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Buford Mountain State Forest Trail is a 9.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Ironton, 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.

Length 9.1 mi Elevation gain 1,860 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Running

Forest

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Bugs

Over grown

Rocky

Description
Waypoints (2)
Contact
Getting There

This 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.

Missouri Department of Conservation Route 4, Box 1002 Piedmont, MO 63957 (573) 223-4525

From Ironton, take Highway 21 north 8 miles, then Route U northeast to the area.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (189)
Photos (183)
Recordings (151)
Completed (272)
Rence Fasho
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 03 2020
Hiking

Starts with a good climb. Recommend only going to Bald Knob then going back versus completing the entire loop. Second half is mostly trees without much other scenic area.

View Rence's Recording
Ryan Condron
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 20 2020
HikingBugsOver grownRocky

This trail would be much better if it was properly maintained. Very over grown.

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Marija E
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jun 05 2020
Hiking

Not sure why some people are disappointed by this trail. Lots of wildflowers, beautiful glades, and peace and calm. Plenty of warblers. We saw lots of wildlife as well. It wasn’t incredibly buggy but we did bring bug spray.

Jake Sterling
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed May 20 2020
HikingMuddyRocky

Did this trail today as part of getting back in shape to do longer and thru hikes. The first 1 1/2 miles can be a butt kicker as the trail is steep and the rocks can be loose. The mud made things slippery so definitely watch your footing when you come back down. Don't let your guard down just because you're in the home stretch. My ankles weren't up for the whole 10 mile loop so I did a 6-ish out & back to Bald Knob. The ATV / fire road character of the trail isn't the prettiest, but it definitely cuts down on spider webs! The view from Bald Knob is definitely worth it. Not a super difficult trail, just watch your footing.

Mike Barnes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon May 11 2020
Hiking

10.75 miles at Buford Mountain today, I guess I was a little disappointed with this trail, for a start AllTrails rates it as hard and I was looking for another challenge like Whispering Pines last weekend. Unfortunately it is actually fairly easy, yes, there are some impressive hills, but other than that it’s just a wide ATV trail with no real spectacular scenery. Even the Bald Knob overlook is marred by signs of extensive fire, cut down trees and signs of multiple campsites. Overall it really isn’t a bad trail, just not what I was expecting. I may return to explore a side trail and I may camp sometime.

Matthew Enk
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun May 10 2020
Hiking

I was disappointed after reading several articles about this trail. The trail is very unremarkable to say the least. It’s an off road/Jeep trail that chugs up the mountain offering no pleasant section. It was like I followed a Sherman tank’s path towards a battlefield. The glade is being restored as it is being encroached by cedars and other vegetation. What disappointed me most was the view from the bald was simply the valley route 21 run through. Farmland, pastures, cattle, and cars. Don’t get me wrong, it was picturesque and pleasant. But not what I expected. I thought I’d see mainly wilderness like the many glade views from Tom Sauk mountain. I’m glad to hike another trail in this beautiful area (my favorite area in the state) but I won’t spend my time here again.

J B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 09 2020
HikingMuddyRocky

Nice 9 mile loop, Apple Maps led me past the conservation area but there is a sign on the highway to denote entry. In the parking lot there is no trailhead sign and no facilities of any kind. 2.4 miles starts off uphill and very rocky to the split Y. Went left and was rewarded with views off the top of Bald Knob, continued the loop but no other scenic spots. Definitely a challenging trail, muddy due to the rains. Will be coming back for sure.

View J's Recording
Kristy Griffin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 09 2020
HikingBugsRockyScrambleWashed out

We took the left at the fork and went to Bald Knob. 6 miles for us was plenty! Myself, my husband, my 17 y/o daughter and 11 y/o son and our 1 year old Aussie. The trail wasn't necessarily "hard", but it was very challenging due to the terrain. The incline and rolling rocks was difficult going up, and torturous going down. I am still sore 3 days later :) My suggestion, take plenty of water (especially if you have a dog, there was no spots for fresh water along the way), a few snacks to sit at Bald Knob and enjoy the view, and wear proper hiking shoes, as well as if anyone has asthma or any breathing issues even if they don't often flare up take an inhaler, the rocky climbs can definitely be a workout . My boots were the main issue, my toes were killing me coming back down the hill. It was a gorgeous hike, parking was great! I would love to do it again and take a tent to camp at the top! We saw 5 other groups, we had no issues with the barbed wire, it must have been cleaned up, our dog had a great time.

Patrick Minx
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Apr 26 2020
Hiking

I disagree with the description. It a lightly hiked trail, except to scenic view an back, and there is no river. Hiked the full loop today, and only saw 4 other hikers. On a Sunday during these Covid-19 times that's not much, cuz everyone is out hiking. I think the Bell Mountain, and the 10 mile Hawn State Park trails are prettier hikes, but this is a nice rugged workout for a 65 yr old. The only place I think you could get lost on the trail is in the valley where it follows a dry bed (flowing today) for a while. Need to watch for where the trail breaks off again. Did the loop clockwise. (trekking poles, really??)

Emily Watson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Apr 21 2020
HikingRocky
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Wheeler Weise
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri Apr 10 2020
HikingRocky
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Britni Spataro
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Apr 05 2020
HikingMuddy

BARBED WIRE WARNING!! We made it probably a half mile before our dog got caught in barbed wire on a tree right at the edge of the trail. I’m sure the view is lovely but you can’t let your dogs sniff around at all (even on leash) least they run into barbed wire. Hopefully next time we try this hike it’s a better experience.

Michael Thompson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Apr 04 2020
HikingRocky
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Cassie Cheng
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Mar 29 2020
HikingRocky
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Megan Grothman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Mar 23 2020
HikingMuddy

Cool hike. Great lookout. Trail was rocky and a bit like a dry creek bed in some spots, other spots were very smooth. We turned left at the fork for a 6 mile hike.

Tori Hanke
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Mar 15 2020
HikingRocky
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Savana Joy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Mar 01 2020
RockyWashed out

Completed 02/02/2020 Seems to be more of an ATV trail rather than a hiking trail & can be easy to turn an ankle if you aren't paying attention. The look-out point was worth it though. I recommend not doing the full 9 mile loop & taking a left at the fork to see the Bald Knob then turning back for a 6 mile round trip.

Shelly Navis-Andrews
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Feb 23 2020
Hiking

How far do you hike to get to a great view? We are interested in this trail but not all 9 miles. Thanks!

Cara Dowell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Feb 02 2020
HikingRocky
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Rob N.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Feb 02 2020
HikingRocky
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C DD
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Feb 01 2020
HikingMuddyRocky

we took the shorter hike we went left where the trail forks and came back the same way. It was about 6miles. it's the fastest way to the bald knob view. It's a hike that will give you a workout but it's worth the hike to see the lookout view.

View C's Recording
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