Turkey Pen Hollow Trail

MODERATE 84 reviews
#1 of 14 trails in

Turkey Pen Hollow Trail is a 6.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Camdenton, Missouri that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
954 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

trail running

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

rocky

This trail passes through high quality dolomite glades and woodland plant communities. The area in and around this trail is managed with periodic prescribed fire. The trail goes by a large sinkhole, an access to the parks special-use camp, a primitive backpack camping area for large groups, and through Turkey Pen Hollow. After you pass the connector trail leading to the special-use camp, you travel across a large south-facing glade. Lower on this slope is an intermittently wet seep area. The large outcrop of rock is the remnant of the Red Arrow fault line that runs through this part of Camden County. This rock area is where layers of bedrock have shifted in a vertical manner and in other places one layer of rock has pushed other rock layers above it. After you reach the ridge top beyond and hike for a short distance, you can decide to shorten your hike to 4.75 miles by taking white connector 1. Along white connector 1, you will find an intermittent pond. This pond often holds water in the spring and is home to frogs, salamanders and toads as evidenced by the cacophony of their calls both during the day and in the evening.

hiking
7 days ago

Beautiful hike! If you love Missouri outdoors then you will like this hike. Nothing about it is boring. There are views, creeks, waterfalls and wildlife all around. We did all 7 miles in about two and a half hours, the signs say it will take six and a half hours but I can’t imagine how. There are parts with steep inclines and declines but overall it an easy to moderate trail that is well maintained and easy to follow. I can’t wait to do it again!

hiking
rocky
18 days ago

Not what we had hoped for but stuck it out anyway. Trail that winds through woods. Only a handful of neat rock formations to stop and take pics. Not muddy which we had expected. Unstable gravel the whole way. Some uphill. About half way through the red blazes changed to orange which threw us off, after checking map realized we were still om trail. Not sure of they were just sun faded? We did decide to take the cut through which was very easily marked. The last part of trail was steep downhill slippery. Not sure how anyone could do this reverse. My 8 yo did fine, with cut through we hiked about 5 miles in less than 3 hrs. Good workout. Wouldnt do again ,boring long trail.

hiking
muddy
26 days ago

Very fun!

1 month ago

Great trail. Even has a cut through that reduces it by around two miles.

1 month ago

This was a great hike!! The trail markers are fantastic. Save your lunch break until you get to the small waterfall about 4 miles in. I will definitely do this Trail again.

trail running
1 month ago

Nice trail for running. Pretty scenery...hills, creeks, lake view, meadows.

backpacking
4 months ago

Oct. 21, 2018-Just an incredible trail at Ha Ha Tonka State Park. Load up my recording to get a blow by blow coverage of this hike with pictures. I really enjoyed this hike with the varied terrain and different features including the panoramic views of the valleys, several streams, the rock formations in the lower part of the area, and the excellent camping areas as well. I camped in the B campsite which is the primary backpacking camp site. It is a large area and will hold about 7 to 8, 2-person, tents and is situated next to a creek bed which was dry this time of the year. The trail was well-maintained, and also was well marked. Even though this was not the peak weekend for the fall colors for the different tree varieties, it was still beautiful to see some of them finally showing off their colors. It’s a scenic, easy, trail and one that I will definitely do again.

4 months ago

Awesome trail. I had a late start so I did the loop clockwise and hung a hammock at the backpack campground which was a good low laying spot in between hills next to a creek bed. Finished the loop the next day which had some really cool features and scenery.

hiking
5 months ago

Good hike! We went the counter clockwise route which is the way most hikers go if you want a nice morning hike out. First part was harder than the second half due to the humidity and heat of the day we hiked in. Was only a 5 mile hike to the campsite and the seasonal stream was running was nice. My only complaint was the chiggers or oak mites were bad!

hiking
6 months ago

The trail was well marked with easy access to the trailhead. There are plenty of trail maps but no bathrooms. The trail is very rocky and narrow making the rating of “moderate” accurate. My two children got excited for a bench at about two miles. They sat down only to realize a minute later that they were COVERED in termites! My five year old was in pure horror! We tried to finish the loop with the shortcut but after a quarter of a mile farther, we decided it was best to turn around. After returning back to the car and fully stripping their clothes, we also found three ticks on my husband and daughter. Heads up that this is not a young kid friendly hike. I wish we would’ve have gotten a chance to see the entire trail and what it has to offer. I gave it three stars because I’m sure it’s a good trial for others, but I wish I’d known it wasn’t for my family. Oh well, you live and you learn.

7 months ago

Great for trail running. I prefer to run it in reverse. It isn’t as hard on your feet and knees at the end when you end at the trail head. The full trail is beautiful, but the shortcut is just as challenging.

hiking
8 months ago

I did a small backpacking trip with a few teenagers on this trail, and we all had a blast. Well marked trails and a nice campground!

8 months ago

I love the solitude of this trail. I run it weekly.

8 months ago

I loved this trail. Just make sure you give yourself enough time to complete and take your time. Would like to come back again. Very beautiful and easy to find. If you don’t want to finish all the way, there is a short cut you can take to take across the path to the finish. Not sure exactly where it’s at but after the 3rd mile maybe. I took it. Lol would have liked to go all the way around if I had enough daylight.

backpacking
8 months ago

Besides being hot which was expect had lot of fun found a great spot to camp with a great view did alot of the other trials too definitely doing it again.

10 months ago

Well marked trail with great valley views, steep drops and lovely creek access. It was a wonderful spring hike. I would not think the view would not be as great with all the leaves on the trees.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Great hike. Didn’t not do the full 7 because I left my cord to charge my phone but when I got back to my vehicle I seen a tower and walked in that direction and found a cave and bridge which led to the HA HA castle which was awesome and I would highly recommend it and I actually ended up doing 7 miles anyway lol

backpacking
Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Did a light overnight trip here. Walked about 4 miles into the loop and set up a hammock camp near the bypass. Good views, well maintained trails, and enough variance to keep it interesting. Saw deer galore both at camp and while hiking. There were some coyotes in the area but they stayed clear. I'd visit again if I were in the area.

backpacking
Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Great initial backpacking trail. Didn’t run into too many people.

hiking
Sunday, November 19, 2017

Great moderate trail. It was raining and windy when we walked it, but it was still beautiful. Beware that it does get very slippery when wet. Would like to go back in the spring to see the glade flowers bloom. There is a marked shortcut for cutting it down to five miles instead of seven.

hiking
Saturday, October 28, 2017

For the season, we couldn't have picked a better day to go for a hike, although I can see where bugs might be an issue during other months. The ecological make up of this trail is what makes it fun. The rock formations and vast praries are beautiful with some unique scenery. The trail was well maintained and easy to access. It didn't feel like we put in the miles, even hiking in to look at a primitive site for camping. It was worth the trip down.

backpacking
Monday, October 16, 2017

Great trail. Plenty long. Only saw one other group the whole weekend.

trail running
Thursday, August 31, 2017

A good trail, but overgrown in spots. use bug spray and check for ticks afterwards.

hiking
Friday, July 28, 2017

Good trail, with good periods of shade. However, there is so much undergrowth. Hence, I contracted posion ivy.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

I liked the trail but there was a lot of overgrowth. I must have cleared 1000s of spiderwebs. Clearing the trail of the encroaching brush would help a lot.

hiking
Monday, July 10, 2017

Had a lot of fun hiking this trail with the boyfriend this past weekend!!!

hiking
Friday, July 07, 2017

In the area visiting family and my Brother In Law and I did this today. It would have been a better experience but they obviously have not maintained this trail this year at all. What a shame and a disgrace to whomever is tasked with this job - stealing money from the government. It was about 7.3 miles total, good up and downs but very few big views - you are mostly under a canopy of trees or high bushes, The trail was mostly only 12-18 inches wide so you will weed your way - literally - through a bunch of high grass and overgrowth. Someone should really hold whomever is supposed to maintain these trails accountable.

hiking
Saturday, May 27, 2017

We, took the connector trail so our hike was the 5 mile loop. Walking next to sink holes, through glades, woodlands, oak-sassafras forests, and oak-hickory forests, that Turkey pen is just stunning! Next time we'll have to take the whole 7 miles so we can explore Turkey Pen Hollow.

backpacking
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

My first solo hike ever. Had a wonderful time on a nice spring day. Saw a snake and a ton of lizards. Nice scenery. It was about 83 degrees the day I went and it got pretty hot so I wouldn't wanna do it mid summer. The wild flowers were out lots of leaves and trail easily marked. One of my favorites!

backpacking
Monday, March 13, 2017

Easy to find, well marked, and easy to follow. Took my eight and twelve year olds. The twelve year old and myself carried our backpacks loaded down with the weight that we plan on hiking the Colorado Trail with this summer. Took just over three hours with stopping for a picnic.

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