Ozark Trail: Taum Sauk Section is a 12.3 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Arcadia, Missouri that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. 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.

Length12.3 miElevation gain1,299 ftRoute typePoint to point
Dogs on leashBackpackingCampingHikingNature tripsBird watchingForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeRockyScramble
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It's hard to overstate how great this section is. You have 1.5 billion-year-old mountains, igneous glades, springs, grand vistas, odd rock formations, and a swimming hole complete with natural flumes. Please consult The Ozark Trail Association regarding the condition and availability for hiking on this section of The Ozark Trail. Between the reservoir breach and the major blow-down there have been some major changes in the last few years.

Johnson Shut-In's State Park Visitors Center 573-546-2450.

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Reviews (142)
Photos (800)
Recordings (103)
Completed (317)
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Haris Covic
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 17, 2021
HikingGreat!Icy

Love it.beautiful trail awesome views lots of camping site on trail.

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Kris Siriwangchai
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 5, 2021
BackpackingGreat!
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Derek Scheller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 5, 2020
Hiking
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Margaret Gerker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 2, 2020

beautiful, rugged trail. water was abundant on the second half of the trail. first water siting was about 5 miles in from jsi. after that, it was plenty abundant

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Maddie Zampanti
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 9, 2020
CampingGreat!

Absolutely loved backpacking this gorgeous trail at the beginning of November, but be sure to bring proper high-top hiking shoes! Lots of loose rocks litter the trail and it is easy to twist an ankle! Also, camping on the river can get especially damp and cold, so be sure to plan for colder weather in the fall months along the river. The stream was absolutely serene though. With a basic filter, you’ll be drinking the best spring water of your life.

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Back Packing59
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 8, 2020
Hiking

Anyone hike or camp during December?

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ChihHan Chen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 8, 2020
Hiking
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ChihHan Chen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 7, 2020
Hiking
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Anna Feldbaumer
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Hiking
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John Hanson
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Hiking
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Samantha Tonsing
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 26, 2020
Backpacking

I love this trail, it is challenging and has beautiful views!

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William Goodman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 31, 2020
Backpacking

Started at falls and the hike at the top was stunning - it has really been dry this month and falls were not running - no water between mile 4.5 and JSI - no ticks or mosquitos but tons of spider webs cross trail but hey it’s there home - went on a Thursday and only saw 2 people at the beginning

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Alex Leach
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BackpackingBugs

great trail for a short backpacking trip w/ plenty of established sites to spend the night. don't go in july. save this one for the spring.

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Rachael Ludwig
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Hiking
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Christopher Bass
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HikingOver grownRockyScramble
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David Sallen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 27, 2020
Hiking

This hike is average to easy in difficulty. We started at Scour Trail and worked our way up. It is nearly a completely shaded hike with some areas overgrown. The trail is relatively easy to follow with a single fork or two in the first 3rd. The scenery is relatively boring throughout with 1-2 lookouts over the lake. If we have one warning it's that bring your pet at your own peril. Our dog got over 200 ticks which we spent hours and hours picking off. We barely got any ourselves. All in all would not hike again.

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Bryson Hunsaker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 27, 2020
BackpackingGreat!Over grownRocky

We did the hike from Taum Sauk to Johnson Shut-ins, and enjoyed it a lot! We modified the very end of the hike somewhat from what is shown on here, but the rest is the same (more on that later). For four average guys in our mid-twenties, this was tougher than we expected; it took us around 11.5 hours over two days, including some long breaks. Expect some very steep sections, and many sections with loose rock underfoot that makes for pretty slow going. There were a lot of fantastic overlooks and some really pretty hiking in general. We really appreciated the variation between shady forest and rocky scrambles and grassy trails along ridgetops. Water is a major issue in the second half of this hike. The last water source we encountered before the scour was in the Ketcherside Mountain area, ~2 miles past where you first encounter Taum Sauk Creek (where the symbol for it is on the paper map), which is described in the map as the last reliable water source. This meant that we went 6 miles before encountering water, and that you could go up to 8 or so depending on how dry it is. The marked campsites are pretty nice, generally indicated by a built up fire ring and benches made of rocks or trees. There were many more of them than shown on the map on here. They were very plentiful in the first 4-5 miles, then there was a gap of 2-3 miles without a whole lot of great places to camp in general, and then a few marked campsites and more campable areas start showing up again from there to the scour. Helpful hint: the first marked site we saw after the gap was right by the "4 miles to JSI" sign on the trail. The only snag for us occurred near the end. From the map, it looks like it's possible to hike almost directly to the Shut-ins themselves, instead of going to the Hwy N Trailhead first and then having to walk along the road as shown on here, so that's what we tried to do. We didn't see where we would need to turn to make that work, however. What we ended up doing was getting down into the Scour near the trail intersection with the plaque about the trail's history and the Boy Scouts, then following the creekbed and part of one of the shorter loops until we were across the river from the JSI visitor center. We crossed the river there, then walked the rest of the way to the Shut-ins themselves, which worked out well for us.

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Jonathan Coy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 26, 2020
BackpackingBugsOver grownRocky

Family of five did this hike June 26-June 27 with a stay at the campsite about 4.5 miles in from Taum Sauk trailhead. Very nice campsite and there was water at that site on the day we were there. Then nothing until the shut ins. The trail was overgrown in parts, particularly the first few miles. By overgrown, I mean there are parts of the trail where a tree limb or two would completely cross the trail. And the undergrowth kept the trail to a single foot path. There is a hog fence that runs next to the trail near power line alley. The hog fence looked better maintained then portions of the trail. You must bring bug/tick spray. We picked many, many ticks off, particularly at the sock line. All in all, a nice, rocky hike. If we were to go again, we would go in the spring as we had originally planned before the c-virus changed our plans.

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Fukn Fausto
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 21, 2020
HikingFloodedRockyScrambleWashed out

We went and were expecting rain. If you start at the top be very watchful of the trail markers because it’s easy to get lost even in the day. No one was OTS this time. Just killed a bottle of coralejo between me and my cuuuuzzz. But it was nun major. DECENT views at the top. If you want to get some GOOD views go a little off trail while at the top. I wish I had brought some Yerbabuena :/. The day we began to hike back to our car it rained the whole way. The rivers flooded and we had to cross rivers which were a little above knee high. a rough incline on the first hump so just be sure to bring a good amount of water. I will be back and next time with some hongos in my system. 11/10 workout. 8/10 views.

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Joe Baer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 21, 2020

Excellent hike. Section has highest point and Missouri's tallest waterfall. Camped on a ridge overnight. No flat spots but excellent spots closer to stream.

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