Three Creeks Trail via South Tomlin Hill Trailhead

MODERATE 38 reviews

Three Creeks Trail via South Tomlin Hill Trailhead is a 4.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Ashland, 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
426 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly





horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running






wild flowers

Good spring wildflowers and spotty glades. Rocky streams.

3 months ago

the caves are hard to find. the land its hard to traverse. for that reason this is idea hiking. beautiful scenery.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Map here and at trailhead is incorrect. great trail, pretty creek, best in fall less leaves. Easy to follow trail is well worn but poorly marked.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

One of my favorite areas in central missouri

Monday, May 22, 2017

Fun trail.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

My daughter and I hiked this last was a nice little trail down to the creek...Creek was pretty with the cave....we went back out the way we came just because the trail past the creek was hard to find and I remember another reviewer saying it was not marked

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

This trail is a little hard to follow once it hits the creek and should really be hiked in the winter/fall due to vegetation growth. A couple of beautiful views and a swimming hike option as well. Beware it isn't marked at all. Have fun.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Great trail, not too overgrown and a perfect distance for beginning hikers. Can be ran, use caution due do rocks and roots. Not highly travelled. There is a creek crossing which is hard to cross with out getting wet, had to use a fallen tree to get across. Trail is well marked and shaded.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Three Creeks Conservation Area is a great place to hike a fairly easy 3-mile interpretive loop or some of the other 8 or so miles of trail. This weekend we hiked 15 miles on the property and saw three caves- Hunter's Cave, Spring Cave, and a third one we just happened upon, but it was large enough to walk into. The trail maps available online and at the site do not include all of the trails, so be sure to take your GPS device in case you get turned around! Beautiful bluffs and several creeks run through the area. The trails cross the creeks multiple times, so do plan to get your feet wet! Primitive camping is allowed and there are many great places to pitch a tent. Most of the trails are moderate. Lots of climbs that take you up and down around 200 feet of elevation multiple times. I've been many times and will continue to go back as each season brings new sights to see!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

If you ride or walk the trail down by the cave watch out for the itch weed. It is not pleasant for horses or people. Otherwise, I have enjoyed riding this trail on horseback, and the part meant only for hikers is nice too.

Monday, May 16, 2016

I run here regularly. It's not a out and back trail. And this sights posted distance is also not correct. Linking ALL the trails you can get close to 8 miles out of it. Awesome trail! Something for everyone.

Monday, March 14, 2016

The hike is very scenic. Lot of camp fire sites along the way. Found one still with hot ambers, went ahead and put out with dirt. Down to the creeks is a lot of fun, well worth the drive

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Spent a few hours walking this trail. Saw 5 snakes and stepped on 1. Do not walk in the fall when the snakes are out unless you really don't care to run into them.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Beautiful place. Started at Tomlin Rd trail head. Was a day of getting used to pack size for later trips this year. Day started in low 20's ended in mid 40's, went from ice and snow to mud. We hiked 8.9 miles total in the area, took in a couple trails over near Deer Park Rd as we explored the area then back across to Tomlin starting point. Took a lunch break in a grove of pine trees, reminded me of being out west. Conservation maps of the area are a good source to keep you off of private land, from looking at the tracks left, that didn't always happen.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Beautiful place. The maps aren't reeeaaal accurate, but they are somewhat. The "loop" looks nothing like the map on this page. Doing some more mapping in my head so I can figure out how to make a good 8 mile loop out of it. Do either the Thomlin Hill Rd. entrrance where there are big cliffs, or the Turkey Creek Loops where there are many creek crossings and trails through woods and creek bottoms. Great for kids too!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Took my six year old on this trail today. They do need markers that show the beginning of the trails. We wandered through the woods for about half a mile before we found some mowed track and then found the trail. Knowing what I do now I'll totally do this again. We took a two mile loop and it crosses the creek a few times. He really loved it. We played around in the creek for a bit. It is clearly marked once you're on it but like I said, finding it was odd. Right off the access road. I'll be back!!

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Such a pretty trail, but the map is not so great and the trail is marked, but still very confusing. I wish more trails would use a 'you are here' type of marking, so you would know exactly where you were.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Took my 8 year old to Three Creeks today. We both had a great time and made the entire trail in a couple hours. The map is almost worthless and the trail isn't marked very well in the direction we took. I think clockwise it is marked a bit better. Nonetheless, it's a super trail and beautiful scenery. We'll be back. He wants to walk the creeks a bit more next time.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

this trail was great! i came in the south entrance and the initial ridge is beautiful! it had wide trails and then you could venture off into more footpaths later. the map was horrid and i basically just kept a good idea where i was, but never really truly knew when looking at the map. the camping was great. i will absolutely go back again and recommend to anyone wanting to hike and or camp. oh ya, there is atleast 1 cave in the river bed of the first ridge, not long after you hike the trail down into the stream path.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The thing about Three Creeks is that there just wasnt much information available about it, so we were not able to prepare well for this hike. I would like to think that we were more of explorers than anything on this one. There wasnt many reviews, pictures, etc., the map that was available was very sketchy.
So I took plenty of pictures and here are the details of our day hike at Three Creeks Trail Conservation Area:
We parked off of Tomlin Hill Road and started on the trail head there. Right off the beginning, the views were spectacular. Within feet of the parking lot, you can see at least two creeks. The woods are pretty. The overall sense of this place was much cleaner than our previous hike. This was a great combination of the scenery of Rock Bridge with the ability to camp.The weather was brisk; mid 20s to start, rising to 40 by the end of the day. Beautiful sunny sky the whole day. Perfect weather for hiking.
The downside to this area is that there are NO blazes on the trails. I repeat NO blazes at all. No trail markings. No signs at intersections. You are on your own here. If you look at our track, you will see several places where we got off the path and had to come back. But that is the fun of it. Would definitely have GPS for this when as well as maps and compass and a good understanding of where you should be.
Another down side that I didnt feel that the provided map made clear was that if you went the way we did, starting from the parking lot off of Tomlin Hill Road. However, the map that you get on line is NOT accurate. I repeat the map online is NOT accurate. It is missing part of the trail a huge part. Take it with you just in case, but stop at the trailhead and get the map there. That explains why we were so confused about where we were at all day long. Its a wonder we made it out alive! Anyway, what the map neglects to tell you is how long you will have to walk on gravel and paved roads. See my photos below. I dont feel like the way that depict it on their map is accurate at all. It looks short on their map, but we ended up walking on the road on the southern end of this trail Meyer Lane, etc. for almost 2 miles! Part of it was a black-top road and it was a little scary when cars came up on you. The road was very narrow and there were no ditches for us to walk on. Be on the look out for this! Hopefully someday theyll cut the trail thru the woods, and we wont have to walk around.
The next part is there are quite a few downed trees in the low-lying areas. There are multiple areas that look like either a huge flood or tornado went thru but generally it is fairly easy to find a path around without any effort.
Expect to have multiple creek crossings. We had little to no difficulty finding spots to cross where we didnt have to get wet.
Now the good things: The whole place is spectacular. There are many different types of scenery. Youll go from typical Ozark-style woods to red cedar woods to wide open pastures and creek bottoms.
Another nice thing is I did get the isolation feeling that I look for when Im hiking. I like to feel that Im off the beaten path. You couldnt hear road noise most of the time in this conservation area. Make sure that you do NOT go here during deer season. There were enough deer stands to make one wary.
Expect some good climbs on this one; so far, this one I had the highest ascent for us. Some of the trail is rocky. This is also a bike and horse trail, but we saw neither today. Good luck and enjoy the pics below! If you have any questions, just give me a shout at

6 months ago

8 months ago

8 months ago

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Monday, September 18, 2017

Saturday, May 06, 2017

recorded Three Creeks Trail

Monday, April 17, 2017

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

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