Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

LOVE this site! whenever someone comes to visit this is a must see. Trail is very easy since it follows an old road along the river. You can hike a deer path on the hill behind the spring to an old chimney and to the old hospital built over a cave entrance. The cave is now barred to protect the bats.

Trail starts at devil's well and contours through the hills with some steep sections. At the cave spur it becomes less maintained as it drops down to the river bottom. Along the river there is about 100 yards of stinging nettles that you have to walk through to get to the cave. Easily washed off at river, I filled water bottles with spring water and washed my legs on way back out. Trail along top goes through some pretty glades and finishes along a creek bottom coming out of the woods into the picnic area by a small lake. Really enjoyed this hike.

This trail starts out behind the rock pavillion. It is pretty steep along a wet weather creek. Path is narrow and rocky but very doable. It crosses the hwy at the top and then levels out at the top through the pine before making it's way down the hill (not as steep) to end at the naturalist cabin near the hatchery. The Naturalist was welcoming and showed my young nieces snakes, turtles and fish along with some hides and bones that they kept in the office. If you go left out of the office you can take a short hike along the spring fed lake and hatchery which loops back along the river. I enjoyed this hike with a group of all ages. There is also a trail around the 7 springs that start the current river. And of course an ice cream or meal at the lodge is always welcomed.

Nice little trail to end the day, it is paved and gravel so easy for all ages. Hiked the hillier pine ridge trail first.

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

hiking
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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
4 months ago

Quick, educational hike on a well maintained trail.

hiking
4 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
4 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..

Saturday, February 04, 2017

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

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
Monday, October 26, 2015

Completed this hike today. The cave is awesome. Would be a great place to hike in and camp down by the cave.

hiking
Sunday, October 25, 2015

Very easy trail. But I have a tip for the adventurist, there is a small goat trail off of the main trail near the end that will take you up the side of the bluff and around to the old hospital. The hospital is built around a cave also.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Not a very interesting hike.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Great hike and layout. The switchbacks are perfect making an easy hike with good elevation change. True Ozarks trail.

hiking
Saturday, May 09, 2015

Gorgeous spring, great campgrounds. Do in the summer and take the cave tour.

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