Bell Mountain Loop Trail

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Bell Mountain Wilderness

Bell Mountain Loop Trail is a 11.6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Belleview, Missouri that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 11.6 miles Elevation Gain: 1,683 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

camping

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

Oak and hickory are the predominate tree species, with some areas of natural oak-pine and some short leaf pine plantations. Upland brush and red cedar make up a small portion of the vegetative component. Blackjack oak, winged elm, hickories, sumac, and native grasses are found on the glades. Lichens abound on the exposed-surface rock. Some areas on Bell Mountain that were cleared in the 1940's now have almost pure stands of Northern Red Oak. Shut-in Creek crosses the area. It is a perennial spring fed stream with several shut-ins, or gorges along its course. Steep talus slopes intersect the stream course at several locations. Joe's Creek is another small perennial stream within the Wilderness. Bell Mountain Wilderness provides a unique habitat situation not typical of the majority of Missouri's Ozarks. The predominately oak-hickory forest is interspersed with pine and scattered glades resulting in a diversity of plant species more common to old growth forest. This habitat situation favors mature forest species such as pileated woodpeckers, wood thrush and oven birds.

recorded Bell Mountain Loop Trail

backpacking
bugs
muddy
rocky
1 day ago

hiking
muddy
2 days ago

muddy
rocky
8 days ago

If you enter Trail off of Highway A, look for the signs on the north side of the parking lot that will take you along the highway till you cross the highway. Then you will see a sign for the Bell Mountain trail system. Trails are very Rocky and hard to maneuver but the views are excellent.

hiking
muddy
rocky
14 days ago

hiking
muddy
16 days ago

Great trail if you want a nice peaceful walk in the woods.

hiking
22 days ago

I recently hiked this trail. I wanted to start off of Highway A but when I crossed Highway A -- directly across from the parking lot, where the wooden Bell Mountain Wilderness sign is -- I had no idea where the trail was. I set my backpack back in the car and explored further and still could not find the trail or any posted sign indicated where the trail was. I was frustrated. Can someone explain this to me? So ... I entered from the north end, off of Farm Road 61. The top of the mountain offers a spectacular view. It rained all night and in the morning there was thick fog. Several times I heard in the distance a sound that distinctly sounded like a fog horn? Was it a fog horn? Was it an animal? thanks.

hiking
muddy
over grown
rocky
1 month ago

The views are breathtaking! It had just rained a lot there recently so it’s probably why it was so muddy! Saw a rattlesnake about a foot off the trail so just be careful!

hiking
1 month ago

Good trail but someone busted my widow out and stole my drone so hide your valuables when you leave your car

1 month ago

it is a nice moderate-intensity hike, nothing too strenuous but there is a fair amount of climbing if you are out of shape

hiking
1 month ago

Backpacked counter clockwise and camped up at the top along the cliff. Firewood is limited but if you go down the hill under the cliff there is plenty. Also, my friend left Nike shoes setting out in the passenger seat and someone broke my window and stole those and his house and work key. I’m concerned the thief will have seen my address on my registration and try to break into my house now even though it’s not my keys. Aside from that the trip was pleasant. No hogs were seen.

hiking
1 month ago

On April 17 with low clouds and sprinkling. Third time for me. Hiked the 11.6 in about 4hr 15 min clockwise, so big no big climbs near the end. Have never seen a hog or goat. Last time I found a hatchling Collared lizard. Just beautiful colors on it. Saw wild plum in bloom, and Common Goldstar, and Coral Bells (not blooming). Then all the usuals like toothwort, tons of birdfoot violets, blue bells, early buttercup, and rue anemone.

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

This is my third time doing this trail. (did the loop last summer, and point to point in October) However this time I took the easier route. Started at the County Road 2228 entrance and hiked out and back. Perfect time to go is now, before everything becomes overgrown and overly warm. Only totaled 7.6 miles taking this route. Bring plenty of water, most sources I have seen here are watering holes for the wild hogs. Speaking of, I seen about 30 of them near where I started. a few of them were HUGE! Did not see any goats this time though. Windy as hell at the top, but that just added to my meditation. I had the entire place to myself today.

hiking
1 month ago

5 stars overall for the area. Went counterclockwise at the loop and stayed the night. Kinda reminded me of Tennessee. Trail was obvious. If starting from the parking lot, follow the trail parallel to hwy A and it will lead you across the road. Plenty of fire pits and camp spots up top.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike! Bald knob is amazing. Fairly difficult. Did hear wild hogs, but did not see them.

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing. Trail had just been closed for a few days. Rain frozen on the treetops turned into beautiful falling icicles eve and night with resplendent sunset lighting. A full moon illuminated the numerous campsites well enough so as to facilitate night sky watching. Cold and rainy in the am and trail was pretty wet with two or three trees fo walk around or over but generally in good condition. Great trail.

hiking
muddy
rocky
4 months ago

Didn’t hike the full loop, but enjoyed the portion of the trail that we walked. We parked by the trailhead on Highway A and then hiked counter-clockwise to the summit of Bell Mountain. The trail was covered with leaves in many areas, but was still fairly easy to follow. Much of the trail was rocky and it had a fair amount of uphill and downhill portions, which made for a fun but slightly challenging hike. Because of the inclines and rocky paths, hiking up to the top of the mountain might not be the best idea for casual or beginner hikers. The view during the hike was pleasant enough, cool terrain and nice forest views. The view from the summit was top notch, possibly the best view I’ve come across in Missouri. From atop the rocky outcroppings, you can see for miles. The summit also had plenty of rock circles for building fires and lots of great areas to set up tents and hammocks. We did not see any goats or hogs, as other hikers have reported, but ran into another hiking group that said they saw a group of a few dozen hogs as they were walking the trail. The group said that the hogs looked them over once, and then ran off in the opposite direction. All in all, this was a great trail and we had a great time hiking it. I would recommend this for any hiking enthusiast, or anyone looking for a great view in Missouri. Date of trip: 1/4/20-1/5/20

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

The trail is great 10/10 for any trails in the area. We went counter clockwise and camped at the summit (Wich is 4.7 miles) and then hiked back. The trail is a little muddy but a very nice trail. It’s not to hard and it not so easy that it’s boring. The view at the top is stunning. If you are hikeing counter clockwise when you get to the summit don’t stop at the first few camp sights walk a little farther and there is a much better view a little off trail. There is plenty of wild life to be seen the goats hung around us all day and night and were sad when we left. There are feral hogs the we saw plenty of sign and heard one squeal at night.

hiking
6 months ago

My second overnight hike of this loop. I parked at HWY A and hiked the loop clockwise, that way I get the long hike up then a shorter one back to the car the following day. The trail is well used and in good condition, fallen leaves do cover it in a few spots and you have to watch carefully to make sure you stay on the trail. There is plenty of camping at the summit so even on busy nights you should be able to find a secluded spot. There is no water at the top, you have to bring it with you. There is a nice river at about mile 5.2 on the way up to fill up.

hiking
6 months ago

Did this on November 8-9 with my dog, hiked counter-clockwise. Follow the sign in the parking lot for Ozark Trail - it will lead you north about a hundred yards, then across the highway to the trail. The first intersection was clearly marked with a sign. The second was marked with pink marker ribbons which wasn't quite as noticeable. Most of the elevation gain is between the trailhead and the first trail intersection. After the second intersection, it was mostly a flat and winding path through the forest to get to the Bell Mountain summit vistas. Plenty of camping spots on the summit, most with fire rings. Bring water - no streams along trail, just a few rocks with depressions that have collected water. Mostly forest views, a couple clearings with vistas facing west before the first intersection, then the vistas at the summit that allows you views east to Lindsey Mountain and beyond.

hiking
6 months ago

A friend and I backpacked this loop counter clockwise. We camped at the summit and finished the remaining 7.6 miles on the second day. The hike from Hwy A to the summit is 10 stars for a Missouri trail. However, the rest of the loop was left us wishing we had done and out and back instead. The trail takes you down into a valley along Ottery Creek which is basically stagnant water. You then hike a couple of miles in flat woods, then right back up the mountain to where the loop connects to the OT. Then back down the OT to the parking lot. Our moods were sky high heading out the morning of day 2, but quickly plummeted with heavy packs, no views and lots of elevation change. I came home with several large blisters on my feet. The trail was covered in grapefruit sized rocks covered by leaves. Because the 4.5 mile trail to the summit and our overnight at top was so amazing- I would absolutely do this again.... but as an out and back, not the entire loop. Be sure to wear liners with your socks and shoes. I’ve had my boots for three years and hike in them often and still came home with blisters. Also, be sure to BBC carry all your water as there isn’t a great reliable water source on the trail. There’s a small pond, but the trail around it was all dug up from hogs, so I would not grab water there as I’m sure it’s their local watering hole. The only wildlife we saw were two goats at the top. Hardly even heard a bird which I found strange. Arrive early. We got there at 10:30am and there was literally just enough available parking for us and one other car (admittedly, this was probably one of the busiest fall weekends).

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

I hiked from highway A trail head until the summit and back down the same way because I was short on time. It took about 5 hours total round trip including multiple breaks. Awesome trail with great views

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

I did the loop in a day this summer, starting from Highway A. Starting at the forest road is shorter but more boring. The horse flies were the only bad part. Some people said they saw some feral hogs, but I did not. There are views as you climb the spur from Highway A, but you do need to take a moment and go look for a break in the cedars for them. Then, I recommend taking a left on the loop trail down to Joe's Creek. It's a rocky, steep hike, but it's DOWN, at least. The creek valley was lush and pleasant and I had no problem following the trail in the summer at peak growth season. The trail goes back up steeply, but it's not as steep if you're going clockwise, and then you are rewarded with the summit views after your climb out of the creek valley. The climb to the summit is rocky and has those awful ledges that make steps, but it's all worth it at the top. If you explore the glades to the left of the trail as you approach the summit, you might catch some additional views of the side of the mountain you won't see at the summit (just turn around in the glade!). The summit has one of the best views in the state. Endless Earth. The trail down back to the spur seems easy after what you just did, and then the spur down isn't so bad, either. Again, you might have to search for views on the way up or down in the glades. The way down is really pretty around sunset.

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