Whispering Pines Trail

HARD 156 reviews
#1 of 5 trails in

Whispering Pines Trail is a 12.4 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Farmington, Missouri that features a river 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.

DISTANCE
12.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1322 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

forest

river

views

blowdown

rocky

Whispering Pines Loop Trail is a 9.2 mile loop trail consisting of two loops: the north loop is approximately six miles long and the south loop is approximately 3.75 miles. It meanders through a beautiful mixed hardwood and pine forest, crossing through streams and over scenic ridges. This trail is arguably the best, most scenic trail in the state. It has a little bit of everything, unusual rock formations, beautiful creeks, old forests, panoramic views, and wildlife. The trail can be strenuous at times, but the climbs are worthwhile as they afford fantastic views of the surrounding mountains. There is a connector trail that allows this trail to be cut in half to make a very nice shortened day hike. There are three backpacking campsites along the trail to accommodate an extended trip. This is one trail that should not be missed!

hiking
36 minutes ago

One of my favorite trails in Missouri! The south loop adds some miles and it really peaceful because not as many people are on it.

backpacking
12 days ago

The trail was beautiful after a week of rain. Pickle Creek was roaring and every drainage had water in it. The trail itself was in great condition though. We started up Pickle Creek, crossed it in knee deep water to join the north loop and then camped overnight at site 3 on the south loop. We finished up the next morning on the prettiest section of the whole loop.

hiking
24 days ago

The trail was beautiful after a week of rain. Pickle Creek was roaring and every drainage had water in it. The trail itself was in great condition though. We started up Pickle Creek, crossed it in knee deep water to join the north loop and then camped overnight at site 3 on the south loop. We finished up the next morning on the prettiest section of the whole loop.

hiking
1 month ago

Favorite trail so far...a bit of everything I like when it comes to hiking...I wouldn’t say this trail is for those looking for something easy...I hiked all of the North Trail...can’t wait to explore the rest!!

1 month ago

Definitely not as hard as it's rated. Not a ton of up and down....we did it with kids and it took us only 4.5 hours.

hiking
1 month ago

Favorite trail in the state. It wasn't difficult, though it had a ton to offer. Great views with elevation and beautiful creek crossings. Plenty to see through the hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful, quiet trail. Cool rocks, nice views from the hilltops, lovely little creeks, and towering pines.

hiking
1 month ago

Excellent trail/camping area!! I recently hiked this trail, doing approximately 11/12miles. We camped on the trail overnight also. The scenery is fantastic. It had recently rained, so the creeks were flowing pretty good. We have have hiked sections of the Appalachian Trail, so comparing this trail to the AT, similar in areas but not as difficult. For an inexperienced hiker, this trail would be perfect to start on. Highly recommended and I will go back and do different routes. I’ll give it

hiking
2 months ago

I love this trail. Super clean and not heavily trafficked. There also sections of the trail that are different than others and I really loved the variety of the trail experience. Also, if you’re not up to do the whole trail (north loop), they offer a south loop that’s just 3.75 miles.

hiking
3 months ago

I love to hike here. Only done the full trail once & it was amazing. Felt like I wasn't in Missouri at times. Beautiful.

4 months ago

Awesome trail. some dangerous spots watch the kiddos.

trail running
5 months ago

I do a lot of trail running, and while this trail was not best suited for that, it was still enjoyable. There were a number of times I came to a dead stop to maneuver boulders, cross a creek by way of step stones, or find the trail. The trail marking is probably the worst part of the trail, the signs are about 2”x2”, all on trees, and 5-6’ up. That makes it hard to follow signs when you’re watching your feet for roots and rocks. I much prefer the sign posts as I find at many other parks.

backpacking
5 months ago

My husband and my self did this trail. Camped out at one of that camp sites along the way. The map only recognizes 3 but there are many people have created through out the trail. The sign does say no fire but each campsite had a fire pit already set up. The trail was perfect not too easy not too hard. Great views ! The trails are maintained very well and clearly marked we only had one small problem while crossing the creek we lost the trail for a second but it easy to get back on track. Overall a wonderful experience and can’t wait to do it again in the summer.

hiking
6 months ago

Fantastic trail! Did both loops and did not se a single person all day, the scenery is breathtaking! Use good bug spray though, I got some chigger bites.

hiking
6 months ago

Wow, what a beautiful trail! My husband and I camped at Hawn State Park and did this, and other, trails, and it was a great trip.

I was a little concerned that the trails would be muddy, as we'd had a lot of rain recently, but the trails were in great condition. There seems to be enough sand in the soil that they drain well. The trails were also very well maintained with fallen trees and other debris cut and cleared away.

As for the terrain and views--WOW. Beautiful lichen-covered rocks and boulders, stunning overlooks, rolling, wooded hills, lush pine forests, creeks and rock falls. We were there just as the leaves were turning for the fall, and it was like walking through Sleepy Hollow (minus the headless ghost). We will definitely go back!

hiking
6 months ago

My wife and I were very impressed with this hike! I would highly recommend going soon as the leaves were changing when we were there last weekend and it was beautiful.

We did the combined loop for an approximate time of 5 hrs 45 min and 10 miles. If you want a shorter hike I would skip the south loop as we both agreed the north was more scenic (with the exception of the furthest south point of the south loop which had some nice rock formations).

You can expect a very serene and relaxing experience as you wander along this beautiful trail. Only a few steep sections. If you want a better idea of what it's like here is a short video we made of our hike...

https://youtu.be/rMdDrUTg1wE

backpacking
6 months ago

Went for a short backpacking trip. We hiked the North loop into South loop about
6.5 miles first day. Stayed at one of the campsites...clear and plenty of room for tents. Packed out about 3 miles on day two. Trails were well maintained with a few dots that were overgrown. Encountered a few other people. Overall a good trip. Would definitely come back.

hiking
6 months ago

Did the North Loop with my dog a few days ago which is around 6 miles. Would probably like to go back when more leaves have fallen. Most streams were dry so waterfalls weren’t active. Saw only one person in the 4.5 hours. Very good trail with some rough spots and climbing. I enjoyed it very much.

hiking
6 months ago

Love it! Serene but difficult. Terrain is rugged, but wandering through the sprawling forest of pine trees is worth it.

backpacking
6 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Favorite hike in Missouri! Just did the North Loop for the second time on 9/2/17. Boyfriend, pup, and I finished the loop in about 3 hours with a few swimming breaks (for the pup) and a stop for water/photos here and there. Great hike for dogs, especially if they love to swim! East side of the North loop was dry so be sure to bring extra water for your furry friends.
Bug spray for us two-leggers and flea/tick collar for the canine kept us all bug-free (and we wore shorts).

Trail was a bit overgrown at parts and lots of downed trees, but was still well-marked.

backpacking
7 months ago

I did the north and south loop. was beautiful. 4 hours day one and 2 hours 10 min day 2. probably shorter for some more experienced and longer for those less experienced. creek was not very deep when I went. you cross the creek several times throughout trip but I did not have to get my feet wet at any point. beautiful views near the point north and south loops meet. clearly marked. 3 primitive designated campsites. many other places to pitch a tent if you had to. no fires allowed. up and down hills a lot. climbs get you winded but plenty of flat areas also. some areas overgrown on trail especially south loop. wear pants. bring bug spray. some trees in way of trail to go over. loved it. will do again

backpacking
8 months ago

Did a quick overnight trip after work on a Friday. Hiked in Friday afternoon/evening, stayed at backpack site 2, and hiked rest of trail Saturday morning. Stream is about 100ft from the camping site 2. South trail was a little overgrown. make sure to wear bug spray, got bitten up walking through the tall grasses. There are some hills that will get you out of breath. However, they don't last long and there is plenty of flat ground to catch your breath.

hiking
8 months ago

Very peaceful. It was first hiking trip. Great mixture of flat land, hills, rocks, water, and overlooks. Not highly trafficked at all. Definitely will be back.

backpacking
8 months ago

Backpacked half the trail, camped over night, then finished the rest of the trail in the morning. Awesome views on this trail and well maintained. Be sure to checkout some the the little trails that go off course. Those were usually the best. But I'd have a map with you just incase. Also, there is campfire pits in the primitive camping spots along the trail. Even though it says no campfires. But i'm glad there was, because what is camping without a campfire?

backpacking
9 months ago

Did Whispering Pines North and South Loops. My girl and I finished in under 2 days. We started late Tuesday and stayed at Primitive site 1; Wednesday we stayed at Primitive site 3, and then finished by noon on Thursday. The scenery was amazing; the only wish I had was that the water had been flowing. It would have made a better trip and easier access to water. I would definitely do this trail again!

hiking
9 months ago

Did the north and south loop, north loop had some tree damage and south loop a little overgrown all in all fun hike

backpacking
9 months ago

Backpacked this trail back in March. It's a beautiful trail and there aren't many people once you get into the southern loop. For the most part, the trail is very well marked and easy to follow. The constant change in terrain also keeps things interesting. I would say it's probably one of the most scenic trails I've backpacked/hiked in Missouri.

hiking
9 months ago

Did the north and south loop that make up this trail, which equals out to10 miles. The further out you go the less people you encounter if any at all. There are a few primitive camping spots off the trail for backpackers. There are places along the creeks that are ideal for lounging around on the rocks or shallow swimming. There are snakes around the water holes but most are harmless water snakes that will be more than happy to get away from you. The trail was a bit overgrown this summer so it is advisable to wear long pants. Please check for ticks frequently and wear any tick repellent if you can. Beautiful savannah pine, glade and oak/hickory forest habitats. I would rate this a moderate trail because there are only a few steep inclines but most of the trail is flat. There are a few overlooks that are worth pausing at. Take plenty of water and there is a spicket in the parking lot area to refill. Overall beautiful secluded hike.

backpacking
10 months ago

Hiked this trail over the June 3-4 weekend. Not very crowded, although I heard Memorial Day weekend was busy. This is a great trail system that is well marked and has several camping areas in the back country. I camped overnight at camp 3, and met some nice folks that evening. Good water is about 200 feet away at Camp 3 and there are places for hammocks, and tents as well. I encountered a few mosquito's and only had a couple of ticks, but I wore long pants and sprayed up with Deet. If you climb 14'ers, this would be rated a Class 1 type trail, but still challenging in a couple spots near the knobs or hills, but all in all a beautiful way to spend a couple days. (North/South Loops)

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