hiking
15 days ago

backpacking
1 month ago

Fantastic trail! Did the loop counter clockwise. Felt like most climbs on the return trip were very gradual, only a couple of very steep sections. The trail is rocky and at a couple of spots hard to follow, but common sense and a little observation you can find the trail easily. Beautiful ridge line camping spot over looking the river at mile 9 (counter) / mile 8 (clockwise).

The GPS track shown starts at the southwest end of the loop, which means overall descending to start, and overall climbing to finish. If you'd like to start your trip climbing and end descending, there is a camp ground near the jut out by Highway AF, which is right about halfway. Campground is free and very pretty, right along the river.

Feel free to message me on FB for more information!

camping
1 month ago

Great trail for beginners and experienced alike. Perfect for getting out of cell reception and seeing some great views. The trail brings you to some great overlooks and challenging creek beds(for staying on trail). Best in spring and after a hard freeze in fall. Bugs, especially oak mites, can be quite ferocious in summer.

backpacking
1 month ago

Nice trail, very pretty, but poorly blazed. I actually never made it to the campground, as I lost the trail in the rain at the BPC crossing. Had to camp in the bush and spent the next day fumbling my way back to the trailhead with just a compass and dead reckoning, as my map had soaked through.

Bring a GPS.

backpacking
2 months ago

Did it in one day 85 degrees in October. Good time with my dog.Followed trail ok, got to pay attention around creek bottoms and creek crossings.

backpacking
2 months ago

Fairly easy, short loop. Plenty of campsites. Not blazed, but easy to follow if you pay attention.

backpacking
2 months ago

backpacking
2 months ago

Good trail. but not marked real well

backpacking
3 months ago

Good trail. Lots of equestrian activity. Most sections are farily well marked, though there are a couple unmarked side trails that can get confusing. The biggest downside was that this time of year the ticks and spiders are insane, so keep that in mind.
There were a few watering holes along the north loop. Most of the streams were dry. Little paddy had just a little water, and big paddy creek had more.
Definitely going to hike this loop again in the winter.

hiking
4 months ago

backpacking
5 months ago

Not a bad trail, as stated by others not too well marked in places. Put in a bit extra due to this. Had difficulty finding the trail to the overlook and ended up back tracking then bypassing using Paddy Creek Road and picking up the remainder of the North loop from there. Lots of spider webs (some with spiders) on the North loop, took a few to the face lol.

on Big Piney Trail

backpacking
6 months ago

backpacking
6 months ago

Fun trail. Not too much elevation change. Very nice campsite on top of bluff about 9 miles in. Water sources along the way. Nice waterfall towards the end. Only down side, heavily trafficked by horses. Parts of trail are beat up and watch for horse poop. Will definitely backpack again!

backpacking
6 months ago

7 months ago

Hiked 3/24/17
I only hiked a small part of this trail, but I did pass through the area where alot of pines had fallen as mentioned in a previous review and the trail has been cleared for easy passage through there.
I plan to hike the entire loop asap and will update my review after that.

Fantastic trail adventures are sure to be had here. Four of us started at the Roby Lake trailhead, hiking counter-clockwise. We hiked to the campground at the northend and settled in just before a biblical storm. I missed the storm completely, snoozing away in my hammock, after taking some "vitamin I -- p.m."

Day 2 we hiked to the overlook on the S. loop, made camp, and lounged around for the next 20 hrs. We ended up sharing our campsite on the overlook with some Missouri Militiamen. They seemed nice enough though.

Day 3 we hiked the 2 miles back to the vehicles.


As others have mentioned, blazes are all but nonexistent. There has been an improvement in signage delineating the route--but at some intersections their odd placement could easily confuse a non-attentive hiker. The pink ribbons along the route also can add to the confusion. I would suggest bringing a hi-res topo map and compass. On two occasions the map "saved us", when the GPS's location had us in the Big Paddy while we were on a ridge.

My first trip out there we fell prey to an established game trail, and ended up doing a little bushwhacking.

ALWAYS check to see when hunting seasons are in effect. It is the Ozarks--Beware of banjos.

Slideshow from our 2013 trip:

https://youtu.be/oeM5TVuXGGw

backpacking
8 months ago

Great time backpacking for the first time. Multiple cutoffs and side trails that are not on the map. We did a few extra miles and hills. We'll be back again.

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