Buford Mountain State Forest Trail

HARD 29 reviews

Buford Mountain State Forest Trail is a 9.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Middlebrook, Missouri that features a river and is rated as difficult. 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.

9.6 miles
2099 feet

dogs on leash




nature trips

trail running





wild flowers



over grown


This 10 mile loop climbs up and then around Buford Mountain's 5 peaks, then loops around the back side of the mountain. The trail is steep and rocky, with excellent views of the Belleview valley from the Fourth peak. Buford Mountain covers 3,829 acres. In the mid- to late-1800s, the charcoal industry flourished in the Belleview-Arcadia Valley. Old charcoal kilns still remain over the entire mountain. The highest peak of the mountain is 1,740 feet above sea level. With most of the mountain hardened by granite known as Rhyolite, the area yields little permanent water. Limestone stream beds mark the base of the mountain. Several wet weather springs can be found over the area; these are usually dry, however, during summer. The areas most outstanding feature is its glades, ranging in size from less than 1 acre to over 10 acres. These glades provide many scenic views and excellent opportunities to observe glade plants and animals. Because of the sensitive nature of the plant and animal communities and very thin soils common to the glades, activity on the glades is restricted to walking only.

12 days ago

Nice intermediate hike. Full loop. GPS 9.56 miles. We took it easy & did moderate pace. Did full loop in 3hr 10 min. Ground cover and vegetation pretty. Natural Missouri. Views leave bit to be desired. Only decent views at bald knob. Bring long pants.

21 days ago

28 days ago

I did the full loop Wednesday. I enjoyed the entire experience but the view from the bald knob was by far the highlight of the hike. I'm new to this site, and like the hikes being rated, although I might have been scared into not doing this trail if I knew upfront it had a hard rating, so now I'm ready for another, any suggestions? Has anyone tried permethrin? I got several tick bites even though I used Deet.

1 month ago

Good all day hike that will leave you exhausted at the end. The first uphill section feels like it will never end. After that it is just up and down. Bald knob look out is beautiful. I would recommend bringing lots of water and food to have a picnic up at the top. We took lots of breaks because of the steep inclines. The trail is full of spider webs and lots of mosquitoes so bring bug spray!!! Also wear good shoes and watch your step because there are a ton of little rocks that make the trail hard

2 months ago

Beautiful area, and a very solitary hike.
Bring plenty of water.

3 months ago

3 months ago

I'm giving this trail 5 stars because it was a well marked and maintained place. It lives up to its hard rating as it can be very physically demanding at times. Quite a few long steep elevations changes made it challenging. Gorgeous view from Bald Knob, but that is about the only scenic view point. So I wouldn't recommend this hike to someone just looking to sight see. Over all it was a fun hike and a great workout. ⛰

4 months ago

Great view from bald knob, perfect place for a lunch after 2/3 of the hike. a lot of steep, by Missouri standards, hills to go up and down.

7 months ago

8 months ago

8 months ago

My rating is for the entire 10 mile loop. I would give a 4 star for the trip up to Bald Knob. Bald Knob offers a great view, but beyond that on the back side of the trail system it is just loaded with bugs and spiders. The elevation changes and long uphill climbs made for a challenging hike especially in the sections covered in small boulders. I will revisit, but will only go as far as Bald Knob without a doubt.

8 months ago

very tough hike. A hike to Bald Knob and back would be a 4 star hike. We did the full trail and not much past the view. Elevation changes the entire hike. The view on top is def. worth the hike up. No one on trail which is always nice. would def. go again. Would just hike to Knob and back.

8 months ago

The view from Bald Knob is amazing but the back half of the mountain is fairly boring. I really enjoyed the intense elevation changes. Very lightly trafficked with tons of spiderwebs

8 months ago

9 months ago

First mile/mile and a half is rough, but not bad after that. It's a nice, long hike, that seems to be traveled pretty lightly. I was the only one on the trail to my knowledge, which is nice.

10 months ago

one of the toughest hikes I have done. For 3.5 hours it poured, which didn't make the climb any easier. I was grueling and challenging but totally worth it. I would definitely do it again, but not in the rain!

11 months ago

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Monday, May 23, 2016

Challenging hike because of the elevation changes and inclines/declines, but rewarding. The view at Bald Knob was worth every step. I took the east loop first and it seemed longer, which made getting to Bald Knob even more rewarding.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

I thought this was a pretty challenging hike.. if you take the left leg of the loop, there is a killer hill that is about 1 1/2miles long, or maybe more..kicked this old lady's rear for sure..
the trail was even more difficult because of the loose Rocky path.. causing you to choose your steps ..but, the view is pretty spectacular. and the feeling of accomplishment at the end of a hard mountain hike...
ps.. the little spring flowers are blooming..