Explore the most popular trails in Piney Creek Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

1 month ago

If you're the type who can't stand not to know exactly where you are every second of a hike then you'll have plenty to gripe about. If you are the type who is confident and able you'll enjoy this trail very much.

off trail
over grown
2 months ago

Not worth the trip. Came down from Springfield. Not marked well. Couldn’t even get out the whole way before the trail was lost. Super over grown and definitely NOT moderately travelled.

washed out
5 months ago

Trail is nonexistent when you get within 100yds of the creek. Everything has been totally washed out by flooding. I took the west half of the loop down to the creek and should have turned around there. I could find no sign of any of the trails by the creek on the topo. Tried to find the east half of the loop to get back up. Ended up zig-zagging over where the trail should have been on the map. Maybe the last mile actually exists everything else is moderately dense forest.

8 months ago

Just completed the loop and had a great hike. Did the loop counterclockwise. Steep rocky climbs coming out but very scenic. Plenty of water in the creek and drainages. Could definitely use some signage and blazes upgrades.

I've hiked this about a dozen times now. It was definitely tough figuring out the trail in the creek area the first time. It could certainly be marked better, but if you just accept that it's basically unmarked then you'll be better off. It's slightly dangerous for this trail to be marked for the first mile and then nothing, particularly down where it gets confusing. Anyway we love this trail, it's a great long hike that has beautiful areas and plenty of elevation changes to get your blood pumping.

10 months ago

The hike to the creek and back is fine, no particularly stunning vistas. I recommend not attempting to do either of the loop trails at this location, by the creek the trail is so washed out it's impossible to see and is not sufficiently marked to navigate.

Monday, May 28, 2018

It was a challenge to find the trail, but well worth the effort. Find Farm Road 2185 and stay on this gravel road until you come to the opening with National Forestry sign marking the trail head. No where is "Tar Kiln Trail" marked with a sign. Park your car and walk about 1/8 mile east to the trail opening on the left.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Challenging. Not the best views but good workout and trail. Easy to lose at times

Monday, April 16, 2018

Like others have said, there could be better markings for the trail. Didn't see anyone else out hiking so we had the trails to ourselves which is always nice. We did a couple offshoots from the trail which is nice to have several trail options when you are looking for more miles.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

It was a fun trail to hike but me and my son kept getting off the trails because of the other trails if we did not have the app wen would have been lost.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Beautiful, but the trail was poorly marked and difficult to follow in places. Included a copy of the trail map in the photos section.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Actually it's a good trail. 90% easy to follow, but there are some spots it kind of is tough to see. Use a map and you won't have any issue. The creek is really beautiful and worth seeing. The hike back is fairly difficult which is why this trail is rated as difficult. If you're in shape the trail not an issue. Use this app to find the trailhead or you won't find it. Enjoy :) I'll go back again.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Needs better markings.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Trail difficult to follow. Lots of creek crossings.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Not a difficult bushwack up the hill to glades at 36.685899, -93.573374. Nice views, stayed the night up there. Tenkara fly fishing is not bad at the lake, caught one every couple of casts. Looking forward to exploring more glades here in the future.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Fun trail! Loved the treat of the creek bed at the end! Hiked with nine year old and fourteen year old. Good workout. 5.2 miles total for us.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Tough hike!! We couldn't of made it without our Alltrails app the trail is hard to follow. The wildflowers and butterflies were beautiful!!! Great workout!!!

Monday, May 29, 2017

tough to find the trails at times...thank God for this app

Monday, May 01, 2017

Fun place, not very trafficked. Came in off the Cape Fair side and hiked to the lake. Took a detour to hike up to a ridge for a decent view. Bring a map, might get signal when your on the ridges but will loose it in the valleys. See some old camp sites from hunters littered around as well, so be careful during open game seasons.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

This place should be rated as hard ! A hiker could really use a (current) map and gps with satellite imagery the blazes are almost non existent. If you decide to take a trail that is not on the official map , it will get sketchy ... As none of the trails are maintained ..

Thursday, October 06, 2016

loved it

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Just hiked this over the weekend. The trail is pretty clear on the first leg. But gets lost once you get to the creek bottom. It's tough to find the trail connection going back north as its really covered Up. Watch out for snakes in the creek area. Seen a Copperhead before turning back north. Overall not a bad trail just tough finding the right way on the back half.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Definitely not a great summer hike. Trail was not marked well at all and we ended up following the creek bed til we got to a campsite. Tick heaven.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Started at the tower and went down the 'Tower Trail' till it came to Piney Creek. Flooding took out most of the trail, so just follow the creek like Dale said. Not many good views on the way down but there are a few nice campsites on the trails by the creek. The lake was beautiful, secluded. Took the 'Farm Track Trail' that follows the dry creek bed back up, one of the easier ways to get to the lake. The trailhead is down the road from the tower.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Pretty trail. Not super well marked. In the lower areas I think the flooding early this year did a number on the trail. Many times it was not at all obvious where the trail was, just keep following the creek. The AllTrails app made it much easier to bushwhack across the area and reconnect. Camped at the tower, only one here. (4-10-2016)

Thursday, November 05, 2015

The heading for this trail on this site is inaccurate. This trail is near Shell Knob, south of Mo HWY 76. The trail in in the Piney Creek Wilderness, which is in the Cassville district of the Mark Twain National Forest.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

A nice trail if your in the area.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Walked this an Siloam springs trail last Sunday 9/21/14. Lots of horse traffic here. It's a good day out.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Wife's first, in her words "non-sissy" hike. All in all, this was a pretty good area for our day hike. Began at Fire Tower TH and went South East to the Lake Trail. Lake Trail to Piney Creek Trail. Followed the creek in and out several crossings that were very refreshing! Went south on Tar Kiln Trail back to the southern TH. Here's where it gets a little shady. Siloam Spring Trail was covered in quite a bit of foliage. Topo Map is recommended. We found ourselves along the top of the ridge with no sign of the trail. Headed north west knowing we'd hit the creek and eventually catch the trail back to the north. Within 100yds, we were back on and headed down to another creek. There was quite a bit of rain in the weeks preceding our hike and as a result, the creek crossing were a bit rough to find as well. A series of horses had been through in recent days making it fairly easy to follow. Siloam Spring Trail meets up with Piney Creek Trail again. There is a marker, but you'll have to look closely for it. Continued North from Piney Creek Trail up Tower Trail. First fire ring (ozarkswalkabout map) was easy to spot and we decided to go up the ridge rather than drop down in the hollow. We completely missed the second one and when arriving where the hollow trail and tower trail met again didn't think twice about where we were on the map. To further compound the problem, there is a cairn that needs to be destroyed. Continued to head north (don't do it) up a fairly worn area and it dead ended another 3/4m down the trail. At that point, we were within a couple hundred yards of 76 and decided to walk the road back to the car. Actual loop is closer to 8 miles. We turned it into 10 but it was a great day for a hike. Plenty of water and trail camping is allowed. Pretty quiet. We met a group of backpackers around the lake trail/piney creek trail crossing and a small group of boy scouts shortly thereafter. Beyond that, we had the place to ourselves. To expand on someone else's review, when we got back to the car at the Fire Tower, we did ask some campers to take our picture. While the guy that took the picture was fine, there were some interesting characters amongst them. They were also a bit unnerving and we left pretty quickly. I would suggest, as the previous reviewer did, hiking down the trail and pitching your tent there.

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