Fire Tower Trail

MODERATE 81 reviews
#2 of 11 trails in

Fire Tower Trail is a 4.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Cassville, 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.

4.3 miles
541 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly





nature trips

trail running





wild flowers


Heavily Wooded,Rock Ledges,beatiful views Rugged Ozark terrain, dense hardwood forests, open dolomite glades and deep hollows. The views from its wildflower-filled meadows remain pure wilderness. The steep mountainsides have extensive woodland belts that hide numerous stony bluffs, sheltered forest coves, springs and clear-water streams.

6 days ago

This review is for the River Trail, which isn't listed on this site for Roaring River SP.
Blazed in Yellow. We accessed it from near the parking lots by the Fish Hatchery. You'll pass the Amphitheater, or you can pick up part of the trail there, since the Amphitheater kind of interrupts the trail.
This was a short trail but interesting scenery and features. No real climbing, and for most of the trail, you are hugging the River (though not really close enough to get down to it). Narrow along much of the trail, have to go single-file. Some cool rock overhangs and natural "benches." I think kids would like this trail and could manage it well.

6 days ago

I found the trailhead by going behind the Nature Center and crossing the road. TH signage is on the other side of the road.
Hiked only a portion b/c it was end of the day and we were losing daylight. I would rate this as more than "Moderate" due to the quick and steep climbs and rugged trail condition. It does flatten out at the top, and you can catch your breath! Late afternoon sunlight through the trees was really pretty. We took the connector trail to meet up with Deer Leap Trail and head back down to leave. I'll definitely return to do the whole trail.

8 days ago

Steep to begin. Looks like a WPA project. Well maintained. Pleasant with good markings.

1 month ago

Hiked this trail this morning. We started at the Chinkapin Nature Center. After walking the trail I definitely think this is the best place to start. Be aware that the first part of the trail is pretty steep and you will get a good workout but it is well worth it. The fire tower is no longer above the tree line as it was put in in the 30’s but you are allowed to climb it and you still get the feeling of being very high. Keep on traveling around past the fire tower and you will encounter a good downhill climb. Then a beautiful view of a bluffline and then the glades. Near the end you get a short walk along the river before it comes out in the campground. With a short walk back to the nature center. As was said by earlier posts you do have to cross the highway a couple of times but personally I don’t think it took away much from the overall experience. It was a great trail with lots to see.

4 months ago

There is a lot to like about this trail...elevation, distance, scenery...But I was a little disappointed in the fire tower providing zero view and having to cross the highway twice. Enjoyed the finish along the river.

4 months ago

It took us over an hour to find the trail head. It’s off the side of the highway basically in the middle of nowhere. To get there you have to walk along the highway which is incredibly hilly/curvy and cars, trucks and trailers are flying by going 40+. We didn’t even walk much of the trail because it was too hot and we didn’t have enough water for 2 people and 4 dogs. As usual in MO, the water is a crystal teal and beautiful but this park was SWAMPED. The wading area was full of screaming kids throwing rocks at one another and the fishing areas were packed. I had no idea this was a giant trout hatchery and so that was a little disappointing. I’m more of a let the dogs off leash and see 0 people on the trails kind of person. The drive for me was 3.5 hours and I would never come back. It was a beautiful park but not for activities I enjoy.

4 months ago

Nice hike, only took a little over two hours at a mild pace taking pictures along the way.

4 months ago

Don't access at Hatchery, steep climb, use another.

4 months ago

Great hike. I wished it got closer to the river sooner, but all in all a good trail. tIt took us about 2 hours at a moderate pace. Good incline for the first half mile or so, then it eases up.

6 months ago

Longer trail with a steep climb early on making you earn it. What goes up must go down so after the tower you get the decline and after that it levels out. Little bit of everything on this trail.

6 months ago

This trail has everything. A view of the spring with its clear turquoise water. Then a steep climb through woods to fire tower. Then great views of cliffs and benches. Then a bit along the river. It really is a trail that covers everyone

10 months ago

Very enjoyable trail. Fairly easy with some great rock formations on the lower side. Ran int a couple of roaring river employees before I started they were very helpful and informative.

10 months ago

Nice hike

10 months ago

Nice trail! near the end of the trail there is a nice mountain view....and the last mile or so was along the waters of roaring river.

11 months ago

Beautiful! Colors are just turning. I'd go back again. It's steep up either side.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Great hike. A bit slipping with Pepe's at spots. In the winter the view from the fire tower might be good, but even so, a hike I would do again. Great late summer wild flowers at spots.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Beautiful hike! We enjoyed the different elevation and views. Will definitely go again.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

loved that the fire tower is there to climb really nice hike

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Wonderful hike! great elevation, beautiful flowers, little cave like overhangs....beautiful!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Great hike... lost the trail at the end.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

This Trail is beautiful in the Fall. If you start from the hatchery do not stop at the fire tower, which isn't worth going up, it has no spectacular view from the top. If you continue on you will come to an open area, there is a sign that says glade restoration, that has a great view of surrounding hills. Keep going! You will eventually cross a highway and the trail will start following part of the river where you and your dog can get in and cool off. It's a pretty long hike so make sure you take some water and snacks!

Friday, August 05, 2016

I love this trail. Plenty of level change and distance. The Fire Tower is a nice touch.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

It was really fun I thought it was going to be really hard but I'm 10 and it was really easy and fun there are little stems that are really fun too look at and there is a fire tower that you can go up

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

My favorite trail on roaring river. The topography changes throughout. The tower is a great place to stop for a meal and hang out. The park was flooded when we went last and we trudged through a lot of water, but it was still a blast.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

I absolutely loved the hike on the Fire Tower Trail loop. Beautiful scenery and very well-kept hatchery, lodging, and trails. However, the "loop" is not a true hiking loop since you have to travel on the highway for the last part and to get back to your vehicle.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Came back to hike the trail again. Weather is perfect. I really enjoy this trail. The kids love it!

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Map is not correct. Good incline. Beautiful rocks to climb on. My four and six year old maybe it to the tower and back with no problem. Perfect weather today.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The trail itself is very nice with different terrain and elevation changes but I did expect more from the tower at the end. After climbing to the top I was hoping to get some great pictures but because it was Spring and the trees were taller than the tower I couldn't really see anything. Nice hike though!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Very short, quiet trial.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

This was a great hike. Though the trees have grown about 20 ft higher than the top of the actual Fire Tower Lookout, it is still quite peaceful when you make it to the top.
It is a moderately easy trail and it feels far from any commercialization so you can really enjoy the beauty of nature while you are out.
Stay on the lookout for water moccasin's, though, as I did see one near a spring on my hike.

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