Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Missouri with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful trail. Climb or descent on river side

mountain biking
5 days ago

I mountain biked this trail and did not find it extremely well maintained or blazed. It had logical switchbacks and a good gradient for rainfall but there were multiple downed trees, few fresh looking as there was growth over the trees. I was glad there was no one on the trail but not glad to have to clear all of the spider webs with my face.
I did not see this trail marked for mtb but I'm not sure why not... in the 11 miles I did there and back (not finishing the trail completely) I climbed 3500 feet and although I had to jump off a lot on the way in and there was quite a lot of loose gravel the way back was a blast.
The highway 19 crossing was not the most confusing part of the trail as I saw a switchback maybe 1/2 mile after the highway for a trail with yellow markers that shared the Current River Trail for a ways. Also, leaving from the Echo Bluff trailhead (which was pretty clear and well marked) about 1/2 mile after the wheeler bridge you have to turn right to stay on the trail marked on this App's map but I believe staying straight on the double track trail will take you on the trail found on the Current River State Park's website,which has the trail ending at a lollipop of CR 19-50 and the actual Current River. IDK which is which but I had a lot of fun either way.

a lot of down trees. a lot of ticks. other than that nice rugged trail.

backpacking
10 days ago

loved it

hiking
11 days ago

This well blazed and maintained trail has been lengthened since it was first added to this app and is officially 5.25 miles one way (I had 5.4 miles) making it just shy of 11 miles out and back. It passes mostly through forest but does cross a couple of roads and uses the Wheeler Bridge at Echo Bluff to cross the Current River.

It starts at the southern entry point for Echo Bluff State Park and ends at the gym for the historic 1930’s Alton Box Board Company corporate retreat at Current River State Park. I was lucky enough to run into a groundskeeper who gave me a tour of the gym and other resort buildings. Several species of fungi were on or next to the trail, including Chanterelles, Elegant Stinkhorn and a beautiful Indigo Milky.

It’s a good one day hike if you start in the morning or a a late evening with one night of camping, it’s pretty but not a lot to do if you plan on spending a day there. There are a lot of ticks!

I love this park so much. If you do both trails, it leads you to a beautiful scenery. One downside about St. Francois this year is the mosquitos, and ticks. We discovered at least 30 ticks on my dog and 10 on us each. If you find a really strong repellent, I suggest checking it out or waiting for cooler weather!

Lots of fun! My first backpacking experience ever! Hard work but worth it. Never had a problem with the finding the trail, we made sure to have copies of the map made. Very shady as well, we were able to avoid most of the sun. My only complaint was the river was completely dry, no waterfall, but what can I expect with the heat we’ve had recently.

backpacking
18 days ago

Beautiful trail but last time I was there was a huge storm that sorta dampened my experience. I have heard that the trail is not well maintained, but was bad when I hiked it.

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.

ticks! south loop overgrown

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!

backpacking
28 days ago

Tough trail. Lots of loose rocks and grade changes. Challenging but fun. Ticks are abundant.

backpacking
1 month ago

Beware of ticks, they were falling from the trees on us at the campsite. The trail from creek to the campground is very overgrown but manageable. Enjoyed my time on Lower Rock Creek as always! This is an unofficial trail that is not maintained, be prepared for less than ideal conditions.

backpacking
1 month ago

We turned this into a three day hike because we wanted more time out there and it was worth it! at the 12 mile mark you can go off to the left and about .1 off trail is a great campsite with a decent little creek. it was nice and secluded great for a first night stay. when you get to Brazil creek fill up your water as there are not many options after that.

backpacking
1 month ago

To begin with, the map on this app is only partially accurate. The western portion of this map is actually NOT the western most portion of Bushy Creek trail. This may be why people find the trail to be more like 17 miles as opposed to the 13 miles listed here. The western most part of the trail on THIS map is actually the white connector trail. So if you are using this map and hiking the trail counterclockwise, you will be off of this map and hook back up where the white connector meets the actual Bushy Creek trail.

The first day we hiked counterclockwise along the trail. This is when I realized the map I downloaded didn’t match the actual trail. Didn’t take long to realize the downloaded map used the white connector as the western trail boundary. The actual trail is marked in blue. This was fairly easy to follow. There were several step climbs and descents. Along this western portion there is plenty of water from the creek. All clear and cold water.

We lost the trail near the current river and decided to walk the creek towards the river. We found a beautiful spot and camped not far from the river. The next day we hiked back up the creek and found the blue trail markings with a little bit of effort. We hiked along until we found the white connector and toon that back. The white trail is difficult to see as I don’t think it gets much use. It was point to point and thankfully I had the map downloaded to use as a guide. This connector takes you through some beautiful Forrest. No water is on this portion, so pack up at the stream before hitting the woods. Also, we found two piles of what could only have been black bear poop.

This was a great hike. In all I think we did about 14 miles but not 100% sure. This is the most remote spot I have been in Missouri.

Also, I would NOT call this trail easy. With difficulty in following the trail, water crossings, rocky terrain, areas where the trail is covered in plant growth, and the 2200 foot elevation change, I would rate this difficult. I wouldn’t take an inexperienced person beyond the first few miles.

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

5 stars for solitude, except at the parking area. The first time we went there were 1960's style hippies doing loud things. this time the parking area was trashed out. if only everyone would do their part to keep things nice. The trails were good and mostly manageable. (4 Stars). They were very weedy in some spots. Especially in open fields. The creeks were very low but still nice. with saw some great wildlife and are grateful this place exists. FYI, Prepare to deal with ticks.

great easy trail for kids

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.

Great trail with a beautiful view from the summit. Also sort of busy on the weekend-expect at least one other person/group to set up camp at the top with you if you plan to backpack.

Most of the trail is pretty rocky and steep, so bring good boots and minimal other gear. If you go on the left, expect to go downhill quickly to a river and all the way back up again both ways. Good to refill on water. The left side to camp took is about 4 hours of hiking and going down on the right side of the loop, a more steady decline, took about 2hours.

Be careful of muddy spots caused by horses churning up the path (waterproof your shoes) and also horse poop.

Lastly, make sure you take lots of precautions to protect yourself from ticks. It seemed like Lone Star and seed ticks were everywhere.

Beautiful. I have to say some of the reviews mentioning snakes kept me off of this trail for a while. Didn't see a single one! Perhaps the best thing about this is you can make it as long or as short as you wish. It's a nice walk to the stream itself, and for those who want a more rugged experience, there's plenty of that up and downstream. We had the entire place to ourselves on a summer Sunday! never saw another car after leaving Hwy. E.

backpacking
1 month ago

We did an overnight hike here. It was great loop for our group. It offered a few challenging hills. Joes creek was about 1-2 way thru and we where able to grab some water. I will defiantly do this loop again ad possibly relay it into the next trail over for a nice 25 mile hike

backpacking
1 month 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.

6/2/18. Used Deep Woods Off for mosquitos and ticks. Still spent 4 hours waving away mosquitos, and my wife and I had literally about 2 dozen ticks on us at the end.

Great trail, kinda got lost several times, but it was my first time and some of the trail wasn't marked. Definitely grab a map at the beginning of the trailhead, they have them printed out in a box at the trailhead.

backpacking
1 month ago

Great moderate trail for the first-timer and offers an opportunity for a backpacking/overnight adventure too. The sunset and sunrise are incredible from the summit. There are a few places for water in Joe’s Creek on the North side of the loop. I think the best way to hike is counter clockwise since you’ll be low on water from the first day and camping, and the way back gives you the chance to fill up. Spray up your waistline and your ankles and your exposed areas with big spray since there are a few ticks, but if you’re smart about how you dress and use your tent, it’s fine. Bring some earplugs if you don’t sleep well with the whippoorwill’s chirping at night. :-)

backpacking
1 month ago

. My sister and I had never backpacked before and brought way too much stuff with us, but this was a great trail to start backpacking on. Plenty of water sources throughout, and the shade made the trail fine. The south loop is much less maintained. Also, there is a sort of fake camping site near the river on the east side of the south loop that is misleading; skip the one near the river and move travel a little more south. You'll fine the correct camping site. Overall, we had a very good experience and will plan to return.

My 12.5 and 11 year old had a blast! Trail is definitely a solid 12 miles! We did in just around 5.5 hours, which was clipping along. I suggest starting early in the day in order to include more stops along the way. Definitely bringing the entire family back!

backpacking
1 month ago

So. Many. Ticks.

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