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Make the great escape to Missouri's wilderness - Taum Sauk Mountain State Park. The park provides 7,501 acres of solitude amid unspoiled land with a wilderness quality hard to find in today's world. Taum Sauk Mountain State Park is located in the St. Francois Mountains, one of the most rugged and scenic areas of the state. Almost 1.5 billion years ago, volcanic eruptions of hot ash settled and cooled to form rhyolite. Erosion has left only the roots of these mountains behind, now dotted by oak-hickory forest and rocky glades. Taum Sauk Mountain literally stands above others as the highest point in Missouri, rising to 1,772 feet. An easy walk leads visitors to the top. From there, the moderately rugged three-mile Mina Sauk Falls Trail continues to the tallest wet-weather waterfall in Missouri. Mina Sauk Falls drops 132 feet over a series of rocky ledges. A portion of this trail also serves as part of the Taum Sauk Section of the Ozark Trail. Farther down the trail lies Devil's Tollgate, an eight-foot-wide passage through volcanic rhyolite standing 30 feet high. The Ozark Trail continues on to the Highway N trailhead at Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park, a distance of 14.4 miles. Taum Sauk Mountain State Park features a campground of 12 basic campsites, with drinking water and a vault toilet nearby. A special-use area is available for non-profit youth organizations. A nearby picnic area allows visitors to relax and enjoy lunch under the trees after a day of hiking.

Had a few cool little look out spots, generally easy trail, waterfalls were cool and there is a bathroom at the trail head.

breathtaking views! Go after a big rain to aee the falls in all their glory..

The best way to help the Ozark Trail if you notice something amiss is to report it using their tool: http://ozarktrail.com/tripreport.php
That said,I hiked this trail from the hwy 21 parking lot through to Taum Sauk one year ago, Jan 2017. I'm about to do it again tomorrow, hoping there are no downed trees but will make do.
It's a beautiful winding trail with plenty of elevation change and water features.
Bring first aid and flashlights and plenty of warm layers this time of year. Never know if you'll end up stuck out there for a night. Be smart.
I remember it to be challenging but totally doable for regular hikers. Definitely gets the heart rate up so anyone with asthma should bring their inhaler.
if you're hiking with someone you can do the longer trail that starts at hwy 21 and ends at Taum Sauk, I think it's about 12 miles. One person parks at Taum Sauk to get you back to your car at hwy 21.
Enjoy!

backpacking
1 month ago

I went on this trail in October of 2017 with my boyfriend. We started at Hwy 21 and had every intention to backpack to Taum Sauk, Mina Sauk and Devils Tollgate however the trail had different plans. Not even 500 yards in we were attacked by bees in a ground nest. The first 2 miles of the trail were decent with few trees down but then by mile 3 -4 we were forced off trail due to bulldozed sections leaving massive piles of trees across the trail. We climbed over where we could and went around through the woods when we couldn't. At about Mile 4 the trail and all markers disappeared. Debris on the trail or go downhill. No markers to lead the way and the map was too vauge. We camped trail side and left hiked out the next morning. Went to Taum Sauk Trail head and finished our hike. Hopefully the trail is looking better in that section now.

The trail is unmarked and appear to be inactive.

great trail! definitely get the provided walking sticks, they're extremely helpful. we'll have to come back again in the wet season, because the falls were just a trickle here in december.
lost the markers for a bit because we went straight when it curved a hard right, but the app's gps showed us where we went wrong and got us back on track.

Fun winter hike with my husband and our 2 dogs.

hiking
2 months ago

This was a great hike! i would recommend it; though when it is during the wet season, but still, it was a beautiful hike. I do recommend hiking boots, its very rocky....jetting rocks, etc. I would also grab one of the walking sticks at the beggining of the trail and return it at the end. They're free and would have been very useful! We would do this hike again.

Go in the spring or when there is plenty of of water or there will be no waterfall

Trail is fairly well marked but rocky to walk. I suggest hiking boots. Took us 3 hours to hike. Beautiful time of the year to hike the area. Changing trees are amazing.

Did this trail with the scouts as a backpacking trip. Great part of the state to hike. recommend as an extended backpack trip.

This was my our first "trail" hike. We are young seniors and in fair to good shape. We are both walkers so the distance was not a problem. It is a rocky trail so we both wished we had put on hiking boots instead of tennis shoes. The falls were just a trickle but we knew it was a possibility. Nonetheless it was a beautiful hike and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. We strongly recommend it!

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail to hit and pull an over nighter while watching the sunset on the cliffs. There is a flat patch about 100 yards south of the falls. Great place to enjoy what the mountain has to offer. Only downside is the trail is short and you have to hit theOT to keep hiking for a multi day trip

love the trail.

Looks like trails have changed. Some portions of the 11.1 mile loop are overgrown trails, no signage, and at least one disappeared on us. No loop that we could see. We went clockwise and had to turn back 2-3 miles from where the end was supposed to be.

Paved, and no views

hiking
5 months ago

Mina Sauk Falls is an excellent little day hike for any average trekker like myself. My wife and I are both teachers, so we headed out earlier this summer during the work week. We were able to enjoy most of the entire journey in perfect privacy. The few folks we passed were very friendly. It's worth a stop at the lookout to get a view from the highest point in MO, but we appreciated the views from the falls more (even though they weren't flowing). The rocks were fun to climb, and the landscape is a joy to witness. Only 1.5 hours outside of St. Louis, it's a perfect alternative to the popular Elephant Rocks if you're wanting something a little different. PS we stopped in Arcadia on the way home for a bite at Thee Abbey Kitchen. Delicious cinnamon rolls!

backpacking
5 months ago

By far the most difficult trail I have encountered around the area. But far from impossible or daunting. The Falls were not flowing so that was a disappointment (is it to much to ask for some rain). Meet some very friendly, helpful people along the way.

Definitely will be back later this fall/next spring once rain picks back up. Make sure you are prepared with essential items, the trail is not easy going. Good shoes are important.

Ate lunch by the waterfall! Beautiful day.

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