Explore the most popular hiking trails in Roaring River State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
4 days ago

The fire tower was the highlight. The trees are taller than the tower, so there’s not much of a view from the top. The climb to the top of the tower is still worth the effort. Most of the trail is just a walk through the woods. There’s a few rock outcroppings and Bluff lines coming down the hill to the glade. Once at the glade there’s some decent views from there.

An easy hike. A few bluffs and rock outcroppings to see nothing to extraordinary.

hiking
8 days ago

Beautiful trail. Easy trail. Lots of beautiful scenery. The trailhead is located behind the Nature Center with lots of parking. The fire tower is awesome.

Great trail great to see eagles on in January

One of my favorites the views area wonderful.

Longest trail at roaring river great hike.

Great trail .

10 days ago

Good walk but its really only .4 miles long very short.

We started our hike behind the Nature Center, where you can park and pick up a map. There are also other places to access this trail. The first half mile from here is all uphill, but levels off after that. About midway is an old fire-tower that can be climbed if you want. In the winter, you would probably have a nice view from the top, but leaves on the trees blocked our view on Oct 3. There are some pretty rock formations along part of the trail. When you are going back downhill, you will walk through an area of glade type terrain, before crossing a highway and reaching the river. A short distance from there takes you to a campground and along the park road to return to the nature center. Nice hike!

hiking
17 days ago

Awesome trail!!!

hiking
1 month ago

This review is for the River Trail, which isn't listed on this site for Roaring River SP.
Blazed in Yellow. We accessed it from near the parking lots by the Fish Hatchery. You'll pass the Amphitheater, or you can pick up part of the trail there, since the Amphitheater kind of interrupts the trail.
This was a short trail but interesting scenery and features. No real climbing, and for most of the trail, you are hugging the River (though not really close enough to get down to it). Narrow along much of the trail, have to go single-file. Some cool rock overhangs and natural "benches." I think kids would like this trail and could manage it well.

hiking
1 month ago

I found the trailhead by going behind the Nature Center and crossing the road. TH signage is on the other side of the road.
Hiked only a portion b/c it was end of the day and we were losing daylight. I would rate this as more than "Moderate" due to the quick and steep climbs and rugged trail condition. It does flatten out at the top, and you can catch your breath! Late afternoon sunlight through the trees was really pretty. We took the connector trail to meet up with Deer Leap Trail and head back down to leave. I'll definitely return to do the whole trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Too short to really get into a stride, but the view from the top is nice. You're on a wooden bridge and trail for part of it. Cool rocks to climb on. You can connect to Fire Tower Trail from this trail, which I did later in the day to shorten the Fire Tower Trail (running out of daylight).

hiking
1 month ago

Steep to begin. Looks like a WPA project. Well maintained. Pleasant with good markings.

This trail takes you up over the hatchery. There is an overlook above the spring but really you can’t see much of the spring. Overall I wasn’t too impressed by this trail. It was a good climb however.

Hiked this trail this morning. I would start by saying that it was a great trail. BUT it is not a good trail for very young kids. It is very steep. Pretty much you go straight up. It levels off a bit then you go straight down. The walk down was a bit slick and you have to be very careful. Saw a family walking in on our way out and I was genuinely worried about the young boy they had with them that was having a very hard time keeping his footing. This trail is an interpretive self guided trail so be sure to get a white pamphlet from the nature center so you will know what they are wanting you to see at each station. There are three small caves on this trail that they will let you go into. My favorite part was the last station where the Devils kitchen is. This trail definitely gives you a workout but was fun overall.

Hiked this trail this morning. We started at the Chinkapin Nature Center. After walking the trail I definitely think this is the best place to start. Be aware that the first part of the trail is pretty steep and you will get a good workout but it is well worth it. The fire tower is no longer above the tree line as it was put in in the 30’s but you are allowed to climb it and you still get the feeling of being very high. Keep on traveling around past the fire tower and you will encounter a good downhill climb. Then a beautiful view of a bluffline and then the glades. Near the end you get a short walk along the river before it comes out in the campground. With a short walk back to the nature center. As was said by earlier posts you do have to cross the highway a couple of times but personally I don’t think it took away much from the overall experience. It was a great trail with lots to see.

hiking
3 months ago

Trail was ok, but nothing too interesting. that being said, it was a lot better than just staying home and watching TV.

hiking
3 months ago

Lots of stairs up front, but a great view of some rock formations and bluffs!

This was a beautiful trail, easy to find off the Buffalo River parking lot. The whole trail is in the woods and shady and it circles and goes though beautiful rock formations you can climb on or between. There is some incline to give it some difficulty, but overall I’d love to return with my kids! Beware poison ivy and ticks.

7/28/18 trail still closed for maintenance to reroute 1 mile of the trail.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a great hike to take with kids! Lots to see and scramble on. This route has a connection that leads to the hatchery, deer leap trail, fire tower trail or river trail, so using the connections helps in finding the distance you want.

walking
4 months ago

Wife and I just walked this on vacation. I wouldn’t call it a hike as much as a walk. Big hilly sections though. My suggestion when you get to the loop... go right. The pools in the picture were more the creek outside the trail though not in the trail.

hiking
5 months ago

There is a lot to like about this trail...elevation, distance, scenery...But I was a little disappointed in the fire tower providing zero view and having to cross the highway twice. Enjoyed the finish along the river.

hiking
5 months ago

just a walk upstairs to other trails not a true hike. But a great outlook to see the hatchery from above if that is what you are interested in.

hiking
5 months ago

It was a fun trail but more of just a walk with stairs. I wouldn't classify it as a true trail to hike. Close to the hwy so I could hear traffic. Took away from my purpose for being out in nature.

hiking
5 months ago

It took us over an hour to find the trail head. It’s off the side of the highway basically in the middle of nowhere. To get there you have to walk along the highway which is incredibly hilly/curvy and cars, trucks and trailers are flying by going 40+. We didn’t even walk much of the trail because it was too hot and we didn’t have enough water for 2 people and 4 dogs. As usual in MO, the water is a crystal teal and beautiful but this park was SWAMPED. The wading area was full of screaming kids throwing rocks at one another and the fishing areas were packed. I had no idea this was a giant trout hatchery and so that was a little disappointing. I’m more of a let the dogs off leash and see 0 people on the trails kind of person. The drive for me was 3.5 hours and I would never come back. It was a beautiful park but not for activities I enjoy.

hiking
5 months ago

Nice hike, only took a little over two hours at a mild pace taking pictures along the way.

Don't access at Hatchery, steep climb, use another.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike. I wished it got closer to the river sooner, but all in all a good trail. tIt took us about 2 hours at a moderate pace. Good incline for the first half mile or so, then it eases up.

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