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


trail running

Defiance, Missouri Map
12 days ago

I do not find this as kid friendly. The trail it self is more like a rarely used atv path. The grass is pretty high through the trail at this time, **use bug spray if you plan to traverse this trail.** I tried to find the other trails listed on the map but was very difficult to find with all the growth. However on a positive note it was a nice stroll through it.

Not my first choice for hiking. Most of the traffic on this single lane trail is mountain bikes so you are constantly stepping off of the trail to let bikes zoom by you without warning. Trail has a section of a 1000 switchbacks that will annoy a hiker because there isn't much elevation change. Great fun when you are on a bike but when you are on foot not so much.

This trail is probably five stars for mountain biking, and I give it three stars for hiking. The trail is overall smooth and rolling, I've hiked it once and was constantly stepping aside for mountain bikers. I would say if you want to hike in this area, definitely do the Lewis & Clark trail just to the east of this location. I also found this trail got fairly boring without much in the way of scenery.

fair trail, some nice water features

trail running
26 days ago

ran this trail for the 1st time...did the matson hill and the oxen trail together for 5 miles. went ccw. nice single track trail through a wooded area with gradual hills. lots of switchbacks which helped. the first part of oxen trail was very rocky and somewhat technical. i think if you are running, this is more of a moderate trail versus easy. going ccw ended with a big incline. will definitely do this one again.

1 month ago

good trail, enjoyed very much but I walked the legs off my lab and wife and I am old (lol). it is not a dog-friendly trail, the dog must be on a leash.give it a try.

Pretty boring. For some reason I thought that if I went hiking on an island, a large part of the trail would be along the river.


nice long moderate trail with variegated terrain, flora + fauna. very peaceful + modestly trafficked with a few hikers + bikers at this time of year.

The description is definitely wrong - this trail is no where near Cottleville, but is between the Weldon Spring Conservation Area and Defiance. This trail has a mix of hills, valleys, woodlands, fields, creeks, and the remnants of the lost town of Hamburg. Really beautiful in fall and winter.

Nice quiet trail with lots of switchbacks to keep the elevation gains gradual. This was my first time on the trail....I'm guessing the best used through October is due to falling leaves. Leaves were covering much of the path, making it difficult to see.

The 5-mile path shown is a combination of two trails - the Matson Hill Loop and the Oxen Mill Trail.

mountain biking
7 months ago

This is mountain biking. Great trail. Great variety.

mountain biking
7 months ago

I like a challenge, and this was. Definitely not easy as listed, if biking, over the handlebars once. Lost Valley is 10.5 miles and this trail wore me out in 4-5, combined with Oxen Mill trail.

Great trail but it's not 2.84 as listed on several sites. Matson is 3.28 miles per GPS. O would also rate as moderate due to the rocks, roots and rapid inclines/declines. The trail is used for bikes and hiking. If you're biking be ready for a challenge. Hikers...be ready for some calm beauty if you're coming mid-week during the day, especially mornings. Beautiful place! I highly recommend it!

Awesome trail!

Nice hike, but GPS doesn't work and didn't record most of my trip.

mountain biking
8 months ago

had a great time riding the short loop, trail isn't located by Cottelville Missouri though might want to update that.

9 months ago

Many mountain bikes, just be prepared

felt very redundant like they were trying to make it longer by looping back and forth on itself

The trail itself was okay. We didn't get to walk very far, one: because it was hot as hell and two: it's not dog friendly at all! After reading all the reviews and descriptions of the trail, my partner and I brought our beagle along with us. The trail is literally all gravel and medium size rocks, not exactly the best terrain for dogs to walk on. We had to turn around and walk back to the car because our dog was hurting and not able to walk very well on the trail. We ended up having to carry him the rest of the way back to the car. So if you're thinking about taking your dog, you might think twice. Other than that, the trail was shaded, had some hills, creeks, and even some wildlife. It was quiet and very peaceful considering we were the only ones there.

10 months ago

Nice scenery. Signs really messed us up. We ended up on a completely different trail.. thank God for Google maps. If you plan on doing this trail bring lots of water and make sure you plan out where to turn in advance!

It's definitely a good trail if you just want to be active but don't want to kill yourself hiking. The only bad thing is that more of the trail is vehicle paths than I would have liked, but overall it was a fun trail

Did all three trails - Matson Hill, Oxen Mill, and Hayes. Totaled around 9 miles. These trails are all connected so you can do just the first one, or the first two, or all three. They are probably rated in my opinion as easy to moderate. You won't find any overlooks here but a lot of diverse nature to see on all three trails

11 months ago

Lots of mosquitos, other than that it was great

great trail, several stream crossings,

nice Trail did both the Matson Trail and The Oxen Trail took approximately 5 miles well-marked

mountain biking
11 months ago

I would consider this to be "Moderate" difficulty, at the least, for MTB! I'm pretty sure I stayed on the Matson Hill Loop and there were a lot of "technical" parts (layered rocks, multiple sized roots, ect.) Definitely a place I need more practice at! The natural formations were beautiful!!

Great area to escape the suburbs. Nice array of wildlife. Trail is groomed well. I hike but will probably try to mountain bike one day.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Found this trail more difficult because it had so many roots, rocks, and rough areas. Constantly watching where to step. Considered it deep woods hiking with a meadow view if you include Oxen Mill Trail.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

It is a decent 10 mile trail. Some pretty spots but after a while it got a bit boring for me. No interesting vistas or anything grand. A few bikers. It was secluded compared to the Lewis and Clark trail, so that's nice. However, the trail wasn't as fun to me as Lewis and Clark is.

So pretty and the perfect amount of challenging.

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