Pickle Springs Natural Area

MODERATE 227 reviews

Pickle Springs Natural Area is a 1.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Farmington, Missouri that features a waterfall 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.

DISTANCE
1.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
311 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

Pickle Springs Natural Area: Trail through time was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1974. It features unique rock outcroppings, wet weather creekcrossings, seasonal waterfalls, bluff overlooks and shallow caves. If you like unique and unusual rock formations, this trail provides just that, in addition to ample wildlife spotting opportunities. The trail is well maintained, there are some steep uphill climbs, and several bridged creek crossings.

hiking
5 days ago

Went here on a whim and DID NOT REGRET IT. Drove the quick hour drive from St. Louis and got right to it. NO BATHROOM AVAILABLE AT TRAIL HEAD.

My friend and I absolutely loved climbing on everything! Every corner was a new view and adventure. I cannot wait to go back!!

hiking
10 days ago

Beautiful trail! My dog loved playing in all the water and there are some amazing views when you get to the top of the rocks! However the trail is very poorly marked and I probably would've been lost for awhile if I hadn't have downloaded the map to my phone. We will definitely be back!

hiking
19 days ago

We have hiked this trail in years past and I truly do not remember it being so poorly marked. It is really easy to get off the trail. While I enjoy exploring, I had not planned for such a long trip out. Next time I will be sure to pack more water. A positive is that this trail is the first one my 2 year old son started hiking on his own. Definitely beautiful with lots to see, but might not be for all little people. We did end up carrying him quite a bit as we were off on lots of non-trail paths. Saw a few abandoned strollers from past hikers... definitely don't bring your strollers. Happy we had this app and were able to rescue a few other hiking groups when we had coverage. Download the map!!

1 month ago

Wonderful scenery although trail is hard to find in some spots.

hiking
2 months ago

WOW!

hiking
3 months ago

I hiked this trail along with the full Whispering Pines loop. Well marked and easy to follow.

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

Beautiful rock formations and well kept trails... plus a lot of off shoot trails

hiking
3 months ago

love this hike also there is a cave here quite big I have marked on my trip for all to be able to find have fun be careful

hiking
3 months ago

We loved this hike—so much beauty packed into a short, easy hike! I agree that it’s fairly easy to get off the trail so best to download the map. There are some white paint markings on trees but apparently not enough. Another cool place in the area is Hickory Canyon. Both are beautiful!!

3 months ago

It’s definitely one of the most beautiful hikes we’ve taken in the area, and we loved the views. Really gorgeous! The only criticism we had was that there are no real trail markers except some sand on the paths, and some false trails that led us astray. Due to some minor physical limitations, we chose this hike because of the shorter distance and the moderate terrain, but 1.9 miles ended up being 3.3 miles with the unintentional detours, and one hour became two and a half. We encountered three other couples/families that were also unable to locate the trail in places and had gotten turned around. If I had not remembered I had the AllTrails app on my phone, we would have really been lost. Just a few signs to indicate the direction back to the parking area would be beneficial.

Now that we actually know the layout of the trail, we will definitely return.

4 months ago

Still to date my favorite hiking trail I've ever been on inside Missouri.

hiking
4 months ago

Magical hike!! Absolutely beautiful and for the adventurous hiker, so much fun! I saw many hikers sticking to the trail versus veering off just a bit to explore and they missed so much!! Take the time to explore the mini caves and rock formations. I wouldn’t recommend this for small children. Not too crowded. Beautiful streams, clear water, and almost like being in Neverland.

hiking
4 months ago

Very interesting rock formations. Just a couple of areas where it’s hard to tell where the trail goes. In those cases, the app is handy with a downloaded map because cell coverage is spotty.

4 months ago

Beautiful trail. not super kid friendly, kids need to be monitored as there are many bluffs, drop offs, and steep declines/inclines on rocky/rooty trails. watch for copperheads in summer and fall, afterall you are hiking in their backyard. very easy to go off trail. download trail map, spotty service in some areas.

5 months ago

Very pretty...super easy to get off the trail, though.

5 months ago

It was amazing. It was a little hard to follow the trail at some points.

5 months ago

I cannot express how much I LOVED this hike. Lots of different rock formations and elevations changes. It was rough and rugged yet nice and well maintained trails. Yes, parking was tight, but it was more than worth it. I did not find it too crowded on the trail at all even though parking was full plus some. This trail is worth it and you won’t be disappointed.

5 months ago

Wonderful hike.

Great trail. Easy to follow. Had a nice day here with my kids.

hiking
6 months ago

Even in January the trail is beautiful.

hiking
6 months ago

This is a hidden gem and well worth the trip!

hiking
7 months ago

Cool rock formations

hiking
9 months ago

great hike. really cool rock formations and caves to explore. my only downfall was the crowd. it was pretty congested. parking lot was full plus some. I will do again but maybe when it's not such a nice day so not as many people will be there.

10 months ago

I love this trail. Best kept secret outside of Saint Louis. It's like Elephant Rock meets Garden of the Gods (Illinios)

hiking
10 months ago

I had a great time. Kind of lost the path at one point but no big deal.

11 months ago

Great shirt hike and a beautiful area!

hiking
11 months ago

Great short hike. A couple decent views. Great rock formations. Couple of streams.

11 months ago

This hike features natural springs, spectacular rock formations, scenic overlooks, and remarkable foliage. Love the variety of ferns! The "Trail Through Time" has a prehistoric feel as you explore canyons, caves, and creeks and climb through sandstone arch structures. One of the more interesting trails in Missouri.

11 months ago

One of our favorite hikes. I agree with several commenters that in a few places the main trail is not always obvious due to branch trails and shortcut trails. In general you will know within 100ft if you have left the main trail.

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