Missouri is a beautiful state with rugged terrain which makes it perfect for hiking. This state is the home to some perfect hiking destinations due to its pristine wilderness, incredible wildlife, breathtaking geological spectacles, scenic panoramic views, incredible wildlife, and majestic rivers that enhance the beauty of the landscape.
This awesome Show Me State allows its residents or tourists to hike above the treeline on the river bluff trails. People in Missouri are also entitled to hike along the creek beds situated along with the elevated limestone cliffs. The awesome trekking destinations inspire people from younger generations to go out and explore the natural beauty of the state.
While there are various best hiking trails in Missouri to discover, the eight of them mentioned below will surely fuel your wanderlust and will also recharge your soul with the beauty and solitude of nature. So, without any further ado, carefully read the descriptive article below to know the same.
How many trails are in Missouri?
A diverse range of best hiking in Missouri is available for people to enjoy and take advantage of. In totality, according to Alltrails.com, there are about 1,233 hiking trails that will suit your needs. Out of which, there are about 806 family-friendly and 689 hiking trails with scenic views and waterfalls that allows you to have an ultimate experience while being on a hiking adventure.
Does Missouri have the best trails?
In the entire nation of the United States, Missouri has one of the most beautiful hiking destinations. The stunning beauty of this Show Me State attracts hikers from far and wide. The best small towns in Missouri to live not only offer an excellent & happy living experience but also are great places of attraction when it comes to outdoor activities such as hiking.
The best way to explore the natural beauty of the state of Missouri is to do the same by going on the eight most beautiful hikes mentioned below. These are indeed the best hiking trails in Missouri, that pass through densely wooded forests, prairie grasslands, campgrounds, or the ragged peaks of the Ozark mountains.
Not only this, while hiking in the magnificent Show Me State, you can get an unparallel opportunity to have bird watching, enjoy a lazy evening at the coast of gorgeous rivers, come across splendid wildlife, and relish the stunning scenery spread across the entire hiker’s paradise.
If you are planning to move to this wonderful state, then before actually making any move you should be aware of the moving to Missouri pros and cons. As it will help you make a wise decision according to your personal needs.
So without any delay, let us dig into this extremely exciting article which it is mentioned the eight best hikes in Missouri.
1. Lewis and Clark Trail
Lewis and Clark Trail are known as the metro trail of the entire United Nations. This 8.5-mile-long looped hiking trail is located in St. Charles and has some inspiring views of the river Missouri. This is indeed the best hiking in Missouri as you will be able to witness large limestone cliffs, bluffs, scenic hikes, fascinating natural views, creek crossings, and a lot more. Lewis and Clark Trail will definitely fuel your desire to explore the natural beauty a little farther than the city life. The beauty of this region makes it an amazingly perfect afternoon getaway.
Do people hike the Lewis and Clark Trail?
Unlike the other long and traditional hiking trails, it is not possible to hike on the Lewis and Clark Trail.
Does the Lewis and Clark Trail go through Montana?
Yes, the Lewis and Clark Trail does pass through the southwestern part of modern-day Montana.
The Ozark Trail in the Show Me State is known to be one of the best hikes in Missouri. This hiking trail is more than 500 miles long and is stretched from St.Louis to Arkansas. It is believed to be one of the longest distance trails in the entire country This hiking trail is subdivided into 13 sections. The whole long route of the Ozark Trail is gorgeous, but if something is to be considered extraordinary then it is the Taum Sauk section of the trail. This part is known to be the highlight of the entire Ozark Trail. Here you will wander through 1.5billion year old mountain ranges, verdant glades, natural springs, lush green forests, and many other natural & serene attractions that make the trail worth visiting.
Where does the Ozark Trail start?
The Ozark Trail begins a thru-hike from the Onondaga State Park and moves towards the south to the Eleven Point Western Trailhead.
Is Ozark Trail owned by Walmart?
Ozark Trail is a brand name that is privately owned by Wal-Mart.
Meramec State Park has one of the best hiking in Missouri, as its total length of 13.75 miles of hikes and it includes 7 different trails of different lengths & difficulty levels. Located in the town of Sullivan, two major hiking trails are most noteworthy and are worth exploring in the wilderness. Out of the two, the first trail is known as the Natural Wonders Trail and is just 1.2 miles long. In spite of being a short trail route, it will lead to fantastic caves, forests, and glades, and also has a huge variety of animal & plant life. While the other hiking trail is about 8.5 miles long with highlights such as magnificent geographical features and rugged boundaries of a park. The abounding natural beauty of the place attracts visitors the most.
Can you swim at Meramec State Park?
No, there are no designated areas for swimming in the Meramec State Park. You can swim there but at your own risk as no safety, equipment is available.
How much does it cost to camp at Meramec State Park?
There are two sites in the Meramec State Park where you can camp; electric sites and non-electric sites. The cost for the former amounts to $36 and the latter amounts to $16. These costs are mentioned in the context of two adults per night.
4. Turkey Pen Hollow and Devils Kitchen
Ha Ha Tonka State Park is a famous hiking destination in Missouri. This location contains 14 different exciting trails of varying distances. But, the total distance of hikes here has been calculated as 18.8 miles. This State Park is a magical place with fantastically scenic views, beautiful panoramas, amazing rock formations, and breathtakingly beautiful glades. This Missourian State Park is a treat for wanderlusts and hikers and it also inspires them for natural exploration.
The few highlights of this hiking trail are; The Colosseum Trail which passes through under the extravagantly made natural bridge, The Turkey Pen Hollow Trail which may excite you with its exciting rock formations & immensely spacious meadows, and The Devil’s Kitchen Train. This is a 1.25-mile stretch of trail that leads you to worldly rock formations, ancient structured caves, and small cave shelters, which thus makes it an exciting place to visit.
Rock Bridge State Park in Columbia is stretched over 22.6 miles of land and offers about 8 best hiking trails in Missouri to visitors. It is meant to be an ideal destination for the people and tourists who have moved to Missouri as it offers them huge forests, lush green prairies, exciting caves, bluffs, and a lot more. This Show-Me State has a lot to offer to you.
The most popular trails of this state are; Devil’s Icebox, Rock Bridge, and Corner’s Cave, as they offer extremely exciting geographical features. Their many caves on the hiking track, so we would suggest you have an arrangement for a small flashlight, a good pair of hiking shows, and a helmet. You can also enjoy the Deer Run Trail, a 3.7-mile-long trail on which you can often find deers, muskrats, and beavers. Thus, Rock Bridge State Park is considered to be the most idealistic hiking spot in the state.
How many caves are in Rock Bridge State Park?
Rock Bridge State Park is the home to about 12 caves and has a few excellent karst landforms examples in the entire nation. These include the rock bridge, underground flowing stream in the cave of Devil’s Icebox, and various sinkholes.
Are dogs allowed at Rock Bridge State Park?
On this 22.6-mile-long trail, you are allowed to bring your furry friend along with you on the exciting hiking journey.
6. Lost Valley Trail
Lost Valley Trail is one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Missouri with waterfalls. Located in Chesterfield, Missouri, this 10.5-mile-long hike is famous for its excellent mountain biking routes and fantastical foot hiking routes. Many waterfalls, such as Eden Falls, old farmhouses, and natural springs can be seen by passing through the rocky, rugged, forested, and twisted hiking trails of Missouri.
This trail is in the loop form which allows non-backtracking travelers to enjoy the Lost Valley Trail. You will also find many other attractions during your hikes such as a pond, an old cemetery, and a haunted hallow.
Cedar Creek Trail located in Mark Twain National Forest is a 36-mile-long fantastic loop hike with numerous entry points. With so many entry points, you can easily choose for many miles you want to trek. In totality, there are four sub-trails whose maps can be downloaded from the website of Mark Twain National Forest. Among these, the most beautiful hiking trail is the five-mile route of Smith Creek Loop. It is arguably one of the best hiking trails in Missouri, Cedar Creek with the best scenic and expansive views from the Rocky Bluff.
Also, while being on this hiking route do not forget to cross the Rutherford Bridge. Apart from this, you can also choose to go on The Southern Loop, Moon Loop, or The Pine Ridge Section. This trail is quite popular among backpackers, as it allows you to have the best camping and bird-watching experience during the quieter times of the day. If you are a pet parent and want to bring along your furry baby on this hiking trip, then you can do so but with the leash on.
Hercules Glade Wilderness is a scenic and unique hiking trail in Missouri that is spread across about 12,000 acres of land and is 32 miles long. The beauty and solitude of this trail are beyond measure as it has a great combination of forests of cedar and oak trees, open grasslands, steep & rocky hillsides, narrow drainage systems, ridgetops, and panoramic views of the Ozarks, and breathtaking waterfalls.
The region of this trail has extremely rich wildlife which will surely excite the hikers. It is considered to be one of the best hikes in Missouri as this region has impressive wilderness and serene beauty. Also, the road to this hike is quite unsurfaced and the best time to visit here is in the fall, winter, or spring season.
Some of the accommodation options available near the Hercules Glades Wilderness Area, where you can stay and take a rest after your hike are:-
- Hampton Inn Branson
- Savannah House Hotel
- Best Western Plus Landing View Inn & Suites
- Hilton Branson Convention Center
- Barrington Hotel & Suites
Some of the food stops or restaurants where you can fill your appetite after a long, tiring, yet exciting trail at the Hercules Glade Wilderness Area are:-
- Frosted Mug
- Oaxaca Mexican Restaurant
- Mountan William Pizza
- Yummy Donuts Cafe
- Fat Daddy’s Bar-B-Ques
Best hiking in Missouri FAQ
How many miles of hiking trails are in Missouri?
Missouri is known to be the hiker’s destination, as it is the best way could escape from society and spend a few days exploring the natural treasures. There are about 1,000 miles of best hiking trails in Missouri for the adventurers to enjoy.
Before going hiking on any of the trails in the state, a question must be wandering in your mind, i.e., does it snow in Missouri or not? Well, the answer to this is a yes and so during the winter season the hiking trails can become slippery, so you should go on hiking trips with full care and proper equipment during the winter season. Listed below are some of the most beautiful hiking trails in Missouri, whose magnificent views can be enjoyed in both summer and winter seasons:-
- Lost Valley Trail in Chesterfield
- Lewis & Clark Trail in St.Charles
- The Ozark Trail in St. Louis
- Natural Tunnel Trail in Bennet Spring State Park
- Rock Bridge State Park in Columbia
According to Rootsrated.com some of the best hikes in Missouri are:-
- Meramec State Park in Sullivan
- Turkey Pen Hollow and Devils Kitchen in Ha Ha Tonka State Park
- Cedar Creek Trail in Mark Twain National Forest
- Buford Mountain in Bismarck
- Hercules Glade Wilderness in Mark Twain National Forest
So, that was all about the 8 most magnificent, wonderful, and best hiking trails in Missouri. The trails present in this Show Me State is indeed one of the best in the entire country as they feature majestical and photogenic views, that are worth capturing both behind the eyes and in the camera lens. These breathtaking hiking trails, make your visit to Missouri extremely wonderful.
If you are planning to settle down in this hiker’s paradise, then you should be well aware of Missouri’s cost of living comparison. Knowing about it is important as it will assist you in deciding the annual budget and living your life with ease. So, what are you waiting for now? Decide on the best hiking in Missouri and plan your schedule for the same today.