Bennett Spring Natural Tunnel Trail

MODERATE 67 reviews

Bennett Spring Natural Tunnel Trail is a 7.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Windyville, Missouri that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from October until December. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
623 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

fishing

hiking

mountain biking

trail running

walking

cave

forest

river

views

bugs

This trail is a 7.5 mile round trip trail that takes you through Spring Hollow to a 300 ft. long natural tunnel. It is about 15 ft. wide. This is a very unique natural feature. The trail to the tunnels takes you through creek beds, meadows and wooded hills. The trail head is in the parking lot just south of the spring. Trail maps are available at the visitor center.

hiking
5 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Easy trail for most. Spotted a bald eagle flying low along creek bed as i was approaching it. Also spotted quite a variety of other birds along the trail.

2 months ago

If you want the best experience on this trail, hike it in the fall. Leave the trail and check out the bluffs and grottos along the way. The natural tunnel is wonderful, but there are many other features that are often missed.

hiking
4 months ago

I just went this past weekend and wish I would have waited until fall because it was very over grown. The cave was awesome because you can walk through it. I'd give this about a 3.5

hiking
6 months ago

This would have been a five star if the trail was better maintained. Even with spray, my dog and I returned with NUMEROUS ticks. The first part is very rocky and not for those who have unsure footing. The natural tunnel is very cool and an awesome feature, but doesn't completely ale up for the shoulder high foliage on the second part of the loop. I would give this a 2.5 rating. Likely it would be a great hike on the dead of winter when nothing growing.

7 months ago

Pretty decent trail, humidity was just awful. We went early in the morning trail was nice an empty, just the way I like it!

hiking
8 months ago

I hiked the east loop in 4 hours on Mother's Day weekend. It was an excellent hike and the only thing I didn't like was the dry creek bed at the beginning of the trail--about a mile of it hiking in and out. It is an ankle breaker for sure. The rest is beautiful.

A few ticks after the hike had to be removed but other than that the pests were few. I saw one snake. Wading the shin deep creek crossings was cool on a warm day. There were a couple benches on the way to rest.

The natural tunnel was amazing. Met few on the way out but returning there were many groups hiking after 3:00 pm.

9 months ago

Awesome hike. Very scenic!

hiking
10 months ago

This is an amazing area, the trail was easy to find and well marked. This is a great way to spend time with family ✌️

hiking
10 months ago

beautiful, moderately difficult at times, but quite public. would be great for family outings. overall A.

hiking
10 months ago

Would love to review this trail thoroughly but I cant. After driving all day and being told through alltrails this trail had overnight camping I arrived to find it was a sun up to sun down trail. The only camping available was on a mass campground. Needless to say I packed up and went home.
Loud, extremely busy and difficult to find.

hiking
10 months ago

The Tunnel was well worth The Hike....Ready to do it again!!!

hiking
Monday, January 02, 2017

Very well maintained and marked trail. Map was not needed but I still stopped at the visitor center to get one. I did not find the trail to have much in elevation, nonetheless a great day outing. The natural tunnel is well worth the journey.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Fun trip out to the natural bridge. Instead of the out and back, we took the west trail and it was poorly marked. We ended up on a service road with no recollection of ever passing an option to turn or did not see any blue blazers. Trail wasn't worth the added mileage. Would just do the out and back if we do it again.

hiking
Saturday, October 15, 2016

We went in on the natural cave trail and tried to complete the loop instead of going down and back. We wound up on a service road and I still don't know how that happened. Luckily the service road ran back into the west trail and we were able to finish the loop. Next time we'll be going down and back since there really wasn't much to see on that leg of the loop.

hiking
Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Beautiful, well marked, take a flashlight. Lots of picture opportunities. Not so hard that you can't have a great conversation about everything and nothing.

hiking
Tuesday, October 11, 2016

This trail had a mix of everything and the payoff is definitely one of a kind. Lots of dry river beds and wide open grassy paths spread around. All depending where you begin, this trail would be excellent for families.

hiking
Tuesday, July 05, 2016

My daughter (9 y/o) and I hiked this trail 6/30/2016. We are what I would consider hiking novices, but I have lived in the Ozarks for 37 years and I am very comfortable romping around outdoors. We started in on the western side and unfortunately had to skip the tunnel loop itself and head out on the east side of the trail due to incoming pop-up thunderstorms. However, coming out on the east side the trail was poorly marked in several spots and at least one part of the trail was completely occluded by dense, waist high vegetation for a bit. We could not see where or what we were stepping on. We have hiked other "moderate" skill trails but this one was significantly more difficult than others. The terrain is rough in places and there are several steep inclines/declines with shifty footing. Numerous large logs to cross. I would definitely recommend shoes/boots with good ankle support if your ankles are not accustom to uneven terrain. Also use a good bug/tick repellant. TONS of ticks and chiggers. Ticks checks are a must.

We completed approximately half of the trail in just under 2 hours. We will definitely return to complete the trail and to see the tunnel. But we will go in cooler weather perhaps when the vegetation is less dense and fewer ticks/chiggers.

hiking
Friday, June 17, 2016

This was a great after work hike! Loved it and the natural tunnel is very cool! I will warn about the tics. I went home with 30+ tics stuck in me.

hiking
Sunday, February 21, 2016

On a warm 70 degree day in February, I hiked this trail with my dog for the first time. I would rate it more challenging than "moderate" due to some of the steep climbs and rugged terrain almost throughout.
I was fascinated by the variety of the scenery: woods, lots of stream beds, steep hills, rocky trails, and crazy-looking cliffs. It's hard to say a trail looks beautiful in the dead of winter, with nothing green or leafy, but I can image this one being pretty amazing in the summer or fall. I started on the west loop. It had one very steep climb and at one point I seemed to be up very high on a bluff.
The Natural Bridge is a real treat. If it's a warm day or you're overheated, the cool temperature inside the cave is delightful. I exited the back of the cave to pick along through the stream bed for a short while--there's no marked trail beyond the Natural Bridge.
We loved the cool water in many of the streams and at the Natural Bridge.
I returned on the east loop, which also had one very steep climb. A large section of this trail is a rugged, rocky path that must have been a creek or stream at some point. Even though it was flat, I really had to watch my footing on all of the rocks.
I did the full 7.5 miles in about 3 hours. I would definitely return and do it again, perhaps reversing the order of the loops.
**ignore the captions on my photos...somehow the same caption was applied to every photo.

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