Matson Hill and Oxen Trail Loop

EASY 67 reviews
#1 of 3 trails in

Matson Hill and Oxen Trail Loop is a 5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Defiance, Missouri that features a great forest setting and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
452 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

trail running
1 month ago

ran this trail for the 1st time...did the matson hill and the oxen trail together for 5 miles. went ccw. nice single track trail through a wooded area with gradual hills. lots of switchbacks which helped. the first part of oxen trail was very rocky and somewhat technical. i think if you are running, this is more of a moderate trail versus easy. going ccw ended with a big incline. will definitely do this one again.

hiking
7 months ago

Nice quiet trail with lots of switchbacks to keep the elevation gains gradual. This was my first time on the trail....I'm guessing the best used through October is due to falling leaves. Leaves were covering much of the path, making it difficult to see.

The 5-mile path shown is a combination of two trails - the Matson Hill Loop and the Oxen Mill Trail.

mountain biking
8 months ago

I like a challenge, and this was. Definitely not easy as listed, if biking, over the handlebars once. Lost Valley is 10.5 miles and this trail wore me out in 4-5, combined with Oxen Mill trail.

8 months ago

Great trail but it's not 2.84 as listed on several sites. Matson is 3.28 miles per GPS. O would also rate as moderate due to the rocks, roots and rapid inclines/declines. The trail is used for bikes and hiking. If you're biking be ready for a challenge. Hikers...be ready for some calm beauty if you're coming mid-week during the day, especially mornings. Beautiful place! I highly recommend it!

hiking
8 months ago

Awesome trail!

hiking
10 months ago

felt very redundant like they were trying to make it longer by looping back and forth on itself

hiking
11 months ago

Did all three trails - Matson Hill, Oxen Mill, and Hayes. Totaled around 9 miles. These trails are all connected so you can do just the first one, or the first two, or all three. They are probably rated in my opinion as easy to moderate. You won't find any overlooks here but a lot of diverse nature to see on all three trails

hiking
Friday, June 16, 2017

great trail, several stream crossings,

hiking
Sunday, June 11, 2017

nice Trail did both the Matson Trail and The Oxen Trail took approximately 5 miles well-marked

mountain biking
Thursday, June 08, 2017

I would consider this to be "Moderate" difficulty, at the least, for MTB! I'm pretty sure I stayed on the Matson Hill Loop and there were a lot of "technical" parts (layered rocks, multiple sized roots, ect.) Definitely a place I need more practice at! The natural formations were beautiful!!

hiking
Saturday, May 27, 2017

Great area to escape the suburbs. Nice array of wildlife. Trail is groomed well. I hike but will probably try to mountain bike one day.

hiking
Monday, May 15, 2017

Found this trail more difficult because it had so many roots, rocks, and rough areas. Constantly watching where to step. Considered it deep woods hiking with a meadow view if you include Oxen Mill Trail.

hiking
Monday, February 27, 2017

nice clean trail through the hillside. Nothing to impressive on the trail but would make for a good mountain biking trail.

hiking
Monday, February 13, 2017

not what we expected. we went with the anticipation of hiking for 3miles but the signage on the trail was very unclear and didn't have mileage at all so we ended up accidentally vearing of on oxen mills trail which looped around back to the original trail so I'm not even sure how many miles we actually went and we ended up running most of it because I was going to be late to work because of our "detour". We were out for a little over two hours. lots of parts of the trail very muddy and it hasnt rained in 4 days.

hiking
Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Happened to stumble across this trail and we happened to be at the top...very fun walk down! Don't think I would have been so thrilled had I found it at the bottom. Will certainly be back to check out other trails in the immediate area solely based off this one.

hiking
Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Great trail... a little tougher than I expected, and we ended up doing 3.6 miles somehow??

mountain biking
Saturday, October 08, 2016

Lol, there is nothing easy about this trail on a mountain bike. I love it because it has some great fast downhill sections and some really technical sections. I reiterate.....this trail is not easy. I took my wife there and she literally cried she was so frustrated.

hiking
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Enjoyed our hike on this quiet, well groomed trail. Saw 4 adult deer grazing on the hillside. Encountered one other hiker and a couple of cyclists, on a 70 degree day! Great views and loads of blooming wildflowers!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

I love this trail, one of my families favorites.

hiking
Thursday, March 17, 2016

Beautiful

hiking
Thursday, October 08, 2015

Just there two days ago and took this trail. Well groomed. Watch out for roots and rocks trip hazards though. Wide, no weeds, no brush, no ticks or chiggers. Only four bike riders and no other hikers. Peace, solitude. Nice views from the top of the hill at trail head.

hiking
Friday, August 14, 2015

Great hike, took the extra loops and trails and made it a good workout. Had fun with a couple bikers who passed me and then they would stop to rest and I kept catching up. As soon as they saw me they would take off again. One said I was motivating him to hurry on. I will visit this one again

hiking
Monday, June 29, 2015

Great trail for the kids

hiking
Monday, September 15, 2014

Great easy to moderate effort hike... would be great for kids. The trail meanders around a cute, rocky creek multiple times, there are great rocks and lots of mushrooms, for a happy mellow hike with no views it was very pleasant. We did the Matson Trail linked with the Oxen Trail. There are three trails at the park that you can link together to get around 6 +miles total. Nice grave parking lot, box full of maps, trails are marked well, even a port a potty at the lot. Directions on the sccmo.org page were spot on... i've attached a link

hiking
Thursday, July 03, 2014

The Matson Hill and Oxen Mill trails make for a nice five-mile hike. I took my seven and nine-year-old daughters on what was the hottest, most humid day so far of the year and they made it just fine, so this is an easy trail to take kids on. This was their first five-miler. We met only two other hikers and two bicyclists during the late Sunday afternoon hike. If you like trail runs, St. Charles County Parks sponsors three runs with one being through Matson Hill Loop. The run begins at the Katy Trail parking lot at Hwy. 94/Matson Hill Rd., up to the park and around the Matson Hill Loop and then back to the starting point.

hiking
Sunday, August 11, 2013

Beautiful moderate day hike.

hiking
Friday, May 17, 2013

I also had issues getting to the trail, and used Christine's directions instead of AllTrail's instructions. Following Christine's, though, I found myself tackling a very steep gravel road from the Katy Trail/Route 94. This road ends at a paved road, which I used to get back down the hill after my hike. I found there a less (scary) route to get to the trail head, by taking Defiance Rd or Howell Rd. and coming in from the north end of Matson Hill Road. This part is paved. If you are interested in a drive through wine country, you can come up from the south by taking Schluersburg Rd from Route 94 to Duke Rd (slight right at fork). Duke Rd then turns into Matson HIll Rd about a 1/2 mile from the trail head (still on paved surface). Where Duke Rd turns into Matson HIll Rd, the gravel portion of Matson Hill Rd branches off. Don't turn there, but continue on the paved portion, to the trail head. Here is a link to the area: http://goo.gl/maps/kjXDL . Bring the bug spray! High population of ticks on this trail.

hiking
Friday, March 01, 2013

The directions to this trail through the Program are not accurate. Take hwy 94 west to Matson at Katy Trail biking trailhead. Make a right on Matson Hill Road and follow the road up the hill to park and trail on right. To follow the program directions takes you to a farmer's field on the opposite side of the highway!

This trail is nice and easy with the exception of wet, muddy weather. We went in February after a thaw and the trail was dry on the beginning. There are some muddy areas towards the end of the loop that can be slick, so walking poles are helpful. Lots of various birds and woodpeckers. We were the only ones on the trail which was closed to bikers. Very peaceful.

hiking
Sunday, August 19, 2012

Great beginner's trail with lots of variety. @ Mary thanks for the tour. It's nice that the Hey wineries are close by for refreshments! Lot's of up and down with plenty of roots to step over. The Sunday I hiked there were plenty of bikers on the trial going in both directions. Have to pay attention.

hiking
Monday, August 13, 2012

wow - Sunday morning bikes galore! Fun little hike otherwise but very busy on the weekends.

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