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Three Creeks Trail via South Tomlin Hill Trailhead

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Three Creeks Conservation Area

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.

Length 4.3 mi Elevation gain 426 ft Route type Out & Back
Dogs on leash Kid friendly Camping Fishing Hiking Horseback riding Mountain biking Nature trips Walking Bird watching Running Cave Forest River Views Wild flowers
Description
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Getting There

Good spring wildflowers and spotty glades. Rocky streams.

Parking lots, no amenities. Walk in primitive camping year round except during modern firearms deer season. Camping along roads and parking lots permitted only during modern firearms deer hunting by deer hunters. No amenities provided.

Missouri Conservation Dept. Central Regional Office 1907 Hillcrest Dr. Columbia, MO, 65201 Phone: (573) 882-8388 Fax: (573) 882-9807

Three Creeks Conservation Area is five miles south of Columbia on Highway 63 and 1.75 miles west on Deer Park Road.

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Reviews (66)
Photos (68)
Recordings (53)
Completed (150)
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Brock Weimer
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Hiking
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Christy-Jason Waters
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Hiking
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Christy-Jason Waters
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Hiking
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Dave Keiser
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Hiking

A great hike with creeks, swimming holes, prairie, forest, caves, sinkholes, a spring, cliffs, an interpretive nature trail and seclusion. We hiked the 4 mile loop just down the trail from the Tomlin hill trailhead. The map recording was all messed up from loosing gps while in hunters cave. Lots here for everyone!

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Jason Waters
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Hiking
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Dave Keiser
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Hiking

Great low traffic trails. I went backpacking and found a stealth campsite noted on the map.

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Katy Djerf
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HikingRocky

Very pretty trail. It’s not stroller friendly so keep that in mind if you have small kids. There are plenty of big rocks to rest on. We didn’t see any other people other than when we were leaving and a group of people were walking in. Overall pretty nice and will be going back.

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Jeremy Jorden
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Hiking

Beautiful sights to see! Had to cross a large creek to continue in the biking/horse trail.

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Zachary Nixon
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HikingMuddy

This is a pretty nice trail that can be made into a loop a couple of different ways! It gets very muddy, and there will be horse stuff all over the place. Wear boots!

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Samuel Baker
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HikingPrivate property

Overall a nice hike with some decent inclines and declines. Too much private property signs around everywhere you turn for my liking.

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Doug Neidholdt
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Hiking

Three creeks is a nice area to hike with some mileage but not anything overly scenic.

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Theresa Anderson
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Great place to ride horses, especially when there are no off leash dogs

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Kenny Dillingham
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HikingBugsOver grown

My preferred trail in the area. It is a bit overgrown, so summer is better. Caves are neat to see and the creek is pretty.

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

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Michelle Meyers
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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.

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Craig F
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One of my favorite areas in central missouri

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Mike Rennells
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Fun trail.

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Theresa Oberlag
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Hiking

My daughter and I hiked this last weekend...it 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

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Josh Behounek
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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.

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Taylor Kemp
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Hiking

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.

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Angie Oesterly
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Hiking

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!

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Lynda Bonebrake
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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.

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Shawn Goertz
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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.

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David Kidder
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Hiking

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.

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Griz Bear
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Hiking

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.

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James Williams
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Hiking

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!

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Heather Hunger
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Hiking

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!!

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Jody King
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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.

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Mat Matlack
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Hiking

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.

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