Explore the most popular hiking trails in Mark Twain National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

backpacking
18 hours ago

Very rugged terrain. There are several areas of the trail that have deep horse ruts. It would probably be impassable if it was muddy. Trails were somewhat marked. Lots of hills. Cross over several creeks, or the same creek several times. Camped alone a portion of Smith Creek. Saw a few other campsites along the way. Good for a one-nighter close to home. Will probably go back and explore the area again and spend another night. Decent stay.

hiking
6 days ago

Nice view at the highest point of the trail. The lower portion of the trail runs by the river.

hiking
6 days ago

Enjoyable trail for the family. Interesting rock outcropping and views of the river. The lower portion of the trail can be a bit muddy after a rain. Black and White Warbler, Pine Warbler, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Northern Parula, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher and Louisiana Waterthrush were some of the birds found during our early spring hike. The highlight of the hike though were four Big Red False Morels found just off the trail next to some stumps.

Not your normal trail but some amazing scenery. I encourage you to venture off the “trail” and see what you can explore.

Nice little trail. Would be good for kids or people who think a mile is a long ways.

Nice area but not an easy walk by any means due to horse ruts

hiking
14 days ago

Great views and a fun hike. Work has been done to clear trail but follow the marker tape if you want to stay on the trail. Even then we strayed some.

hiking
17 days ago

Well marked trail. We saw about 10+ other people while we were out there, so it's moderately trafficked in my opinion. However, the spring was very pretty and worth it.

Multi-use trail that follows barely descernable old double track trail much of the way. Has a short distance that provides views overlooking Smith Creek. Otherwise very ordinary. Definately offers Solitude. Their was about 6 established backpacker camps existing.

I hiked this trail plus several more miles to hw 21. The trail was well maintained as well as the camp sights. You gain elevation quickly and enjoy a challenging hike with rewarding views. Not much water so bring plenty.

hiking
21 days ago

This loop can be shortened by taking the cross path located in the center of the loop. (It says "0.8" on it.) In which case the northern loop comes to about six miles, although it feels longer. There are several stream crossings, which can be up to waist deep depending on recent rainfall. The trail is marked with diamond symbols on the trees, and isn't hard to navigate, though you should take your phone or GPS with this app loaded, and preferably the maps downloaded, since cell coverage is limited. There's some nice elevation gain here and there, and a few steep rocky spots. We saw a juvenile bald eagle at Noblett Lake. All in all a pleasant hike if you are in the area.

Nice primitive no fee campground. I suspect always full in the summer. It s a trail head for the nice 1/2 mile boy scout created trail, but also the larger Cedar Creek trailhead.

hiking
27 days ago

GPS tracked this exact loop around 28.25 miles.. nice hike.. not overly challenging.

backpacking
27 days ago

Great Trails. Well maintained. They had a controlled burn last week which left a good section on the west side of the of the loop scorched. We were able to find some water on the east side but did not see a big source until Brazil Creek.

walking
1 month ago

Nice view from the bluff just past halfway down. This is an off-road vehicle trail.

1 month ago

Creek crossings up after rain. No way to get over without getting wet. Lots of multi floral rose to snag you along the way. Trail was well marked.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is one of the weirdest I've taken. First of all there were shotgun shells all over the place. There was also a lot of trash, and a dead dog. We got a bad vibe from this place so left after walking down to the river.

I must be a terrible hiker. People on here claim to start at the Bell Mountain Wilderness (Highway A) and get to the peak (Taum Sauk) in 6 hours with 30lbs packs and what have you. Bell Mountain to Taum Sauk is a 30 mile trail. That's 10 minute miles. Plan ahead and give yourself some time. It took us about 14-15 hours to complete across two days. Saw some boars, very pretty waterfall, amazing viewpoints. Everything you can need to know about this trail is located on the OzarkTrail website.

hiking
1 month ago

The trail is easy to follow until you get to the creek bed, then it’s anyone’s guess. This place needs markers! There are two trails that cross each other and unless you’re an expert you have no idea which path to take.

pretty easy hike to the natural bridge from the parking lot. Wear waterproof shoes, you will get wet. I was very aggravated by the trash in the cave. why do people do that. There is bats in the cave, I hope the trash does not disturb them

Very beautiful hike once you get down to the creek. The trail comes and goes so we ended up just climbing on the rocks along the creek.

Nothing remarkable. If you want solitude, seldom travelled this is what you are after.

Slight downslope most of the way, quiet, peaceful walk. Trail head a little inconspicuous. The last 1/3 of the trail not well maintained, harder to follow. Kids and dog loved it!

Beautiful trail! Plenty of camping opportunities. My gps clocked a little over 12 miles and about 1500 ft elevation .

backpacking
1 month ago

My husband and I hiked this trail last summer and it was a great experience! Definitely a rugged trail, and any visitors should be fully prepared with water and water filtration systems if they're planning on a longer trek. The views were worth any difficulties!!! We were also surprised by several cleared campsites along the way that weren't on the MO State Parks map.

I did Bell Mountain Wilderness to Taum Sauk Mountain State Park. This portion of my trip was absolutely beautiful! It was rocky, rugged, and steep; give yourself plenty of time. I planned to camp here; it took me 6.5 hours to finish this portion with a 30lb pack. I recommend doing this in the fall, winter, or early spring as there will be some overgrown areas. Ketcherside Mountain had some amazing views. Please leave no trace!!

Hiked Pees Hollow, a 5.3 mile loop that starts from the fire tower trailhead. Honestly, the best views were on the drive there, but it was still good to get out of the house and get some exerceise. It's been raining a lot recently, so the path might as well have been a creek at several points along the way.

2 months ago

Badly marked. You will get off the trail. Map needed!

hiking
2 months 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.

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