Howell Island Loop

EASY 31 reviews

Howell Island Loop is a 7.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Defiance, Missouri that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and trail running and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

7.4 miles
108 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly


trail running



1 month ago

Pretty boring. For some reason I thought that if I went hiking on an island, a large part of the trail would be along the river.


Thursday, February 09, 2017

The feature picture is Klondike Park, don't be fooled...pretty boring trail in my opinion. You feel like you're going to the other side of the island but it never takes you there.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

This was a very easy hike - we did about 7.5 miles total but it was kind of boring - there was not much to see as the trail is mostly either walking through large fields or through cleared wooded areas. (You don't really come close to the trees at all). The trails are all pretty straight and nothing very exciting. I would think this would be good for first time hikers or runners. Signs were bad and / or non-existent, so it was hard to tell how far you had traveled.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

This is a below average trail in my opinion. There really aren't many great view or interesting geography going on with this trail. That being said the trails are very wide and would be great if you are a trail runner as they are very flat. There is a neat "beach" just off the trail on the southwest corner of the island where you can relax a little and enjoy the rivers edge. There did seem to be a high population of white tailed deer on the island so keep an eye out for them if your going to spend your day there. As a side note, there is a small airport nearby thus there are a verity of small single engine planes flying overhead on a regular basis.

trail running
Tuesday, April 19, 2016

one large trail. not family friendly

Monday, March 28, 2016

We went in early spring, so we fortunately didn't have to deal with the mosquitos or weeds. Trail is wide enough for 2 ATVs to pass each other easily. That coupled with the abundance of tire tracks makes the trail feel more like a road. It is flat and pretty boring for the majority of the walk. There were some nice parts, but the whole walk felt more like we were just going from point A to B than exploring an interesting trail.

Things did get more interesting towards the end of the trail when it goes right along the river. The reeds get really dense at this point, and some areas were up to 6' tall. This part of the trail also had at least 2 areas where the entire trail was washed out by the river, and we had to find our way to the trail ahead on our own. This part of the trail was also much sandier and a little slower going.

There is also the Chesterfield airport and a shooting range nearby. So expect to hear many planes and constant gunfire (about midway through the hike).

All in all, I'm glad we finally walked it, but I doubt we'll ever go again. It's a boring trail with relatively boring visuals.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Attempted to hike the seven mile trail. Turned back after 2 miles because there was no trail to follow and the weeds were shoulder high.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

This is not a trail, it was a clearing in the woods. The weeds were taller than us for 2 miles then the so called trail just kind of ended at a field with weeds taller than us. We turned around and followed the path we just made back out of there. It is also being taken over by bamboo.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Horrible trail. I went last summer. It was overgrown and my friend ended up with chiggers. The signs were covered in vines. We gave a biker one of our maps, as he was completed lost and weren't much better, but had an extra map. I will NOT be back!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Pretty boring, flat, wide trail.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Great trail for the winter months. It is a bit difficult to figure out just where the trail is so we did one big loop on the Island. Straight in and back. I have a GPS which is a $125 compass.
The Mosquitos will attack you in the summer. I mean they are thick but then you'll figure that out when you get there.

mountain biking
Sunday, August 25, 2013

Good looking scenery but the trail is unkept with really tall weeds.

Monday, July 22, 2013

It was pretty, but not clearly marked. I also saw some hunters around the trail, which I can't say didn't worry me a little.

paddle sports
Friday, February 08, 2013

I did not hike the trail but used this as a place to launch my canoe. The family headed down river from the lower side of the low water bridge and paddled to the page extension and hopped of the river on the St. Charles. We had a second car at the parking lot at the top of the hill. Make sure you bring something to help pull your canoe to the top of the hill it is quite a portage (about .3 mile) There are some nice sand bars to hang out on too.

mountain biking
Wednesday, May 09, 2012

One big 7 mile loop. Stay on trail. I have hiked it and biked it. Riding can be tough thru the meadow areas, but one you get on hard packed dirt, you move quicker. Somewhat scenic. Good workout. I have hiked into the tree line, and if you are inexperienced, you can get disoriented, as the old trail disappears. A good GPS is recommended if you go off trail Suggest even a topo map. Remember, this is in the general area where mountain lions (no kidding) have been spotted. And there is a healthy deer population on the island. Parking is on the east side of a slough and ford. No access in high water. If you are on the island during upstream rain events, you could be caught by high water if the ford goes under.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

This trail was amazing! Howell Island is a beautiful and pristine example of undisturbed nature. There is something majestic about this island, from the trees and lush undergrowth to the beautiful fields of vibrant wildflowers. Hiking Howell Island was an almost spiritual experience, like taking a trip back into the early days of America.

The trail itself is very easy and mostly flat. I've been there three times and have only seen one other person.

Great trail, can't recommend it enough.

trail running
Friday, November 25, 2011

great view of chesterfield valley. easy and short its a good run, walk, or bike.

Friday, August 05, 2011

World class wave !

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Sunday, November 25, 2012

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