Explore the most popular fishing 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
1 day ago

This was an enjoyable hike through the Ozark woods. Several wildflowers may be found along the trail and there are a couple of wet weather waterfalls. While the trail is mostly wooded, there are some glades that provide a nice view. A thunderstorm blew in while I was at the half way point, which did create a little excitement. The highlight was a Whitetail Deer next to the trail that made a loud snort and ran off as I did some trail running to avoid the rain and lightening.

This trail follows a steep paved service road uphill (if you go left at the start of the loop) and then follows along Highway H leading to the park’s visitor center (which has a great collection of nature and hiking books for sale) and finally it overlaps the Blue Heron Trail back to the starting point.

trail running
3 days ago

I love this trail! Note that the water in the bathrooms at the back of the trail is NOT for drinking. Watch out for horse dookie. There’s a great variety of terrain and views and it’s a very fun trail to run.

A very easy all paved trail from the Table Rock lake dam to the state park marina. 4.4 miles round trip. It has several access points to the lake and lots of places to stop and rest or reflect along the way. Hikers of all levels will enjoy this easy route.

hiking
5 days ago

I absolutely loved this trail! We just hiked the full trail over the weekend and I'm glad we went when we did. The spring wildflowers were in full bloom all along the path. Although my favorite part was at the bottom of the 1000 Steps junction where all the violets and bluebells covered the ground. This is one I will definitely hike again.

This was a pleasant hike with some unexpected views. The elevation varied greatly but the hike was not strenuous. There were a lot of fallen trees and the path was grown over in parts. Trail markings were also not obvious.

well maintained walking path. asphalt.

This was a nice trail. I enjoyed it very much. As you get into the higher levels, just know that sometimes there are teenagers sitting on the bluffs and “might” be smoking pot. All in all it was perfect for an afternoon walk.

backpacking
9 days ago

Amazing! We had a blast on a spring hike.

backpacking
12 days ago

Did the entire 17 miles over a 2 day trip. Stayed the night on the scenic overlook near the campground. Their are some nice views at the scenic overlook and on the south loop, however the trail was very overgrown with little markings. The trail itself is very rocky and deteriorated at some points and brush had grown up and completely covered the trail for over a mile in some sections. Even with adequate preparation it was sometimes hard to know where the trail was. Watch for creek crossings and game trails as it is easy to lose the trail around these. Overall, the trail would be very nice with some maintenance and waypoints. I would not go again in its current condition.

hiking
12 days ago

Great views of Shoal Creek all the way through. Much of the trail is shaded. Many people were swimming in the water.

Hike this one backward for a real fun refreshing swim at the end and you also won’t be soggy for the hike itself. My 7 year old loved the shut ins and also some cool formations along the scenic trail in the woods We had a little high water. Yellow flag day. We had as much fun scrambling around up the various rocks as we did swimming

backpacking
13 days ago

This is a spectacular trail. It has great views, tall pine trees, waterfalls, creeks and a river (if you go further east off the main trail when the trail cuts back west at its most eastern point). I debated on whether to take the South loop first or the North loop first and chose the South loop, which I’m glad I did.

The South loop has some nice views early on and several water sources. The trail is fairly easy to follow until you get to the river crossings before the Paddy Creek Recreation area where there are other trails in the area that you may be tempted to follow (we were). A map, compass and/or GPS go a long way in avoiding backtracking here.

When heading back on the North loop there is a great camping spot with a beautiful view of the valley (it is marked as waypoint 10 on the map referred to in the review before this one, which was a great review that helped us navigate this trail). An Eastern Whip-poor-will perched in the tree over our tents and sang part of the evening and again at dawn. Ovenbirds were everywhere calling “teacher, teacher, teacher.”

The hike back to the trailhead on the North loop can be very rocky and “rooty”. It is an easy place to twist an ankle or lose your balance. The trail climbs and descends several times before arriving back at the trailhead so make sure to stock up on water, especially in the hotter months when some of the water sources on the North loop may be dry.

The tallest pine trees on the trail were on the last quarter of the North loop heading back to the trailhead. The waterfall was a nice place to take a break, although it was a little hard to see because of the foliage. All in all, a great trail that was a lot of fun!

backpacking
18 days ago

I am not why this trail isn’t ranked higher, it is an absolute beauty of a hike. Located in the Mark Twain National Forest, this trail has a little of everything for just about any backpacker or ambitious day hiker.

To get there, find your way to Roby, MO. If you are coming from the East, South or West, go through Roby and head North on HWY 17. Watch for a National Forest sign that reads “Paddy Lake Trailhead.” If you are coming up from Roby, MO, that is traveling North on HWY 17, the sign will be on your right - if you are coming from the North and heading South on HWY 17, that is traveling towards Roby, watch for the sign on your left before you get to Roby, MO.

Go down the Paddy Creek Trailhead road (on the map it is Forestry Tr 274A) to Roby lake and the circular drive trailhead parking.

Once you are parked and ready, to get to the actual “trail” trailhead, walk back up the same dirt road that you just drove down and look for a red metal gate on the right - here your hike begins.

Once you enter the gate, you will traverse an open field, move through a small stand of trees and cross a dirt road to register at the trailhead box. Continue North on the trail, and shortly you will arrive at the junction of the North and South loop. IMHO, taking the South loop first is the better hike, so turn right at the junction.

This trail is poorly blazed, with minimum signage as well. However, with a map (here is an excellent one - http://www.ouachitamaps.com/picture_library/Paddy%20Creek/Paddy%20Creek%20Map.jpg) and a compass, you should not have a problem.

Note however, that if you are taking the south loop, that is going CC, the trail forks at around 4.0 miles, waypoint “006” on the map (see link above). When you get to this point, there is a sign for the left fork that reads “North Loop” and one for the right fork that reads “Paddy Creek Campground.” If you want to hike the whole loop, go right (“Paddy Creek Campground”). You you want to hike only ½ of the loop, go left (“North Loop”). The trail on the left is a connecting trial, part of an old military road, and descends to Little Paddy Creek. Right where the trail crosses the river, blazed with white diamonds (standard markings for a connecting trail), there is just enough space here and there to make camp, complete with a fire ring on the north side of the creek.

If you are hiking the whole loop, go right at this fork (following the sign “Paddy Creek Campground”), and continue along top of a beautiful ridgeline for about 2 miles (waypoint “007” on the map). The trail then plunges down to the junction of Little and Big Paddy Creek, then up sharply to cross Forest Road 220. Turn right on this road for the Paddy Creek Campground. This is a developed campground with room for some 23 tents, some of them coming in by Paddy Creek Road (https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mtnf/recarea/?recid=21782). While I tend to stay away from the developed stuff while I am backpacking, this is a nice (free!), well kept campground.

Chill at the campground for the night, even taking a dig in the clear, cool Big Piney River.

To finish the hike, get back on the trail and head north and downhill to Big Paddy Creek. Traverse along the southern edge of a bluff, before climbing it to a wonderful view of Big Piney River (“010” on the map).

Enjoy the next two miles of the trail is it moves around a gentle ridge, and even begins to descend back down towards Little Paddy Creek over the next two mile. At point “012” on the map the trail is joined by the connecting trail that comes up from Little Paddy Creek. At point “013” it splits - go left to stay on the trail (the right path is actually the dirt road/connecting trail that came up from Little Paddy Creek).

After point “013” the trails begins a series of “up/down” traverses, four (4) in all. Some of these will have water, and the last one, point “014” on the map, has a beautiful little waterfall and pool, perfect to rest up for the final push. When you cross this creek, the trail will turn down stream (going right) and shortly thereafter split, going either roughly straight or hard to the left and up hill. Take the hard left, and go up hill. Look for the small (add to it please!) cairn on the left at this trail junction.

From that point forward, it is an easy walk back to the trailhead box, across the dirt road and back to the red gate.

Remember to pack it in, pack it out, and enjoy this little hidden gem of a hike!

Jeff G

backpacking
19 days ago

I really enjoy this trail. It is a bit rugged in some areas --as this is also a horse trail.

The trail isn't really blazed very well, a map and compass wouldn't hurt to carry.

I am ready to go back again.

Here is a short video from my last trip:

https://youtu.be/DPZEVwNZlvo

Great loop around; easy trail and a little lake..

Beautiful hike with a natural bridge at the end that has bats. Tall sycamores along the way with a couple of creek crossings. Well worth it.

hiking
20 days ago

We completed the trail from the Roby Lake trailhead. We started along the south loop which has great scenery’s early on, rock outcropping, wet season waterfalls etc and moved quickly along the first half of the trail. The south trail seemed less strenuous than the north trail as there wasn’t as much up and down travel. The hill climb near the middle of the trail coming from the south trail has a great rewarding view and scenery at the peak. We had hiked it before but right now in the middle of spring is a great time to be out there and there is plenty of water to refill if you use a filter. We are planning to spend more time there with the addition of camping in order to explore some of the interesting topography. Of note would be to have spare rope sandals etc for water crossings. We were glad we did!

A typical Ozarks hike through the woods. Colorful wildflowers were everywhere. Several old foundations are along the trail. Passed some morel hunters who had a mesh bag full.

hiking
20 days ago

The trail was good. We were able to keep sight of the lake most of the way. This trail has lots of tree roots to hike over, but it was a peaceful walk. My daughter, Emma snapped some pictures for me. Day two of training our dog to trail walk. She was a little wild today so it took everything out of me to walk her. We will press on!

trail running
20 days ago

good trail for a recovery run or anyone wanting to try trail running, whether you have logged road miles or not. either running the whole trail or a run/walk combo, this is a relatively flat trail, both wide and single track; some roots and rocks but nothing too technical. crosses the park road a few time so anyone wanting to bail has some options. I did the cannon trail for 5.5 miles. the alltrails map for 6.9 miles is a combo of cannon and one other.

hiking
21 days ago

Easy walk from the parking lot to some old rock steps leading to the cave entrance. The cave was closed when we were there but you can still stand in the mouth of the cave.

Fun hike. Found a couple of morels along the trail. A black and white warbler and red-eyed vireo posed for us. The overlook at the top of the hill overlooking the mill and valley was beautiful.

hiking
21 days ago

The old mill is a highlight of this short hike. It sets next to a spring that averages 81 million gallons a day. The bridge over the creek has long since washed away so it’s an out and back trail now.

hiking
25 days ago

Really liked this trail. Lots to see on this spring day. Forgot to record.

Great trail, but if it weren’t for All Trails, we would have been confused. Trail head not marked, blue ribbons finally indicated the correct path. Tough going for us since it was our German Shepherd Husky mix’s first time for public leash training. In the end she enjoyed it. Way to go Scout!

hiking
28 days ago

This was really pretty and had great views of the water.

Had a wonderful hike on the Natural Tunnel Trail. Went early, 7:00am, to avoid the crowds. Definitely a moderate trail, with some steep climbs. Plenty of beautiful scenery to fill your camera.

got confused on all the trails interconnecting. overall a good hike

backpacking
30 days ago

Loved this trail. Will be doing this one again.

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