Grindstone Nature Area Loop is a 1.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Columbia, 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.
dogs on leash
Columbia, Mo., Intersection of Stadium Drive and old 63 Hwy, turn west, trail head on left 1/2mile
Great walking trail but watch the map! The crushed rock trail turns to a dirt trail to complete the loop. If you don't pay attention to the map, you will miss the turn since it's not marked. We walked a mile before I looked at the map and realized we missed the turn. We never would found the loop without the map since it wasn't marked and you have to get off the crushed rock trail.
Nice little trail you can take the dogs off leash on the main path or on small side trails. Can see deer pretty readily and thousands of fireflies can light up the clearings in summer. Did have the dogs run right by a copperhead on the middle of the trail, so watch for that. The dogs can take a dip in Grindstone creek but if there has been heavy rain, the current can be a bit swift and deep.
I live a mile or so from here and it is a very nice place to run, nice gravel trail. Hiking is pretty limited though. There are some side trails but they are only a mile long.
The gravel trail is 2 miles long (not 3.3) but it is a good point to point run, especially in the spring and fall.
It snowed about five inches just before and while I was there. The trail was still easy to find. I hiked the trail versus mountain biking. It would be a nice trail for a short bike ride. Close to the university. A nice bluff view overlooking a large creek, woods and flat ground. Well worth the trip. A nice little jewel on the edge of town.