Explore the most popular Parks 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.

Great views, awesome trail!

off road driving
1 day ago

I need to talk to AllTrails about some serious updates here. First, there are multiple trails, about 80 miles of them, in this 12 to 13 square mile area. The primary use of the area is "off-road motorcycle riding" or "dirt biking" which isn't a category AllTrails uses, so I selected "Off Road Driving". I can eventually map all of the trails in AllTrails, but go to https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mtnf/recarea/?recid=21762 for the official information on the area.

As for dirt biking, this is definitely a 5 star place to ride trails from easy as pie to hell and back. All skill levels can have fun here. There is a lot of level trails, rocks to bounce over, hills to climb, streams to splash through, and even bridges to cross. Visit Rattlesnake Cave, Deer Trough, and good luck finding what's left of Stump Springs, but it's there. There's also a 5 acre trials bike area with no limiting trails within it - ride wherever you like.

Hikers could conceivably use the area, but I've never seen any on the trails. If you hike this, you'll have to ford creeks (in the wet season), climb some pretty steep stuff, deal with lose gravel, and above all, get off the trail if you hear any riders coming your way! Some people ride fast without much time to react.

In my opinion, hike elsewhere and have run riding here!

Very well groomed trail. I would rate this as a moderate trail. This trail would only considered Hard if you were trying to ride a scooter on it. I agree with the other commentary, go early spring to get some nice views of the Meramec River.

trail running
1 day ago

great run...did the combined jack's loop and cattle ridge (2x) for a six mile run...mostly dirt single track, a lot of the trails are ruts from bikes, a few small creek crossings, good mix of open field and trees, well marked...lots of piles of horse poop!

walking
2 days ago

Easy hike to start off a full day of exploring the park. The path is paved which is nice. It was definitely the most crowded area of the park. Interesting to learn the history of the castle from the placards.

Lot of trees down but very nice hike.

Beautiful weather, nice trail, easy to find, easy to follow, sparsely populated and a nice "surprise" at the end.

hiking
2 days ago

We loved this hike—so much beauty packed into a short, easy hike! I agree that it’s fairly easy to get off the trail so best to download the map. There are some white paint markings on trees but apparently not enough. Another cool place in the area is Hickory Canyon. Both are beautiful!!

hiking
2 days ago

A Blackpoll Warbler was a surprise along this river edge trail.

Good trail but best to go really early at the weekends or mid week if you want to avoid the weekend crush. Went yesterday and it took ages to find a parking space. I guess it was the nicest day in months so everyone had the same idea. Still enjoyed the walk!

hiking
2 days ago

The nature center at the trailhead has several interesting exhibits.

hiking
2 days ago

Good trail, great for hiking and biking. A little confusing at times, needed more markers along the route.

hiking
2 days ago

Great day hike- Most of the elevation is front loaded making the majority of the hiking very relaxing, getting the hard work out of the way. Went out two weeks ago and trails were in good condition, only a couple of creek beds that required getting wet to cross.

My husband and I completed this 10 mile trail in a day. Absolutely beautiful! Only ran into one other couple. Lots of fallen trees to climb over and ones to duck in the trail, but it was worth it.

It’s definitely one of the most beautiful hikes we’ve taken in the area, and we loved the views. Really gorgeous! The only criticism we had was that there are no real trail markers except some sand on the paths, and some false trails that led us astray. Due to some minor physical limitations, we chose this hike because of the shorter distance and the moderate terrain, but 1.9 miles ended up being 3.3 miles with the unintentional detours, and one hour became two and a half. We encountered three other couples/families that were also unable to locate the trail in places and had gotten turned around. If I had not remembered I had the AllTrails app on my phone, we would have really been lost. Just a few signs to indicate the direction back to the parking area would be beneficial.

Now that we actually know the layout of the trail, we will definitely return.

These trails are off to a great start. I look forward to seeing the development of this area. I would recommend these loops for children and dogs.

hiking
3 days ago

Well maintained. Narrow path. Crowded but dog friendly.

Pretty short by nice and cool on the other side of the island

Superb walkways, beautiful scenery... if you are looking for natural trails this is not the place.

There was a lot of trash, beer cans and broken glass of you follow the creek bed. Pretty big hills to walk up but quite.

backpacking
3 days ago

Very rugged terrain. There are several areas of the trail that have deep horse ruts. It would probably be impassable if it was muddy. Trails were somewhat marked. Lots of hills. Cross over several creeks, or the same creek several times. Camped alone a portion of Smith Creek. Saw a few other campsites along the way. Good for a one-nighter close to home. Will probably go back and explore the area again and spend another night. Decent stay.

hiking
3 days ago

I took my dog hiking on a Tuesday here and didn't see another person on the trail the entire 6.4 miles we were out. It's very peaceful (aside from a small section near the roads) and there is a nice mix between wooded and open areas. There are also a couple spots that offer nice views. I finished the 6.4 miles in 3.5 hours and I'm a bit out of shape so I'm confident anyone can complete this hike. There are some rocky areas but they weren't that bad. This park is very well kept and has clean facilities. The office staff were all very friendly as well.

hiking
3 days ago

Nice views of lake and the old rock quarry.

A fave

Refreshing and fun walk around a fishing pond. The highlight was a Great Blue Heron rookery on the east side of the pond.

One of the most beautiful trails I’ve been on in MO. great for kids, families, beginner hikers as well as more experienced ones.

nice place to go

just opened app and it looks like a well put together app. can't wait too put it too use. thanku.

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