Big Piney Trail is a 25.9 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located near Roby, 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.

Length25.9 kmElevation gain583 mRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashBackpackingCampingFishingHikingHorseback ridingMountain bikingNature tripsWalkingBike touringBird watchingRunningForestRiverViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlifeBlowdownBugsMuddyOver grownRocky
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Getting There

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.

There are three trailheads: Big Piney Trail Camp: This trail camp is open year round. The primitive camp is designed specifically for horse use to reduce impacts to other camping spots. There is no fee for camping; facilities include a few picnic tables, hitching posts and fire rings. Roby Lake Recreation Area:This recreation site is the southern-most of the 3 trailheads for the Big Piney Trail. Area includes a large parking area for horse trailers, a small lake, and picnic tables. Paddy Creek Recreation Area:The most developed of the three areas, this recreation sites serves as the third trailhead access to the Big Piney Trail. It contains a picnic area and campground with a vault toilet and 23 campsites, all with table, fire ring, and grill. There is no drinking water, and no garbage service.

For Further Information Contact: U.S.Forest Service Houston/Rolla/Cedar Creek Ranger District 108 S. Sam Houston Blvd. Houston, MO 65483 (417) 967-4194

Directions: From Roby, MO take Hwy 17 north 2 miles, turn right on Forest Road 7600 (watch for Forest Service campground sign), go 6 miles, turn right on Forest Road 220 and go 2 miles to Paddy Creek recreation area. From Roby, MO take Hwy 17 north 1 mile; turn right on gravel Forest Road 274, and go about .6 miles to Roby Lake Recreation Area. From Licking, MO take Hwy 32 west 4 miles to Hwy N; go 2 miles to Hwy AF, then 7 miles to Big Piney Trail Camp.

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Reviews (294)
Photos (532)
Activities (209)
Completed (431)
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Alexander Fox
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BackpackingGreat!
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chance Tolbert
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BackpackingGreat!

was in a dry time. good water was scarce doing a 3 day hike. luckily we brought plenty of water and the route we took. took us by a water source closer to the end of our hike. all in all great trail.

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Sabrina Negron
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Hiking
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Dustin Kyle
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BackpackingGreat!Rocky

Great backpacking loop for a tough 1 night or leisurely 2 nights. I suggest the leisurely option as there is a lot to explore including caves and creeks.

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Chris Freeman
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Matthew Clark
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Josh Aubrey describes it well in a comment 2 mos before this one.

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Robin Sprenkle
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HikingSnow

Fun and a nice hike with moderate trail.

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Liz Fair
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CampingGreat!MuddyOver grownRocky

Great starter trail for people who want to get into longer hikes or thru hikes. I walked about 14 miles looking for that water fall in the pictures on the south loop before I realized that if you just take the north loop form the trail head you can get there in 2 miles.

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Tom Erb
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Backpacking
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Tom Erb
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Backpacking
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Josh Aubrey
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HikingMuddyOver grownRocky

Two of us hiked this on foot over two days. It came out to around 9 miles per day. We went counter-clockwise, from Roby Lake, to Paddy creek campground (stayed the night), to Big Piney Trail Camp (horse camp, for lunch and restrooms), then back to Roby Lake on the north trail. The rivers were ankle deep and required using sticks and hopping from rock to rock to avoid getting our wet feet. We stayed halfway through at the free Paddy Creek Campground, and were the only ones there. The restrooms were locked due to COVID, but the next trailhead (horse camp) at the top of the mountains had opened restrooms and made a nice lunch break spot too with picnic tables. There were lots of nice trail camps, but they had no water access, so best left to the horseback riders unless you want to carry water a long distance. Overall, the south half of the loop from Roby lake, to Paddy Creek camp, to the Horse Camp was the prettiest. The north loop was mostly a lot of trees with continuous ups and downs and limited views, with the little waterfall almost at the very end, very close to Roby Lake. If I did it again I'd park two cars, one to start at Roby lake, one to end at the horse camp, and skip the northern half, and maybe just walk to the waterfall from Roby Lake.

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Calvin Goodman
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Hiking
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Angela Markel
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Hiking

Great horse trail.

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Samuel Wilson
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Backpacking

Started at Roby lake and hiked the trail clockwise over two days. Lots of nice campsites, I would say the nicer ones are on the southern portion of the loop. Measured about 17.5 miles. Two or three overlook areas and a couple of creeks to cross that require getting wet. Overall a great loop!

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Dani G
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Dani G
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Backpacking
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James Hunter
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BackpackingRocky

Love this trail. GPS came out to over 19 miles. Plenty of water and fantastic campsites. Love the tall pines. Went counter-clockwise, took 2 days and 1 night.

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Dani G
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Backpacking
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Lisa Crossland
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Horseback riding

Great trail for beginners

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TJ Moynihan
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Pedro Luna
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Hiking
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Lisa Crossland
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Horseback riding
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Louis Frates
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Camping

Great trail, heavy spider webs but otherwise fun. Spent 3 days hiking and camping with 2 friends. Did see horses but not many. Only saw 4 other hikers.

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Lisa Crossland
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Horseback riding

awesome. had to cut it short, ran out of daylight

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