Explore the most popular lake 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.

My 12.5 and 11 year old had a blast! Trail is definitely a solid 12 miles! We did in just around 5.5 hours, which was clipping along. I suggest starting early in the day in order to include more stops along the way. Definitely bringing the entire family back!

backpacking
1 month ago

If you're a fan of flora then you'll love the picturesque fields of stinging nettles with a hint of briar patch and poison ivy. Are you entomologist or are fascinated by creepy crawlers? If you answered yes, then this hike is definitely for you. The ever reclusive tick will more than tickle your fancy here. The trick is to use copious amounts of deet 40. Deet, for ticks at Noblett, is like putting a good vinaigrette on a house salad.These little guys just can't seem to get enough. Bushwacker? This trail has you covered, literally. The wife and I especially loved all the deadfall across the trail. I mean who doesn't love walking under several fallen trees held up by a single branch. I know I did.

backpacking
1 month ago

Loved this trail. Will be doing this one again.

backpacking
1 month 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.

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

hiking
2 months 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.

on Prospector Trail

walking
2 months ago

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

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

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

hiking
7 months ago

When you start off, there is a trail. The trail is completely gone before the first mile is up. We followed what we thought was the trail, but it ended up being part of the Ozark Trail, which was definitely not Crane Lake Trail. So we made our own trail. You basically just follow the lake around. Where you run into trouble is the dam. You have to go way around the back side of the shut-in to get to the other side of the lake. With no trail to follow, we were apprehensive about moving forward. We turned around and went out the same way we came in. Let me be clear, the trail gets completely lost. There is so much over growth and fallen leaves, everything looks the same. The trail looks good to start and then becomes completely non existent. Pretty area though. Nice country drive to the trailhead. Probably won't go back.
Oh, and the trail was rated as moderate...the lack of trail reclassifies it to hard.

Great downhill spots and rock formations

backpacking
8 months ago

Washed out in several places where you will have to search for the other side of the trail for awhile. Trail dips into thick stinging nettle and briar patches at times. Scenery is meh, not really worth hiking until the winter. Poorly marked. Needs maintenance

Did ridge runner north loop before connecting to Ozark trail. The trail was washed out badly in multiple places, you will have to search good for the other side of the trail in those places. Trail dips into thick briar patches and stinging nettle patches at times. Scenery is ok. Upside: if you camp out there the stars are nice and the coyotes/owls are nice to listen to.

Beautiful area, area not well maintained but it's an area we love

mountain biking
8 months ago

Very scenic and well taken care of in sections. Some sections have a little overgrowth, especially parts that use the Fire roads. I recommend wearing quality bug spray, as I was inflected with chigger bites.

hiking
9 months ago

Nice hike for our arrival in MO. we took the shortcut across the dam.

hiking
10 months ago

Hiking was a challenge at times only due to poor trail markers. Good cliff views and camping spots.

Well marked. Thick swamps and had to trail blaze just to continue. Not well maintained. No clean water to filter or treat. Otherwise pretty good

hiking
Saturday, June 17, 2017

Really weedy in several spots today and the beach very busy and noisy. I could hear the screaming from two miles away. Disappointed that it was so loud. Very pretty trail however. Bet this is awesome during the school year.

mountain biking
Friday, March 17, 2017

trail running
Monday, March 13, 2017

Well maintained, with beautiful views of the lake. Mileage is over 12 miles instead of the 10 miles listed. Great trail

Rode this in and out trail recently. It is a gem! Hardly any traffic... we saw one trail runner. Bring a lot of snacks and water. I can only assume once the mosquitos are out you'd need to protect against them and ticks so come prepared! Great climbs... super fun descents. Be smart, come prepared and the cell coverage is almost non existent.

hiking
Thursday, March 02, 2017

trail around lake is lackluster but the Shut-ins south of the dam is a blast. could spend a few hours in there. A lot of fire pits.

hiking
Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Not really a review, more of a question....interested in doing this trail, but don't want to if it's too rough from the horses. Any recent feedback on this?

hiking
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Hiked the entire loop. Took a little over 4 hours (12.7 miles) . I saw no one from the time I parked until I got back in my truck. Very peaceful with great views of the lake during most of the hike. Looking forward to doing it again in the Spring.

river perfect but beware if you own personal equipment the private campgrounds and canoe outfitters will refuse your business and try to make your life rough

hiking
Monday, November 07, 2016

This is a great trail. Quite a bit of elevation changes, and at times not marked very well, but the beauty of the lake makes up for it. It took me 4 hours to circle the lake.

hiking
Monday, October 17, 2016

Lots of mountain bikers when we went. Made hiking a little tough. Beautiful lake!!

horseback riding
Thursday, October 13, 2016

love horseback riding out here, just wish the forestry department would make areas to cut through the woods to avoid the boggy areas. I know there are some deep areas that have been torn up by fellow riders... but please jeep in mind, a lot of the time there is no way for horses to avoid some of the boggy areas. No horse enjoys going through knee deep mud.... & boggy areas stay wet for several weeks when other areas are dry.

Load More