Cedar Creek Trail System is a 9.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Columbia, Missouri that features a lake 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.

Length9.6 miElevation gain1,089 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashBackpackingCampingHikingHorseback ridingMountain bikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingForestLakeRiverViewsWildflowersWildlifeMuddy
Description
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Getting There

Cedar Creek Trail meanders through the oak hickory forests and tall grass prairies of central Missouri. The Cedar Creek Trail system consists of four trails; a printable brochure can be downloaded through Mark Twain National Forest website. The Southern Loop marked in grey diamonds, crosses 22 miles of pastoral countryside. Two-thirds of the trail is cross-country; the rest is along gravel roads. Smith Creek Loop, about 5 miles in length between Boydsville and Rutherford Bridge, is marked in orange diamonds. This scenic route provides glimpses of Cedar Creek from the bluffs above. Pine Ridge Section, marked with grey diamonds, passes through Pine Ridge Recreation Area and is open to foot travel and mountain bikes only; no horses. A horse route is located to the west. Moon Loop, marked with Yellow diamonds, is about 7 miles in length. It is named for the moon-like appearance of the area caused by soil erosion in the 1930s. The area has since been restored. ***No horses on the Pine Ridge Section.***

Trailheads available at Pine Ridge for hikers and mountain bikers. Equestrian trailhead available at Dry Fork Campground. Hiking and mountain biking trailhead also available on Ginn Road: from Colulmbia take Hwy 63 south to Road AB; turn south on Ginn Lane and travel about 1 mile to trailhead. primitive backpacking allowed on trail.

The Mark Twain National Forest can be reached at (417) 967-4194

The Pine ridge recreation area and campground is also the location of the trailheadfor hikers and mountain bikers., from Columbia MO go south on 63 11 miles to Hwy Y in Ashland MO, then conmtinue 7 miles east on hwy Y to the pine ridge rec area. Trailheads available at Pine Ridge Equestrian trailhead available at Dry Fork Campground, from Colulmbia take Hwy 63 south to Road AB; turn south on Ginn Lane and travel about 1 mile to trailhead.

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Reviews (93)
Photos (147)
Recordings (94)
Completed (116)
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Mary Lamar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 21, 2021
Horseback riding
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Kimberly Moeller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 18, 2021
Hiking
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Ginger Schweikert
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 13, 2021
Hiking

Great great trail for some solitude

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Justin Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 10, 2021
HikingMuddy

The trees have been cleared from the path, minimal traffic, a little muddy but overall a nice trail, the trail the horse follow make it easy to determine where your going.

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Mary Lamar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 27, 2020
Horseback riding
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Kristie Hilgedick
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 27, 2020
HikingGreat!

Loved it

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mike clements
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 16, 2020
HikingMuddy

was a good hike. trail is poorly marked in a few areas. lost trail at river took me a bit of time and walking to find it again. if it wasn't for map I'd not been sure I was on correct trail .

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Kristie Hilgedick
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 9, 2020
HikingGreat!
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Rence Fasho
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 27, 2020
Hiking

Some sections are well marked. AllTrails red line is not what the majority of the hike follows. Most of the hike follows the black dashed line on the map. Some of the trail is blocked with fallen trees. There are no official parking lots for any of the trailheads. It’s mostly park on the side of the road. There is a church across from the AllTrails labeled trailhead.

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Israel Shaw
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 21, 2020
Hiking
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Israel Shaw
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 19, 2020
Hiking
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Lisa Crossland
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 22, 2020
Hiking

The trail was super good. We got into some really rocky scary stuff we went up and them both directions on it before we figured out we were back on the right trail.

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Olivia Scrivner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 26, 2020
HikingMuddy

The trail was pretty with a very nice creek, however the terrain was not so pretty. Heavily trafficked with horse shoes making it difficult to walk and creating a difficult setting to enjoy hiking without rolling an ankle.

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Bear Snyder
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarDecember 4, 2019
HikingBlowdownOver grown

I wanted to like this trail but the horses have chopped it up so badly that without high top boots it would be a miracle to not sprain and ankle as I nearly did about every 20ft. Definitely bring a machete as the thorns and many trees are growing across the trail and I didn’t have the equipment to clean it up as I went. I might try it again eventually but with no one to maintain it properly it will soon be unusable.

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No Ordinary Path
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 19, 2019
Hiking

Great hike for kids to see the Fall colors. Take the dog too, they'll enjoy it very much! Trails are well marked and currently dry. The loops can be divided up shorter if the little ones get a bit tired.

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Brett James
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 3, 2019
HikingOff trailOver grownRocky

This trail has some breathtaking views but you do work for them. It’s overgrown in parts & easy to get off trail in other parts. A great trail if you have all day but go prepared.

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Laura Lanning
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 14, 2019
HikingBugsOver grown

Very much overgrown. Did my fair share of bushwhacking with too many arachnids to count all over me. However I never lost the trail. The fields could especially be better marked. I did some dispersed camping. Only one suitable campsite that I passed on Moon loop. Muddy in some places but none of the streams were flowing. Didn’t finish the loop, broke off and took the gravel roads back to my car. Partly because I just wasn’t having fun, and also because I had no water source to replenish my water. Probably won’t venture out this way again. Maybe the more trafficked areas are not as overgrown

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Kira Cromer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 2, 2019
Hiking

backpacked, my first. horses made part of the trail rough, overpacking and adown pour made the rest fun.

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Kenny Dillingham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMarch 5, 2019
Hiking

Some parts of this trail are really nice and other parts are terrible. Maintenance is practically nonexistent. This could be a gem in the state if Maintained better. Yet, that likely won't happen as it takes money and workers.

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Kenny Duzan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 7, 2019

I give this trail a five because one section of it is outstanding. Overall it is a 3.5 because of poor trail marking ,erosion, roughness, and deep ruts caused by horses. To get to the really nice section start at the church at the south entry point and head north, down into the valley. After you cross the small creek (probably dry in summer), continue 50 yards or so and look to your left for a inconspicuous trail headed down the creek (towards the west). A tree was marked with surveyors tape at the entry point. Follow this trail all the way to Cedar Creek. I think you will enjoy. Not as many horse ruts and the stream and moss covered boulders and bluffs are beautiful.

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Dylan Wagner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 16, 2018
Backpacking

Great views, poorly marked trail and deep horse ruts. Great camping spots.

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Doug Neidholdt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 18, 2018
Hiking

Good hike, not overly scenic, but typical of area. Couple bluff views, some water crossings. backpacker camps exist along trail.

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Laurie Sax
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 26, 2018
Hiking

I walked <2 miles on the Moon Loop and got 11 ticks on my clothes. Trailhead off the Ginn Lane was a bit hidden. On the bright side, the sunrise and scenery were beautiful!

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Daren & Lori Wooldridge
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 21, 2018
Backpacking

Very rugged terrain. There are several areas of the trail that have deep horse ruts. It would probably be impassable if it was muddy. Trails were somewhat marked. Lots of hills. Cross over several creeks, or the same creek several times. Camped alone a portion of Smith Creek. Saw a few other campsites along the way. Good for a one-nighter close to home. Will probably go back and explore the area again and spend another night. Decent stay.

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Mark Mahler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 8, 2018

Nice area but not an easy walk by any means due to horse ruts

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Shaun Alien
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 26, 2017
Hiking

Hiking was a challenge at times only due to poor trail markers. Good cliff views and camping spots.

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