Big Piney Trail

MODERATE 66 reviews
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Big Piney Trail is a 17.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Plato, Missouri that features a waterfall 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
17.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3717 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

bugs

muddy

old growth

over grown

rocky

Paddy Creek Trail is a rugged 17 miles through typical Ozark forest of hardwoods and pines with rocky outcroppings, and with seasonal waterfalls. It has several creek crossings over Paddy creek and several scenic bluffs overlooking the Big Piney River. Considered one of the best trails in the state.

backpacking
8 days ago

Did it in one day 85 degrees in October. Good time with my dog.Followed trail ok, got to pay attention around creek bottoms and creek crossings.

backpacking
9 days ago

Fairly easy, short loop. Plenty of campsites. Not blazed, but easy to follow if you pay attention.

backpacking
16 days ago

backpacking
20 days ago

Good trail. but not marked real well

backpacking
1 month ago

Good trail. Lots of equestrian activity. Most sections are farily well marked, though there are a couple unmarked side trails that can get confusing. The biggest downside was that this time of year the ticks and spiders are insane, so keep that in mind.
There were a few watering holes along the north loop. Most of the streams were dry. Little paddy had just a little water, and big paddy creek had more.
Definitely going to hike this loop again in the winter.

hiking
2 months ago

backpacking
3 months ago

Not a bad trail, as stated by others not too well marked in places. Put in a bit extra due to this. Had difficulty finding the trail to the overlook and ended up back tracking then bypassing using Paddy Creek Road and picking up the remainder of the North loop from there. Lots of spider webs (some with spiders) on the North loop, took a few to the face lol.

backpacking
4 months ago

backpacking
4 months ago

Fun trail. Not too much elevation change. Very nice campsite on top of bluff about 9 miles in. Water sources along the way. Nice waterfall towards the end. Only down side, heavily trafficked by horses. Parts of trail are beat up and watch for horse poop. Will definitely backpack again!

backpacking
4 months ago

5 months ago

5 months ago

Hiked 3/24/17
I only hiked a small part of this trail, but I did pass through the area where alot of pines had fallen as mentioned in a previous review and the trail has been cleared for easy passage through there.
I plan to hike the entire loop asap and will update my review after that.

6 months ago

Fantastic trail adventures are sure to be had here. Four of us started at the Roby Lake trailhead, hiking counter-clockwise. We hiked to the campground at the northend and settled in just before a biblical storm. I missed the storm completely, snoozing away in my hammock, after taking some "vitamin I -- p.m."

Day 2 we hiked to the overlook on the S. loop, made camp, and lounged around for the next 20 hrs. We ended up sharing our campsite on the overlook with some Missouri Militiamen. They seemed nice enough though.

Day 3 we hiked the 2 miles back to the vehicles.


As others have mentioned, blazes are all but nonexistent. There has been an improvement in signage delineating the route--but at some intersections their odd placement could easily confuse a non-attentive hiker. The pink ribbons along the route also can add to the confusion. I would suggest bringing a hi-res topo map and compass. On two occasions the map "saved us", when the GPS's location had us in the Big Paddy while we were on a ridge.

My first trip out there we fell prey to an established game trail, and ended up doing a little bushwhacking.

ALWAYS check to see when hunting seasons are in effect. It is the Ozarks--Beware of banjos.

Slideshow from our 2013 trip:

https://youtu.be/oeM5TVuXGGw

6 months ago

backpacking
6 months ago

Great time backpacking for the first time. Multiple cutoffs and side trails that are not on the map. We did a few extra miles and hills. We'll be back again.

6 months ago

7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Decent trail. Some parts don't seem as clear as others and isn't very clearly marked in certain sections. Would recommend this trail and I'm going back to do it this spring.

hiking
7 months ago

Really nice area!! I wasn't expecting so much elevation change, but it made for some beautiful overlooks! I hiked from Roby lake, counterclockwise down the South Trail to Paddy Creek Campground, and then back to the car on the North Trail. I done it in a day, but I started at daylight and didn't jack around much.

backpacking
7 months ago

Beautiful!!!! Do your prep for this one. Novice beware! Lot's of opportunities to get it wrong here without adequate gear and experience. Camped at Lil Paddy Creek where it joins with Big Piney River...awesome site. Challenging terrain, plentiful water...worth the drive for sure.