Deer Leap Trail is a 0.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Cassville, Missouri that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, camping, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 0.6 miles Elevation Gain: 131 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly




bird watching







Dear Leap Trail begins near the spring, follows a series of step stone steps to the ridge overlooking the spring pool and the hatchery before continuing to the park cabins. It is heavily wooded and scenic for a short hike. This short trail leads to an overlook and boardwalk above the fish hatchery and the spring. From the overlook, you may be able to see the axle shaft from an undershot waterwheel that powered a gristmill in the mid-19th century. There is an access point near the twin waterfalls.

3 days ago

Don’t go on this trail if you want to see the waterfall right now. The waterfall area is under construction and a big disappointment. This trail, although short treats you to a large 500ft elevation gain. This trail does lead to the Fire Tower trail if you want to take that route like we did. Be ready to huff and puff.

10 days ago

Trail was all up hill. We used it to connect to the Fire Tower trail.

5 months ago

Uphill hike that I think I took to connect with fire tower trail. A little difficult to navigate as it loops around and meets up with other trails and the park’s map/navigation is minimal out there.

10 months ago

Would love to do it again when the last 1/4 of it isn't closed! Easy/short hike with nice views otherwise

Tue May 28 2019

Nice climb up on a beautiful day. Unfortunately, the trail is closed about 3/4 in where it dissects with file tower trail, probably from recent storm activity. I would give them a few weeks to get that cleared up.

Sat Apr 27 2019

It’s a quick easy hike. We love kicking off hiking season doing this trail.

Tue Mar 19 2019

I have been hiking this for 30 years. Beautiful scenery over the park. Takes me about 15 minutes

Tue Feb 05 2019

Great hike!

Wed Jan 23 2019

Nice short hike with a fantastic lookout over the hatchery. My family and I love Roaring River.

Tue Nov 06 2018

One of my favorites the views area wonderful.

Tue Oct 09 2018

Too short to really get into a stride, but the view from the top is nice. You're on a wooden bridge and trail for part of it. Cool rocks to climb on. You can connect to Fire Tower Trail from this trail, which I did later in the day to shorten the Fire Tower Trail (running out of daylight).

Mon Sep 10 2018

This trail takes you up over the hatchery. There is an overlook above the spring but really you can’t see much of the spring. Overall I wasn’t too impressed by this trail. It was a good climb however.

Mon Aug 06 2018

Lots of stairs up front, but a great view of some rock formations and bluffs!

Wed Jun 06 2018

just a walk upstairs to other trails not a true hike. But a great outlook to see the hatchery from above if that is what you are interested in.

Sat Mar 24 2018

Short trail but nice overlook to the hatchery. This trail does split off to the Fire Tower Trail so did them both.

Sat Sep 30 2017

Good trail! very short though. nice scenery of the trout hatchery below!

Tue Sep 12 2017

Great trail with kids. Great view.

Fri Jun 02 2017

A short trail up by the hatchery. Nice view from the top.

Fri Oct 21 2016

very short, nice little overlook

Tue Oct 18 2016

Nice short trail that takes you from one end of the hatchery to the other. Once you get up all the stone steps it will take you over the cave and to a look out spot where you have a great view of the hatchery and Ozark hills. Very pretty in the Fall!

Sun May 15 2016

It's really easy and fun that is my cool down trail after all my other trails

Thu May 05 2016

Beautiful....lots of stairs

Sun May 01 2016

There are a lot of stairs. But it is short and easy and the overlook view is worth seeing. A nice shirt trail or you can also add this to te fire tower trail.

Thu Nov 12 2015

It met my expectations because I knew it was short and easy. I had my 6 year old along with other families and we enjoyed it. The overlook was beautiful and the kids loved it. It would be good for bird watchers.

Sun Jul 19 2015

I took my kids here yesterday. Yes it was crowded, but that should be expected for a Saturday. I do suggest bringing shoes you don't mind getting wet. We were in water past our ankles to get to the spring. Great place to take the family. Hatchery, fishing and the short trail. Beautiful pictures!

Mon Mar 23 2015

Very short trail. Good for little kids but there were also A LOT of people.

Thu Mar 20 2014

Short and sweet! This trail was perfect for my 2 1/2 and 5 year old boys. They had fun climbing up the rock steps and walking along the wooded bridge pathway. Amazing view of the hatchery at the end! The hatchery itself was lots of fun as well! I blogged about the hike here:

Fri Sep 27 2013

Very scenic. A short trail with a good look at the pools and rock formations

Tue Sep 10 2013

Very scenic little hike overlooking the spring and spring pool. 20th largest spring is Missouri. Nice view over the hatchery. Fun hike for kids.

1 month ago

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