Cave Spring Loop Trail

MODERATE 25 reviews
#1 of 3 trails in

Cave Spring Loop Trail is a 4.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Salem, Missouri that features a river 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
4.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
688 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

cave

forest

river

views

wild flowers

rocky

Cave Spring Loop trail begins at Devil's Well and leads to Cave Spring on the Current River before looping back to the trailhead. The trail traverses oak-pine forest ridges, a limestone glade, winds through hollows and crosses intermittent streams as it brings hikers down to the mouth of Cave Spring on the Current River. The 'Cliff' segment of this loop trail traverses the side of a high limestone bluff overlooking the Current River with spectacular views, then returns to Devils Well via Parker Hollow alongside an intermittent stream bed.

25 days ago

Trail starts at devil's well and contours through the hills with some steep sections. At the cave spur it becomes less maintained as it drops down to the river bottom. Along the river there is about 100 yards of stinging nettles that you have to walk through to get to the cave. Easily washed off at river, I filled water bottles with spring water and washed my legs on way back out. Trail along top goes through some pretty glades and finishes along a creek bottom coming out of the woods into the picnic area by a small lake. Really enjoyed this hike.

hiking
1 month ago

The loop trail and out and back trail to the cave total 5.3 miles. The loop trail mostly goes through forest but there are a couple of glades and some nice bluff views of the valley around the Current River.

Cave Spring is the highlight of the trail. Toward the bottom of the trail leading to the cave there are about 100 yards of stinging nettles that you will have to wade through before coming to the cave. You can then walk on a path back into the cave a little ways or stand in the Current River and enjoy the view of the cave and watch Northern Rough-winged Swallows flying about. The trail back to the trailhead follows for quite a ways what looks like an old logging road.

5 months ago

Similar to what others said: gorgeous, yet lacking in signage and maintenance. As few hikers attempt it between May and September, however the low ranger staff can’t justify maintaining the path until September. I loved watching river otters cross the Current, as well as having my legs cleaned by minnows while wading.

hiking
11 months ago

It's definitely a beautiful hike. Some notes I would like to put out....1. No signal at all so make sure you stay on the trail and don't get lost 2. If you are doing it in September, wear a hat because the spiderwebs are EVERYWHERE #raidersofthelostark 3. There is a dry river bed that has the potential to flood after crazy weather so plan accordingly 4. Wear bug spray, there are allot of horse flies when you sweat. Other than that... great views and pretty trail

hiking
Saturday, March 18, 2017

we hiked 6.26 miles... it was a great trail to hike..Not many people, had some great views on the cliff lookout, and the Spring Cave was pretty Cool..

hiking
Sunday, October 23, 2016

Hiked this on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. Several cars at trailhead and saw others on trail. Lots of drunk, rowdy people at the cave spring so we didn't stay long there. Saw one copperhead sunning itself on the trial, but uneventful otherwise. Not very scenic, but a decent workout as we kept the pace a little under 20" miles and we finished a little under two hours. Almost entirely wooded/shaded. Gravely terrain made me glad I wore my Keen boots.

hiking
Tuesday, October 04, 2016

This trail was one of my favorites in MO! The cave was wonderful and trail was clean and picked up. Such a variety of nature if you do the entire loop! Moderate describes the difficulty perfect.

hiking
Monday, August 08, 2016

Pretty cool hike. Watch out for the Stinging Nettle once you get down close to the river.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The spring is totally worth it.

hiking
Monday, October 26, 2015

Completed this hike today. The cave is awesome. Would be a great place to hike in and camp down by the cave.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Great hike and layout. The switchbacks are perfect making an easy hike with good elevation change. True Ozarks trail.

hiking
Saturday, May 09, 2015

The trail is very well laid out. The descent to the cave on the river and back out is very easy because of the switchbacks. Take the time and do the loop,not just out and back. You will be rewarded with a pleasant walk. I discovered the biggest redbud tree I ever saw. It had to be 5' accross.

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

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Monday, June 15, 2015