Mark Twain State Park takes its name from the famous Missouri author-humorist whose real name was Samuel L. Clemens. Established in the 1920s through the efforts of the Mark Twain Memorial Park Association, it was transferred to the state in 1924 and is the third oldest state park in Missouri. The 2,775-acre park is located in the Salt River Hills, an area created when the Salt River system carved through the glaciated plains in northeast Missouri. Here, the terrain is reminiscent of southern parts of the state with limestone bluffs overlooking woodlands of oak, hickory and maple. The park serves as a refuge for white-tailed deer, turkey, raccoons, squirrels and a multitude of other wildlife. Bordering the park is the 18,000-acre Mark Twain Lake, offering excellent boating, fishing and swimming opportunities. The park features a heavily wooded campground with basic and electric campsites. Numerous picnic areas, two four-lane boat ramps and more than six miles of hiking trails with scenic views of the lake offer something for everyone. Mark Twain Birthplace State Historic Site, located adjacent to the park, contains the author's cabin and detailed accounts of Samuel Clemens' life and times.

hiking
20 days ago

A meandering trail following the contours of the lakeside hills. Pleasant enough, and good wildlife to encounter, but nothing much for views or exciting finds beyond the old trees and rocky lakefront. I extended my hike by cutting over to the nearby Post Oak trail using the park roads.

Hiked from 4:30 to 7:30 on August 1st, with sundown around 8:30. Encountered frogs, squirrels, lots of small birds; I spotted a deer near the lakeshore for a distance, as well as a blue heron standing watch. I heard some crows and an eagle having some kind of fight, and an owl as the day wore on.

The old growth forest is on the North side of the park road. On the south side, the underbrush is thick and oppressive, so if you're looking to minimize bug bites stay on the North side.

My biggest suggestion is quickly find a good stick (walking or just decently long) and keep your eyes open because you will be knocking down spider webs all the way! I ended up treating the trails as out-and-back rather than a loop. That way, after clearing the webs on the way out, my return march was almost entirely free of webs and much more relaxing.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
Sunday, October 30, 2011

Simple hike through the woods, good for kids, some view of lake, simple but nice little trail.

hiking
Sunday, October 30, 2011

The White Tail Trail is a loop trail easy enough for all ages. overlooks the lake in areas, some small drainages, located on hillside overlooking the lake. Ok to stretch the legs, nothing spectacular