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

Lesterville, Missouri Map
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hiking
1 month ago

Enjoyable trail that is a stop on the Great Missouri Birding Trail. This loop trail is about 2/3’s wooded and 1/3 open where it follows the scour path. The trail leads to an overlook deck of the new Ameren Upper Reservoir that replaced the old one that failed in 2005. The trail descends from the overlook deck to the scour path and is rocky and a little hard to follow. If you look closely along this part of the trail you can find pieces of concrete that I presume are from the failed reservoir. There is a pavilion along the trail that would make a nice picnic spot.

You know there are a few neg reviews...., but what it’s worth, it’s all opinion. I my self have been here twice once during a red flag day and once on the yellow flag. Some reviews are right if it’s during the “swim” season, then it’s probably not going to be as beautiful because there are a ton of people swimming through the natural slides of shit ins. However during the rainy or off season this park is gorgeous! Roaring waters, the smell of spruce and pine, greenish blue waters, a waterfall, traverse landscape...... I totally loved the shut ins during the red flag day. It was before the stores opened and tourist flooded it. We were one of about three couples there and it was peaceful and beautiful. I agree it should probably be rated a mild moderate. Probably not to good for kids in some places, but with a watchful eye should be ok.

This trail should definitely be marked as moderate. There are multiple steep and rocky inclines and a few drop offs. I would not recommended this trail for children. Also towards the end of the loop the trail split into 2 paths with neither of them heading back the correct way. Not my favorite trail by far.

Favorite place EVER. My family has been vacationing here since I was a baby and we love it. Camping at the state park is really nice. The shut-ins are just a few minutes drive from the campground and are amazing. There is nothing like them, even with the post-flood damage. There are also great trails at the shut ins for hiking. Elephant Rocks is only about a 20 minute drive from the shut ins and is also excellent.

Here’s the good, bad & ugly of it... For starters I’d rate this trail as borderline moderate/difficult due to it being a very challenging trail and a bit technical with a lot of large rock to climb up/down plus a lot of rock scrambles to maneuver across - wear boots & pants - the poison ivy is thick in areas and the trail always seems to narrow where there’s ivy but bring swim trunks & water shoes to cool off in the clear cool Black River on your hike. There’s an impressive waterfall if you hike after a rain and a few small stream crossings too. I’d rather have hiked this during an off season due to the mass of people enjoying the actual shut-ins, it just takes away from being out in nature when you hear a crowd on part of your hike. There are a couple areas that are just beautiful but all in all there’s not much to look at. I lost the trail 3 or 4 times due to a lack of markers but this app always helps gets me back on track. I would suggest beginning your day when the park opens at 8am to view and enjoy the shut-ins before they’re dotted with bodies and noise. I probably wouldn’t hike this trail again, not enough bang for your buck but I’m glad I hiked it anyway.

hiking
2 months ago

The Scour Trail hooks up with the Ozark Trail so that’s cool in itself and to an overlook where you can view the path of the 2005 dam breach/flood and see the force of water at work, huge boulders were swept away like twigs and now dot the landscape all along this 1.5 (+/-) mile area. The water also revealed 1.5 Billion (yes, with a “B”) year old rocks from when this area was a string of island volcanoes. The hike itself isn’t too challenging but getting down to the scour looks to be a bit technical, we decided to take the white connector instead. The trail was in good condition and wider than most less used trails - a bonus for us! Had a nice hike.

Took a detour on this while passing through. Definitely a neat little trail.

I would definitely rate this as moderate and not easy if you do the whole trail. But you can do a .3 mile on a boardwalk with stairs which is easy. It was a beautiful hike with great views of the water and we saw a deer up close.

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

hiking
4 months ago

Trial is easy to follow as long as it's in the woods. Kinda disappears once you get to the scour path. I just walked along the rocks until I found the trail again. Not really very scenic either, but I guess the rock formations are kinda cool.

Great views, awesome trail!

5 months ago

a lot of the tail was washed out due to flooding but we just kept wondering until we made it across. (there was no real tail due to water). cool area to see effects of water on stone

go in the off season and go explore. get off the wood broad walk and into the woods!! blue trail was one of the best out of the weekend.

hiking
5 months ago

This trail was fun, but we went after a big rain and there was so much water covering the trail there was no way to cross in order to continue the trail. Luckily there was a trail connection to another trail so we were able to hike that.

This trail was awesome! We went the day after it had rained all day and the shut-ins were full & gorgeous! There were even some really pretty waterfalls along the trail too - again I think this was because we went right after a big rain. Manageable with tennis shoes, but waterproof hiking shoes/boots would’ve made this trail more fun since it was so wet.

Would not consider it an easy trail. Moderate-difficult is much more appropriate. Great views!

GPS tracked the trail near 10.6 miles.. trail should not be rated as hard. Ok, moderate, easy to follow trail.

trail running
7 months ago

Super fun trail to run. I have two GPS watches (Garmin and Epson) going, mine and my dogs, and didn't go "off trail" but for 0.2 tenths of a mile and both watches showed 10.55 miles, so it is longer than advertised here, but the trail head shows 10 miles. I followed the recommendations from below and ran counter clockwise and feel it was a good choice as you have more "fire roads" on the west side and lest boulder fields. The hogs have done a number on the trail though on the west side, but still runable. Took a little over 3 hours at an easy pace. Trail is CLEARLY blazed and not an issue to follow as you can almost always see the next blaze once you are at the current one. Only place that was a small issue is the creek bed area at the start as the normal spring floodings over the years can make it not quite obvious where the path is, but it's not hard to find it again. Nice views on the east side but more rock fields. Good, good trail to experience, did it with my pup and had a great time.

hiking
8 months ago

This is a pretty fun trail due to the low traffic and occasional good views. According to my pedometer, GPS and some locals, this trail is more like 12 miles which was pretty misleading. There is a reverse notch on the trail loop back where the markers are a little sparse. Make sure you have this map downloaded and make sure you have lots of water / trail snacks because it is very easy to become disoriented.

I would definitely hike in a clockwise direction next time, I'm sure it would be much better that way!

Good scout trail.

The trail was great, it is however a horse trail as well so there are some landmines. On the trail at 9am and went counter-clockwise. In hindsight going clockwise would have timed the sun better with the Western and Eastern facing overlooks. Taking the five minute white connector to the OT is a must.

Plenty of signs there are boars in this area, wallows, rooting and rubs.

Trail was fantastic and I had a great time. It was far more challenging than I would expect for an Easy rating though. It is easy through the observation platform and boardwalk. Once you hit the natural trail areas it is more difficult and is better classified as Moderate.

This hike was on the easier side of moderate. We did it counter-clockwise. Good views of the Taum Sauk reservoir from the east side of the mountain. Take the short spur trail to the OT around mile 8.5. The vista is worth the short, easy hike. There were no water sources on this trail when we did it in October.

nature trips
Monday, September 18, 2017

My husband is in a leg and arm cast, from an accident. The trail is paved, so it was glorious to get him out. We have 2 small boys and we enjoyed a picnic and a walk to the shut it's. I love it here!!

hiking
Sunday, September 10, 2017

Great place to hike. A lot of the shut ins trail requires more technique. I would classify this as moderate to difficult and not easy.

hiking
Tuesday, September 05, 2017

good but busy

Did the trail yesterday, loved it.. great markings so we didn't get lost. Lots of people in the shutins but quiet on the trails, just how I like it..wouldn't classify it as easy.

Did the trail yesterday, loved it.. great markings so we didn't get lost. Lots of people in the shutins but quiet on the trails, just how I like it..wouldn't classify it as easy.

hiking
Sunday, August 27, 2017

Loved it! There were quite a few people in the main swimming area, so we went hiking first and ended up finding more secluded water for swimming. The water is clear and the hike was beautiful.

hiking
Saturday, August 19, 2017

Was very nice! Some areas were overgrown a little. We started at the shut-in and walk down by the river. I did slip on a wet rock and ended up wet from waist down. My wife just laughed at me.

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