Explore the most popular wild flowers 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.

My friend and I walked this trail today (5-19-18) it was amazing, a lot of beautiful landscapes and the river was nice and cold. We toke the yellow and silver trail it definitely kicked our butt, we realized that maybe we need to get in better shape, lots of steep hills and lose rocks. It’s all worth it when you get to the very top and get to see the “mountain” also had to cross the river a couple of times, which we toke or shoes off and it was super slippery nd fell on our butts lol I loveeddd this trail! We made lots of memories and it was an amazing adventure!!!

Great trail, marked well for novice.
Good variation in terrain, several areas with natural wildflowers. Could vary depending on time of year. Took trail in May and areas that had undergrowth burned and new growth coming up were cool. Several runoff crossings, so pay attention to weather.

What a gem of a trail! The nature center is a must stop before heading out on the trail and has several interesting exhibits on the Missouri outdoors. The trail is a stop on the Great Missouri Birding Trail and didn’t disappoint. The highlight of the several bird species spotted was a Mississippi Kite. The trail is well maintained and marked. A beautiful Broadhead Skink with a bright red head sat next to the trail and allowed us to view him for several minutes. I will definitely do this trail again.

Kinda boring but overall not bad

I loved this hike encountering different areas and terrain. Even made the little climb after the creek crossing with two dogs on leash. Very peaceful.

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
2 days ago

Amazing! We had a blast on a spring hike.

backpacking
4 days ago

I hiked in from the Highway A trailhead. I didn’t get started until about 1pm, and with temperatures in the low 90s I took a lot of breaks (41M) and reached the summit in about three hours going counter-clockwise. I set up camp with a beautiful view. There are lots of campsites with fire rings set up. I was low on water and had to decide if I was going to attempt to head down the mountain to reach Johnson Shut-in Creek or continue hiking around the loop counter-clockwise to reach Joe’s Creek. I decided to head for Joe’s Creek, which was about 2.5 hours round trip.

A storm was moving in, and I cooked dinner and watched the lightning show for a while before retiring to my tent. A loud, spectacular thunderstorm began around 9:30pm and went on non-stop until around midnight. After it ended , I emerged and enjoyed the post-storm darkness for a while before finally falling asleep. I hiked back down the same way in the morning. I saw a few wild turkeys and lots of lizards and turtles. The ticks were thick.

I only saw one other hiker, but I heard a couple of guys at a campsite about 100 yards from me, I assume they’re the ones that posted about heading down the mountain during the storm.

I have hiked this trail my entire life and it only gets more beautiful! It’s quite the workout too! If you aren’t used to it, you will be sore the next day!

2nd time @ Bellé Muerto. Drove to Ottery Creek Campground at 2am and had the Camp to ourselves. Woke up around 10am and Hiked to the Summit (2.5 Hours, 6-/+ miles with small detours. Set up camp at the summit and walked down to Shut In Creek. The hike down to creek is short (1/2 mile) but intense, especially during the summer with so much foliage. Swam in the creek and then headed back up out summit camp around 6pm. We started making food and watched a storm in the distance which appeared to make its way around us. By sunset the storm had moved close, and by dark we were immersed in a pretty intense thunderstorm. After watching several strikes of lightning hit nearby Lindsay Mountain & Shut In Creek we decided to get off the mountain. Panicking in the dark with very heavy rain we got lost and ran around for about 20 minutes before finding the actual trail. Then with all of our gear we ran through intense thunder & lightning the 6-/+ miles back to car in a little over 1 hour.

One of the scariest nights of my life. Pure terror. Very humbling. Always check the weather before camping on summits and if a storm brews unexpectedly don’t wait to see if it will miss you or not. The radar told us that the storm was not going to hit us.

Bell Mountain is one of the tallest summits in the surrounding area & one of the rockiest summits in Missouri. That can either be really cool or dangerous as well.

BEAUTIFUL hike, BEAUTIFUL summit. 5/5 as always

20 mile day. the night of reckoning. the night we all almost died.

im not the best at expressing how I feel,
but if last night taught me anything, it's that I do not want to be left on a bad foot with anyone.

5/14/2018 the trip that almost didn't allow me to come back

a constant reminder at how easy it is to take things for granted. even what u love.

life or death sitatuion how do you react, how do you keep your thoughts together?


from this day on, everyday is looked at like a life or death situation
when I lay down and go to sleep, I die, my mind leaves, and portals back.
wake up and restarts,
intake, release, reflect, increase, decrease.
every sunset is a day, I'm never going to get back.
every night is my lightning storm.
5/14 thank you so much for sparing me,
and letting me intake the most valuable lesson
how precious LIFE is

I enjoyed the entire experience as it is hard not to when out in the beauty of the world. More water would be valuable if you are looking to spend some time on the summit. An epic hike, I will be back xo

hiking
5 days ago

The waterfall is pretty small right now but we enjoyed the hike and the crystal clear and cool stream.

This is a good trail, not too long for an afternoon hike. A bit rocky in places, but well maintained and well marked. Definitely worth the drive to St. Francois State Park.

Quick hike on a humid spring day. Lots of shade and greenery. A little much for my small dog but we made it through

backpacking
5 days ago

Very scenic for how short the trail is. A very nice distance if you want an easy 2 night backpacking trip or are short on time. Lots of good campsites near the summit. Busier than some other trails in the area but their was enough room for around 5 groups to make camp when we went. Make sure to bring enough water or a good filter as their are not many good water sources near the top. The trail is easy enough to follow and would definitely do it again.

backpacking
5 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
5 days ago

Trail is not well maintained. We came across a lot of bugs in the grass because it was not cut down. The trail is also not well marked. We were not sure at first if we found the correct starting location or not.

hiking
5 days ago

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

Great hike with nicely kept trails! Lots of interesting foliage to see!

Well-established trail, novice trail user appropriate. Water, shade, free parking all available at the trailhead. Perfect for a break from the urban/suburban environment without a looking drive.

Great trail.

Home 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
6 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!

hiking
7 days ago

This trail was a nice hike with our teenagers. great views once you reach the top of the bluff. well marked and fun to hike!!

backpacking
7 days ago

Backpacked with my friend and dog to the summit. Initially went the wrong way; where we were supposed to cross the street, we took a left and followed the Ozark trail for ~4 miles. Realized we went wrong way once I got some cell service and opened the map; by that time it was 6pm and time to set up camp. Next day, headed out around 7am and made our way across the stream, the road, and up the trail. First couple miles were a bit challenging, with moderately steep grade and a very rocky trail. (for reference: 19, male, great shape; first time backpacking. load was too heavy and will not make that mistake again!!) There were some breaks in the treeline on the way up with great views, perfect for taking a break. Definitely enjoy that as you won't get a similar view until the summit. Took us ~3 hours to get from the road to the summit -- probably won't take that long if you don't have a really heavy load like we did.
Got to "summit" -- and I say "summit" because while being the highest point, there really isn't too much of a break in the treelines -- that said, where there are breaks, it's an incredible view. There are many protruding rocks (boulders?) which gave us great views. Caught timelapses of the sunrise. We set up camp and realized we were pretty low on water. While there was a pond near the beginning of the loop, it was pretty muck and we'd read something about Joe'sCreek being a viable source of water. We came across no such creek on the way to the summit, so i'm assuming that creek was located on the clockwise way of the loop (we went counterclockwise -- summit is much closer that way). So, we did what naive amateurs do and decided to decline the mountain, a mile due east from campsite, as we knew there was a river "Shut-in Creek" down there. Went from ~1700ft elevation to ~700ft in the span of a mile, through the thick. Let me tell you-- it was hard. There was no trail, and we had to go through some thick areas. We were heavily protected from ticks and the like, but still. Took ~20 min to get down, hit the river which was B E A Utiful as can be. The Hike back up was difficult -- about 45 min. In retrospect, we should have just made our way to Joe's Creek. But, it was our first time, and we sure learned from it. A couple other groups set up camp on the summit. Made some friends. You wouldn't believe how many stars there are when there's no light pollution. Awe-inspiring.
All in all, a great first backpacking experience. The Hike down was considerably easier; we made it back to the car in less than half the time it took to go up. My dog, Skipper, did well. K9 Advantix 2 days prior, and a flea/tick collar is a must. Found a lot of dead ticks on him. Kinda cool. Will definitely go back -- a bit more prepared next time.

Unfortunately the weather was too dry and the waterfall was nonexistent. The hike was great nonetheless with lots of rock formations. It is a very narrow path and even with the dry weather there are several small creeks to cross with muddy soft banks and slick rocks. Definitely a little more challenging for older hikers.

Really enjoyable trail! Interesting terrain, elk wandering about, decent elevation shifts (not extreme, but not trivial). The elk were cooling themselves in the lake on the unseasonably warm day we visited.

Two items to note: there were a lot of logs intersecting the trail.nothing insurmountable, but just a heads up. Also, the bathrooms don’t have soap.

Back again. Wow what a change in just two weeks. Last visit hardly any leaves, now full canopy. This is a great hike on sunny days, shaded 90% of trail. See images posted.

backpacking
7 days ago

Beautiful scenery, nice laid out paths.

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