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

Great short trail, very easy. The spring is stunning. Hidden gem of MO!

hiking
1 month ago

The loop trail and out and back trail to the cave total 5.3 miles. The loop trail mostly goes through forest but there are a couple of glades and some nice bluff views of the valley around the Current River.

Cave Spring is the highlight of the trail. Toward the bottom of the trail leading to the cave there are about 100 yards of stinging nettles that you will have to wade through before coming to the cave. You can then walk on a path back into the cave a little ways or stand in the Current River and enjoy the view of the cave and watch Northern Rough-winged Swallows flying about. The trail back to the trailhead follows for quite a ways what looks like an old logging road.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a mostly wooded trail that is well blazed and has some wonderful old chinquapin oaks along it. It does partly overlap the Current River Trail that runs from the Current River State Park to Echo Bluff State Park. Heading south on the trail there are a couple of glades that overlook the valley the Current River flows through that are very scenic. Found a gorgeous Chicken of the Woods next to the trail.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a wide, chat covered trail. I'm guessing it's rated moderate because it entails some steep climbs but otherwise it is an easy trail. The trail celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Missouri State Park system so there are educational signs at different stops around the trail that describe Missouri State Park system history. There are two scenic overlook stops that look over the Current River and the surrounding valley the river flows through. The highest scenic overlook has some benches to sit and enjoy the view.

hiking
1 month ago

My GPS tracked this trail as approximately 2.7 miles (the trailhead sign says 2.6) and not 3.9 miles as stated in the above description. Kudos to whoever blazed the trail, as it is extremely easy to follow even though it is lightly used. The trail is entirely wooded except for about 10 yards at the start that pass under power lines. There are some beautiful oak trees along the trail, which are the highlight of the trail. This would make a great spring or fall hike when you can see into the surrounding valleys.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a flat, easy trail that has the Current River on one side and bluffs on the other for a good part of the trail. About half way down the trail, a large Sycamore tree has fallen and blocked the trail. It is possible to climb through branches and then over the tree trunk and continue on the trail to the spring.

On the other side of the spring is an old hospital that you can climb to by crossing the rocks to your right as you look at the spring. Once on the other side of the rock crossing, you will do some rock climbing and then walk on a ledge above the spring. Don't slip or you will have about a 15 foot drop into the spring. On the other side is the hospital, which was built at the turn of the last century.

hiking
2 months 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.

hiking
3 months ago

Quick, educational hike on a well maintained trail.

The last quarter mile of the dirt road to the trailhead is nearly impassable to small cars. The hike itself was a refreshing walk in the woods. A neat little homestead and out buildings that really demonstrate the self-sufficiency of the homesteaders are the highlight.

hiking
3 months ago

Flat, easy walk around a beautiful state park. This is a nice birding trail.

Short trail. Beautiful spring. Make sure you walk up the path. Noticed that people thought the spring was just the lower level. The spring itself is up higher.

Short hike to a beautiful spot. Hospital ruins are cool. We climbed the cliff to see inside. When driving down the gravel road and it T's, go right and there is parking.

Really cool place. Definitely check out the cavern while you're there too.

hiking
3 months ago

Well maintained trail that is a lot of fun with the family. It started snowing during the hike, which added to the beauty. The start of the trail has a nearly 200 foot ascent in a short distance but after that it is an easy trail.

Similar to what others said: gorgeous, yet lacking in signage and maintenance. As few hikers attempt it between May and September, however the low ranger staff can’t justify maintaining the path until September. I loved watching river otters cross the Current, as well as having my legs cleaned by minnows while wading.

It's definitely a beautiful hike. Some notes I would like to put out....1. No signal at all so make sure you stay on the trail and don't get lost 2. If you are doing it in September, wear a hat because the spiderwebs are EVERYWHERE #raidersofthelostark 3. There is a dry river bed that has the potential to flood after crazy weather so plan accordingly 4. Wear bug spray, there are allot of horse flies when you sweat. Other than that... great views and pretty trail

hiking
Saturday, March 18, 2017

we hiked 6.26 miles... it was a great trail to hike..Not many people, had some great views on the cliff lookout, and the Spring Cave was pretty Cool..

hiking
Monday, March 06, 2017

Really neat old cabin, just a few minutes walk off of the river. Beautiful Spring!

hiking
Saturday, February 04, 2017

No option for caving.
Very cool cave. Our tour guide was great and very knowledgeable.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Awesome view of the spring.
Well worth the short hike.

camping
Saturday, February 04, 2017

A lot of people float to here.

hiking
Saturday, February 04, 2017

Done this hike on a Geocaching event.
Cool trail, even got to see an eagles nest.

hiking
Sunday, October 23, 2016

Hiked this on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. Several cars at trailhead and saw others on trail. Lots of drunk, rowdy people at the cave spring so we didn't stay long there. Saw one copperhead sunning itself on the trial, but uneventful otherwise. Not very scenic, but a decent workout as we kept the pace a little under 20" miles and we finished a little under two hours. Almost entirely wooded/shaded. Gravely terrain made me glad I wore my Keen boots.

hiking
Tuesday, October 04, 2016

This trail was one of my favorites in MO! The cave was wonderful and trail was clean and picked up. Such a variety of nature if you do the entire loop! Moderate describes the difficulty perfect.

hiking
Monday, August 08, 2016

Pretty cool hike. Watch out for the Stinging Nettle once you get down close to the river.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

The spring is pretty! The cave tour is the best part though!

Friday, June 03, 2016

Easy trail. To get to the hospital, there is a small rock crossing that you can use to get across the water. There's a 10 foot climb after that where you'll need to use your hands and feet to climb it. Once you get past that climb, there is a trail on your left about 6-7 feet away. That trail is easy to follow and will take you over the bluff directly to the hospital. You'll be able to look down into the hospital. There's a cave inside the hospital itself in the back on the ground floor. You can't actually get inside the hospital or the cave, but it is really neat.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The spring is totally worth it.

hiking
Thursday, March 03, 2016

Nice cabin, spring generally accessible when canoeing the Current River. Spring and cabin is a must stop when doing this stretch of the river. Nice lunch break area. Generally cool and shady.

hiking
Monday, January 25, 2016

Winter hike! The trail head was a bit tricky to find. Trail was muddy and a bit messy due to the flooding, but still clear cut. There is a great stone beach on the river. Extremely peaceful. Was somewhat strenuous when going up due to the mossy rocks. The info panels were nice to read about, but the mention of leaves are more useful in the summer.

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