Coy Bald Trail

MODERATE 80 reviews

Coy Bald Trail is a 6.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Bradleyville, 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.

DISTANCE
6.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
797 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

camping

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

trail running

walking

cave

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

The trailhead is off of a county road that turns into a poorly maintained gravel road. The trailhead isn't marked as Coy Bald, but it's obvious when you get there. A few hundred yards off the trailhead there is a fork in the trail. You can go to the left to get to the falls quicker. There is a lot if washout on the trail, making the decent (or ascent) a bit more difficult, but not unbearable. There are two established camp sites with fire rings on either side of the first river crossing. It's a pretty area and the water is good for filtering. The rest of the trail is heavily wooded with no views. From the trailhead it's about 3 miles to the falls. You'll cross the river twice. The trail has some rocky inclines and some smooth flat areas and a lot of washout, but it's travelled well enough that it is easy follow. That may change when the leaves are on the trail since there are no markings to guide you. About two miles in, another trail crosses, just stay straight and you'll be fine. There are four established campsites near the falls with stone fire rings. The water was very nice for wading in, but be careful of water moccasins.

backpacking
2 months ago

I went without GPS, just a map on my phone and a compass. The trail is pretty easy to follow except when you hit the open meadows. The overgrowth is starting to crowd the trail since not as many people are on them. The views from the open meadow areas on the ridge about 3/4 of the way to the falls is breathtaking, stop and take some pictures and rest. Once you start getting closer to the falls start really watching for snakes. There are four great camping spots near The Falls. I really thought after all the rain we’ve had over the last few days The Falls would be running, it was not. I camped near the spring just below The Falls to hear some water moving. I saw one baby copperhead on the way in, a very large cottonmouth on the trail (we had a standoff for a few minutes, I went around) and another baby copperhead that popped out of the water just before I was crossing the creek on the way out. I didn’t backtrack to get out because there’s an unmarked trail that follows the creek out. I don’t recommend doing this unless you’re pretty good with a map. It crosses the creek several times and is extremely overgrown. I’ll be going back in the fall to take more pictures. Hopefully The Falls will be running then. LNT

2 months ago

Wow

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing weekend on the Coy Bald Trail and The Falls section. We had just had a decent rain the weekend before so the creek and Falls were amazing. Found the best Campsites down by the Falls and couldn't resist camping there the whole weekend. The hike in was fairly easy to moderate however there are a few trails that can take you off the main trail so the use of GPS or Alltrails is a must. Thank Goodness I got Pro Alltrails so I was able to download the map and get us back on track (since there was no signal) . We were able to get our water from the falls and creek using our Sawyer squeeze and relaxed at camp and by the water and enjoy the rest of the trail without packs on. We saw a few other hikers and actually ran into someone I knew from High School. CRAZY huh! Hiked out at 5 am to catch the sunrise on the bald. It was so amazing! I highly recommend this trail- especially after a good rain!!!!

hiking
4 months ago

Nice trail with many photo opportunities. Can be a little tough to follow at times, but with a GPS it's fine. Glades provide a great view of the surrounding area. Next time I'm taking the left trail from the trail head to see where it goes. Happy hiking :)

5 months ago

was a great hike. falls were roaring since we just had all the rain.

6 months ago

Great views, pretty waterfall, clear creek and dog friendly.

camping
6 months ago

Lots of space - trails aren’t marked that well but it’s absolutely gorgeous here.

Camp sites are nice. Fire pit. Access to the creek. We had a water purifier but didn’t stay long enough to need it. Water looked perfect for that though.

Took my 4 y/o here last spring and we loved it. Only drawback was the ticks. There were SO MANY last year. Hoping this winter kills them off. We’ll 100% come back.

hiking
7 months ago

Way better than expected. Nice in the winter since you have some decent views most of the way. Well marked MOST of the way, but that’s because the trail is mostly a rock path. In the summer I could see it being tough to find certain turns or ways to go. We used the gps from this app and it helped for sure. Good views, not a ton of up and down except one section. Not much climbing or bouldering but some areas you can play around in and on.

hiking
7 months ago

We hiked the Coy Bald trail Loop and it was great today. I found the trail to be easy to follow. They had signs at the main intersections, and there were a lot of side trails that broke off, but with minimal effort you can stay in the trail. There was not water running, but a little in the creek bed. A lot of options to increase miles on the Loop too. You can print a free topo map at http://ouachitamaps.com/ that will help you stay on the trail in addition to AllTrails.

hiking
8 months ago

Very nice hike. Needed gps to follow in leaves at south end and to get off the creek section.

hiking
8 months ago

Started out on Long Creek Trailhead by the tower. There were paper copies of all the trails at the trailhead sign-in box for those in need of one if starting out here. Markers to identify trails throughout this wilderness area can be scarce other than at the trailheads. There are posted warnings of this at this trailhead. I would advise bringing a compass/map and/or gps for first-time hikers to this area.
Using Google Maps, I downloaded a Google offline map of the area to my smartphone. With no cell signal but still able to get gps, I can find my location in the area. Google maps will also show some of the trails which is a big help.
"The Falls" are just minutes off of the Coy Bald trail near the Blair Ridge trail split and you'll see signage for it.
I saw a few nice camping sites - couple by the creek and a couple on a ridge with a nice overlook if you're inclined to spend a night.

9 months ago

The Falls are definitely worth seeing even when they're dry

hiking
9 months ago

It was my first time on this trail (Coy Bald/Long Creek) and it was beautiful. Parts of the trail were rocky but we live in the Ozarks, so this is typical. Since we haven't had much rain lately, the falls were not running but they were still beautiful. The fall colors were gorgeous. This is on my list to do again, but after rains. I'm glad we had our GPS and a map. There were some signs (looked like new, engraved signs) posted along the way at some intersections, but a map is a necessity.

backpacking
10 months ago

I liked it. It took two tries to stay on Cross Timber RD. But made it to the trail head. It was a nice hike with a few really nice views. There are a few camp sites that I might go back and camp at. I may have went off trail if I didnt have the alltrails app. I plan on going back and exploring the connecting trails for a longer hike.

hiking
10 months ago

A little tricky at times to pick up the trail and the last third was pretty rocky. Apart from that and the 17,000 spiders we encountered it was a good trail.

hiking
10 months ago

Great trail but some spots are very poorly marked. No water currently flowing but several very nice camping spots.

hiking
Monday, July 17, 2017

My husband and i enjoyed the hike. we did the entire loop but it is not marked except near the falls and one other time. We had to back track a few times and find the correct path. we were thankful to have downloaded a map and had to use GPS once after taking a small path that turned out not to be the main trail to find our way back onto the trail. We came across several nice camp areas and the waterfall is not currently flowing but the water that you do come across is crystal clear and cold.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

good trail. it disappeared a few times but not to hard to find again if you know the map. great camping along the trails. you can filter water from long Creek below the falls, if the falls is not flowing. taste good.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Nice hike, drive to the trail head is scenic and likely not doable if it's been raining in a low clearance 2WD. Many washed out spots and deep ruts.

camping
Sunday, June 11, 2017

My wife and I hiked to the falls, camped a night and then went back the way we came in. Unfortunately. there wasn't enough water for the falls to really be active, but that area was very pretty.

The trailhead is off of a county road that turns into a poorly maintained gravel road. We were in a Chevy Impala and did fine getting to the trail head.

The trailhead isn't marked as Coy Bald, but it's obvious when you get there. A few hundred yards off the trailhead there is a fork in the trail. We went left to get to the falls quicker. There is a lot if washout on the trail, making the decent (or ascent) a bit more difficult, but not unbearable.

There are two established camp sites with fire rings on either side of the first river crossing. It's a pretty area and the water is good for filtering.

The rest of the trail is heavily wooded with no views. From the trailhead it's about 3 miles to the falls. You'll cross the river twice. The trail has some rocky inclines and some smooth flat areas and a lot of washout, but it's travelled well enough that it is easy follow. That may change when the leaves are on the trail since there are no markings to guide you.

About two miles in, another trail crosses, just stay straight and you'll be fine.

There are four established campsites near the falls with stone fire rings. Forest Service rules are that the rings be scattered when you leave, but they've been there awhile and frankly I think it does less damage to leave them for the next campers.

The water was very nice for wading in, but be careful of water moccasins, I saw one baby in the water and an adult about 5' long on a rock in the bottom of the falls.

We came out the same way we went in, so I can't speak to the rest of the trail conditions, but we saw a few other hikers that did the whole loop.

I may go back in the spring or fall when you can see more and the ticks aren't so bad and do the whole loop.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Ummmm it was pretty cool. It is horribly marked! SO EASY TO GET LOST

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Entrance road which leads to the trail start is a little confusing due to a homemade sign at the beginning of the road (you'll know it when you see it.) I was disappointed people vandalized the MDC sign at the start with birdshot. Besides that, it's a great trail and good little workout. Trail is not marked with signage at all that I observed, but it very easy to follow and stay on track. Going to have to take another trip as I never found the waterfall due to not walking the entire loop.

hiking
Sunday, April 09, 2017

The trails are not well marked, but easy to follow. The waterfall on the other end is really cool. Just be sure to take plenty of water and be ready for a long trek. Definitely not for small children as I carried a 4 year old about 5 miles in total. My gps tracking app showed it at a little over 9 miles from start to finish.

hiking
Sunday, March 12, 2017

Beautiful views, wished the falls would have had water going,.. When we went it had snowed the night before, the trees looked Beautiful!!

hiking
Monday, March 06, 2017

Beautiful views of some of the Ozarks finest Glade Top country!

Sunday, March 05, 2017

The hike was great once we found the trailhead. To find it, take US Highway 160 approximately 9 miles East of Forsyth, MO; then make a left turn onto Cross Timbers road. Follow the road to the bottom of the hill and over a creek until the road ends at an intersection. At that point you should see a small signage post that points right towards the trail. Make a right turn and continue until you see the road split. Make a left (this is Forest Road 566) and continue approximately 1.5 miles until the road ends at the trailhead. Fair warning, the trail is not marked Coy Bald Trail; however a trail exists. Make sure to register at the entrance before departing! Oh, and the trail is a loop, so stay to right and it will take you all the way around the hillside and back.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

great day for a hike and to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary!

hiking
Monday, January 02, 2017

A great trail. It needs better markings and could do with some maintenance though.

hiking
Saturday, December 03, 2016

Great hike. It has lots of rock formations to check out. We went at a dry time so didn't get to see the water fall but it was still very cool. You have to register yourself in and out and a lot of the literature said it was easy to get lost but we stuck to the main trail and it was very easy to navigate.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Not marked, but strenuous enough to get a good hike and easy enough to enjoy company

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