one of the most desolate and beautiful spots in Missouri. Watch out for Cottonmouths!

on Berryman Trail

hiking
1 month ago

a well maintained and easy trail. Did an early February overnight camp at the spring and took the long hike out. 22.5 miles total for the loop (Ozark trail to Berryman). Relatively dull scenery that time of year but no bugs and cool air. would definitely recommend it for an easy overnight stroll.

Beautiful even in the dead of winter! The only downfall is the slick slate rocks but that is nature for ya!

I love this place!....I can't get enough of the campground or the trails....The only thing that makes me sad is that they've poured tons of gravel on the campsites....

Good scout trail

backpacking
1 month ago

Great backpacking trail.

There are several more trails in this area than shown here in the Swan Creek Wilderness Area - approx. 20 miles.
LInk to map of all trails here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd516654.pdf
I followed trail #6107 which I believe is the trail shown here from the east trailhead off UU Hwy to the creek and back which took me approx. 4 hrs. I didn't have any issues finding my way and found plenty of trail markers along the way.
As others have noted, a lot of trash in the parking area. I was bored on my hike back and decided to make a game of counting the pieces of trash (mostly beer cans) seen from the trail - 134 :)
Of course this doesn't include all that is laying in the parking lot. I don't know how anyone can get lost on these trails as long as you follow the beer cans :)
There is a larger parking area on the west end off Hwy 125 at the Bar K Wrangler Camp but you may have to tread some water to cross the creek to get access to the trails depending on water levels.

There was some trash at the trail head. Mostly beer cans and probley from kids using this as a party spot, but it cleared up down the trail. Great place for hiking with some up hills, down hills, and several flat areas. I thought the trail was worn well enough and didn't have too much trouble seeing the trail. There a couple of times I kind of lost the trail, but it's fairly obvious where the trail is at. Very few trail markers along the way, but I got to Swan Creek with no problem. The trail is a doosey (fairly steep) on the way back so be ready. Overall it was really pretty and really remote. I would recommend this trail, but give yourself about 5 hours to get to the creek and back.

hiking
2 months ago

I just hiked the Berryman loop for the first time. This section is a beautiful trek! It is important to note that the eastern side has no filterable water sources, so plan ahead with water. The trail is maintained and and very well marked. I had read that there were a lot of forest road intersections to be aware of, but with the reliable signage they were of no concern. I would highly recommend this loop for anyone looking for a quick weekend trip.

hiking
2 months ago

Went here in August. trail was pretty overgrown. Walk in the woods but no real significant views. There were a couple creek crossings, but i will not go back unless dead of winter. I climbed out of there and was covered in hundreds of seed ticks even though i had sprayed down in deet.

had a great time here today. nice stone arrow pointing the way at the fork and some cairns to help you back to the trail.

It took us at least 90 minutes to even find the trail. The GPS had us turning down roads that didn't exist, then rerouting us to gravel single lane roads that went nowhere. After circling the area once looking for a brown sign...we tried a gravel road we had turned around on once already and decided to just park the car and walk that road, which was CR 2124 that turned out to be the right road. There are no brown markers or any kind of signs till you get to the trail head The road up there is so washed out, don't try it unless you have a jeep. We didn't go far on the trail itself because it started heading downhill again and it was getting late. We backpacked this trail 20 years ago and it seemed in a lot better condition then....so were we....in a lot better condition. haha

I would like to second what Matt Hodel said (note: he's one of the people responsible for us making it off the trail alive this past weekend). Posts on here indicating that this hike takes less than 6 hours were misleading and nearly got us killed. If Matt and his buddy, Eric, had not been on the trail, the ending would have been very different.

I'm not personally in bad shape (though I could stand to lose 20 lbs), and by "not in bad shape" I mean that I lead a hiking group, do several 7+ mile hikes a month, and did a half marathon a month all last year —but this trail really kicked my backside.

When I read the under 6 review on here (and I'm not disputing that you did it, just saying that's not the norm for this trail), I did the math, and "it checked out" — our group hiking speed is a 24 min mile. But this trail is not your average hiking trail — it's littered with rocks, ankle-turners, almost throughout — I would say that 80% of the trail is being generous. And when you add to that, that the leaves had just fallen and it was drizzling, that's really going to slow you down.

So, based on calculations, we thought we would be off the trail in daylight, in 51° weather. Instead, we were still 2+ miles from the summit, at the most treacherous part of the trail, with one headlamp for every two people.

We had sent our 2 fastest hikers on to the summit with one of the radios, and between that and spotty cellphone connection, we were able to get ahold of rangers and keep warm around Matt & Eric's fire until we were rescued.

We started at 10:30 am, reached the power lines (the mid-way point) around 2:30 pm, where we ate lunch, sunset was approx 4:48 pm (with last light at 5:16 pm), we reached Matt & Eric's camp at 6:40 pm, were able to get through to rangers by 7:45 pm, were rescued at 8:30 pm, and made it back up to the top front country camping area by about 10:30 pm.

The ranger said that it's a 12 hour hike, and the State Park website even posits 14.5 hours, although it also lists the trail as being 14.5 miles.

All this is just to give a cautionary view, so that no one else comes here to find info, and gets in a predicament like we did. It's a beautiful, must-see area — just be wise. This is a point to point trail — once you start, there are no quick exits — you must go all the way to one end or the other.

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