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.

hiking
3 days ago

Pretty cool trail. Rustic Missouri for sure. Make sure you keep an eye on the map because it's easy to lose the trail or make a wrong turn.

Rugged. Lots of ankle turners. Best views in the state.

Lots of views. Several great views. Good hiking. More heavily trafficked than you would think, especially near Rutherford Bridge. Use Deet.

Quiet trail, no traffic. Serene. I wore shorts and sprayed deet on my socks, shoes. No bugs mid September. Trail was maintained, but low traffic allowed overgrowth. Views are all wooded. Three old dams(mining?) about halfway mark. Will hike out here to camp in October.

love this camp spot kids love it always clean hiked a bit and was beautiful

camping
7 days ago

camped and hikes there,a awesome place.i take my son and daughters there they love it

hiking
8 days ago

Great trail, love getting to the bottom on hot summer day to feel the cooler air from the cold spring water.

Great trail! It’s for sure rugged. Expect to be looking down a lot, but, make sure to stop and take in the scenery. My wife, daughter, son, two dogs and I did a quick 3 miles in from Taum Sauk mountain and stayed the night. The waterfall was a trickle, however, still a pretty awesome site for Missouri. We saw a lot of fence lizards and turtles. The coyotes were also having a great time throughout the night, but, never came very close. All in all a very nice and well marked trail.

nice hike.

Okay for a couple of hours. Nice just to be out.

backpacking
24 days ago

This is a well maintained trail. Lots of gravel as expected in this part of Missouri so the trail drains well after rain. Thanks to everyone that maintains the trail. It looks great and has no aggressive up or downs. There seems to be confusion about the mileage.. printed map says 24 miles, Trails indicates 25 miles, our GPS recorded 27 miles, the trail is marked with mile/half mile markers, last one we passed was 26.5. We took our backpacking gear and were using this trip to gauge our maximum mileage per day. It was a surprise when we hit mile marker 24 and still had an unknown number of miles to go. The next 3 miles were a real mental challenge. So we completed the 27 mile loop in one day with our backpacking gear and realized we are no longer 18 years old..if you try this in one day get started early and take enough gear to get through the night if you need to stop. Next time we do this trail we will split it into 2 days.

hiking
27 days ago

The view at the top is worth this quick hike.

on Siloam Spring Trail

hiking
27 days ago

Not the longest hike I’ve been on recently but this was a beast. It was very overgrown and I felt like I was bushwhacking through Aragog’s hollow with the number of spider webs I walked though. Despite swinging my walking stick nonstop for 3.5 hours to knock down the webs I think I still pulled several hundred spiders off myself. It was not marked very well and if it wasn’t for the app I wouldn’t gotten lost several times. Many times the trail just seems to fade away and you can’t tell the real trail from dozens of game trails crisscrossing the forest. I won’t do this trail ever again.

Me and my husband had planned to go to the very southern trailhead near Hendrickson and hike up from there to the highway 172 spot. Upon following the map to where the trailhead was suppose to be, we found we were lead to someone’s house and the map showed the spot was behind their house. We went to inquire to see if they knew about the trail but nobody was home so we just went to the highway 172 entrance and hiked in and out. Curious as to where the actual end point is now.

There are pretty views and rock formations, mostly shady woods with open sunny glades closer to Johnson Shut-ins. Oh and rocks, rocks, rocks.

We hiked from the Taum Sauk trailhead to the Highway N trailhead, 13.5 miles. We did this over 1 ½ days. We have done several day hikes but this was our first overnight backpacking trip so we wanted it to be fairly short. We traveled from St. Louis to the Highway N Trailhead with two cars then shuttled ourselves to the other end. We didn’t start hiking until lunch time so stopped a couple miles in at Mina Sauk Falls to eat. It was just a trickle of water that day but still a neat area to eat and explore.

Based on other reviews we expected the trail to be rocky and it sure is! Really only a few short sections the whole way were without large rocks. It got to my hips the second day. (I’m 49). My college age son and his friend faired better than my husband and I but after a section with a lot of rock slides they commented “that section sucked”. We did a lot of training preparing for a different hike and were used to 40 lb. packs and a 2mph pace. I had a lighter pack but we only managed about 1.5 mph.

There were two nice camping areas by Taum Sauk Creek and one a little further down. We tried out our water filtration system at the creek but camped further on at the last spot. It is by a ravine with a storm creek that may have water some of the time but didn’t when we were there. We expected to dry camp though and had brought extra water. The map we got from the Ozark Trail Association showed all the water sources and was accurate.

Chiggers and spiders were pretty much the only wildlife we encountered. After about four miles in we didn’t encounter other hikers either. I’m sure the hot August weather had something to do with that. We enjoyed the solitude and quiet at our camp site.

The trail was really well marked. I read a previous review before going that said the trail was not well marked. Someone must have done some maintenance between those times because we didn’t need our map or compass at all. Many of the blazes looked new. When we got to the end we car camped at Johnson Shut-Ins State park and enjoyed the shut-ins the next day. Overall a nice three day weekend.

hiking
1 month ago

Giving two stars due to the abundance of TICKS! The first mike of this trail is narrow and through scrub timber. The creek bed is cool - neat rocks, sometimes you have to take the bank - no clear trail through these sections - no way to avoid walking through brush and weeds. We got 2 miles in and turned back because we realized our legs were covered with tiny ticks. Would not do this one again.

Awesome

horseback riding
1 month ago

Trails maintained by Back Country Horsemen of MO.

backpacking
1 month ago

Hiked the trail with my grandsons. Applied lots of 40 percent deet. No ticks or chiggers. Enjoyed the trail not too difficult but rough enough for a nice workout! Camped at dry creek campground had the place to our selves! Very nice campsites.

hiking
1 month ago

Enjoyable trail. Bring a copy of the map as cell signal not so good. Very peaceful. Views good at times. Not spectacular. Crossed Smith Creek several times. Trail is pretty well marked with red diamonds.
Had to pass thorough some grass tightly encroaching on trail. Tick/ Chigger city. Had to go home right after to get them off.

hiking
1 month ago

we only hiked for 30 minutes in/30 min out. pretty easy trail that ran parallel to the st. francis river.

Cool trail on the lake. Had a nice breeze, clear weather, and swimming area. Nice overlook trail with good elevation that breaks off loop.

backpacking
2 months ago

This trail is absolutely beautiful! Definitely a good beginner hike. Came here for a backpacking trip but cut the trip a day short. First day I was covered in seed ticks and went to wash off in the closest bit of water which had leaches in it. Beautiful trail just don't recommend coming here in August!

2 months ago

wear long pants

Rick and spider infested!!! Just a normal covered Ozark trail, nothing special to see. About 4 of the 5.3 miles are will kept but 1.5 are pretty rough if your are traveling on foot. When we got to our car we could see the hundreds if not thousands of seed ticks on my dog and myself!! I spent most of the time on the trail dodging spider webs.

hiking
2 months ago

Good trail, didn't see snakes, got a couple ticks. a little bit of experience hiking, makes this trail real fun. couple places to camp, no idea if you're allowed to or not though. this is a low maintained trail and that includes the road up to the trailhead. small cars can make it but its rough. i plan on hiking it again and probably camping off the trail.

hiking
2 months ago

I walked <2 miles on the Moon Loop and got 11 ticks on my clothes. Trailhead off the Ginn Lane was a bit hidden. On the bright side, the sunrise and scenery were beautiful!

Fun trail that runs mostly along a ridge line at the start and passes through woodland and then a Shortleaf Pine forest. There’s a rest area between the woodland and Shortleaf Pine forest that is next to a small lake and has a picnic table. Other neat little ponds can be found next to the trail.

After descending from the ridge and passing some large flat rocks and other rock formations, the trail runs next to a wet weather creek for a couple of miles, which it crosses a few times. The trail is overgrown in several areas along the creek but the path is well worn from trail riders so it’s easy to find. We passed at least ten riders while on the trail. The last 3/4 mile back to the trailhead is on a gravel road. I logged 9.2 miles for the mapped trail.

There’s no parking so you will just have to pull over to the edge of the dirt road to park. Boulders mark the start of the trail but the trail is overgrown for the first 150 yards and you will have to wade through poison ivy, blackberry briars and cedar trees that have been cut across the “trail” until it meets up with the rest of the Kaintuck trail system, which is better used.

After that you will cross a creek and mostly ascend through a forest with occasional openings in the forest. When you reach a trail crossroad it’s time to head back. Only at the crossroad do you see any blazing for this trail.

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