hiking

dogs on leash

forest

views

river

camping

horseback riding

wildlife

mountain biking

trail running

walking

birding

wild flowers

nature trips

kid friendly

fishing

backpacking

lake

waterfall

dog friendly

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

Absolutely beautiful. Well used trail.

hiking
16 days ago

The trailhead on the app isn’t a trailhead per se but rather a wide spot on a dirt road. You’ll have to park on the edge of the road. The trail is lightly travelled and the distance to the Gasconade River is 2.3 miles. If the river is lower you could probably cross it but we turned around. This was a nice trail to spend time on during a beautiful fall day.

hiking
17 days ago

Excellent little hike! Very well maintained.

I'm not exactly sure why the this section is so different from every other trail in Missouri, it just is. Great time, just bring water. You may have easily done a 5 mile trail without needing water before, but there's 5 miles and then there's 5 miles on the Taum Sauk.

Not a bad trail, but not very good either. A simple stroll with 3 small creek crossings, but the trails aren’t marked well. The biggest payoff is the small cave but it’s not marked at all and you can miss it since you have to veer off the main path down an unmarked trail by at least 150 meter.

Meh...

hiking
23 days ago

Make no mistake, this is not a hiking trail. This was meant for ATVs, mountain biking, motorcycles, etc. The "trail" is a gravel road that loops around, where people fly down with their vehicles. Nice scenery, but not a good trail for hiking on foot like it's described above. If you want a serene trail with no noise or traffic, take a hard pass on this one.

Good hike, not overly scenic, but typical of area. Couple bluff views, some water crossings. backpacker camps exist along trail.

hiking
29 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.

1 month ago

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
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month ago

The view at the top is worth this quick hike.

on Siloam Spring Trail

hiking
1 month 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
2 months 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
2 months ago

Trails maintained by Back Country Horsemen of MO.

backpacking
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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.

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