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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

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.

hiking
20 days ago

This is a double-track ATV/forestry road, there is a small parking spot on the shoulder of the blacktop road. Really cool view of the lake off off bluffs about .6/mile in, but the rest of the hike down the lake shore is unremarkable.

This trail passes through mostly old growth forest and has some extremely large oak trees along the way. The right portion of the figure eight as mapped by this app is easy to follow. The left portion of the figure eight as mapped is almost nonexistent in some parts and evidently no longer used or maintained.

backpacking
1 month ago

Beware of ticks, they were falling from the trees on us at the campsite. The trail from creek to the campground is very overgrown but manageable. Enjoyed my time on Lower Rock Creek as always! This is an unofficial trail that is not maintained, be prepared for less than ideal conditions.

backpacking
1 month ago

We turned this into a three day hike because we wanted more time out there and it was worth it! at the 12 mile mark you can go off to the left and about .1 off trail is a great campsite with a decent little creek. it was nice and secluded great for a first night stay. when you get to Brazil creek fill up your water as there are not many options after that.

Beautiful. I have to say some of the reviews mentioning snakes kept me off of this trail for a while. Didn't see a single one! Perhaps the best thing about this is you can make it as long or as short as you wish. It's a nice walk to the stream itself, and for those who want a more rugged experience, there's plenty of that up and downstream. We had the entire place to ourselves on a summer Sunday! never saw another car after leaving Hwy. E.

hiking
1 month ago

I would consider this trail Easy, not Moderate. It's short and the elevation change is hardly anything. I went in late July and the trail was covered in spider webs. The rocks at the top would probably be cool for kids. We didn't see anybody on the trail or at the top either way.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy to follow trail with a nice view of the Ozarks at the top of the bluff. I've been at least 5 times and it's never crowded. If you go in early Autumn the view is even better. Beware of seed ticks though.

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!

hiking
1 month ago

Trail was overgrown almost everywhere except near trail heads. Lots of downed trees and deep horse ruts along the way. Other than that it was a nice trek with lots of wildlife (numerous deer, squirrels, rabbits and turtles). Liberally used 25% Deet, but still came off the trail with somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 ticks on me and my clothing/gear.

so glad we found this trail was worth the walk

backpacking
2 months 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.

First you should know the road up to the trail head is washed out so don't expect to get there with a car or anything with low clearance. We had actually rented a Ford 250 so had no issues other than a bit of a bumpy ride up. We did find the trail head just fine. I would suggest taking a GPS as though we were able to find the trail and stay on it there were certainly times where the trail was questionable and no markings to keep you on it. Some steep inclines/declines but not an overly difficult trail if you are in shape which if you are going to do an 11 mile hike I would like to think you should be. Saw several turtles along the way but that was it for wildlife. Was a little underwhelmed by the rockpile but that may have been more of my high expectations. It was a fun hike and I will definitely be back to do more trails in the area.

Beautiful hike with a natural bridge at the end that has bats. Tall sycamores along the way with a couple of creek crossings. Well worth it.

A typical Ozarks hike through the woods. Colorful wildflowers were everywhere. Several old foundations are along the trail. Passed some morel hunters who had a mesh bag full.

hiking
2 months ago

It’s a really beautiful area as many have stated. It may be different with very high or low water levels but when we were there there was pool after inviting pool as we hiked along the creek. Some of them were ~20 feet across.. Next time I’ll do some wading.

Knocked off one star because of how poorly marked and maintained the trail was. There are a couple pics of one of our group with her toes on a 6” ledge. I doubt that was the way the trail went but it sure appeared to lead us there.

camping
2 months ago

I rate this as difficult, because of the challenging nature of climbing over and around the big rocks, which are incredibly slippy when wet.
You can camp at the trailhead by your car, or at the river some 40 mins in or further upstream, I found it difficult to get around rocks with my backpack, and because I was on my own, return and camped at a safer place. This is a beautiful site to camp, relax and hike. Totally recommend it.

backpacking
2 months ago

Every other review I’ve read is pretty accurate. My GF(inexperienced) and I hiked yesterday 4/28/18.
The trails are definitely not maintained, which is fine with me because it means not many people go here. It’s not the easiest trail to navigate; with occasional rock climbing, rock hoping and super slick rock along the river. Yes there are definitely an abundance of snakes but that’s just a part of nature, watch where you put your hands & feet and you should be fine. The trail can be difficult in places and easy in other spots but well worth the experience if the river and falls (lots of rain last week), the views and serenity of it all.
We will be back again to see more soon. I expect during the summer it would be incredibly overgrown, so come prepared to work for it.

got confused on all the trails interconnecting. overall a good hike

backpacking
2 months ago

Loved this trail. Will be doing this one again.

Our first impression of the horse camp side was pretty dismissal. 2pm and there's an extremely intoxicated guy carrying a handle of vodka and yelling obscenities at someone else at another site, shortly after he passed out in a camp chair. The two young teens with him came over to us and invited us to party with them later - they looked like they might have been old enough to drive, maybe. They said they camp frequently there. That was enough to make us not interested in spending any time here.

off road driving
2 months ago

I need to talk to AllTrails about some serious updates here. First, there are multiple trails, about 80 miles of them, in this 12 to 13 square mile area. The primary use of the area is "off-road motorcycle riding" or "dirt biking" which isn't a category AllTrails uses, so I selected "Off Road Driving". I can eventually map all of the trails in AllTrails, but go to https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mtnf/recarea/?recid=21762 for the official information on the area.

As for dirt biking, this is definitely a 5 star place to ride trails from easy as pie to hell and back. All skill levels can have fun here. There is a lot of level trails, rocks to bounce over, hills to climb, streams to splash through, and even bridges to cross. Visit Rattlesnake Cave, Deer Trough, and good luck finding what's left of Stump Springs, but it's there. There's also a 5 acre trials bike area with no limiting trails within it - ride wherever you like.

Hikers could conceivably use the area, but I've never seen any on the trails. If you hike this, you'll have to ford creeks (in the wet season), climb some pretty steep stuff, deal with lose gravel, and above all, get off the trail if you hear any riders coming your way! Some people ride fast without much time to react.

In my opinion, hike elsewhere and have run riding here!

backpacking
2 months 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
3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months 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.

We did not realize upon making the drive to Ava that this is a scenic drive and not actually a hiking trail like we thought. Oops! It might be good for the Glade Top Run held every year or even biking, but we should've done some research first. It was a pretty drive.

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