I have a confession. We stopped hiking in 2013, it wasn’t deliberate. First we missed our ‘annual’ Spring Break backpacking trip, then we both got tied up with work. I abandoned my semi-retired state, and getting out just faded away. No backpacking, almost no hiking, kayaking or fishing. It all stopped. We made an attempt […]
The Glade Top Trail is not a recognised hiking or backpacking route. It is a spectacular drive of over 23 miles on unpaved roads within 60 miles of Springfield and Branson. It’s especially worth visiting in the fall.
Located in Barry County Missouri, the Pineview (Tower) Trailhead is 5.5 miles west of Cape Fair on Highway 76 off Farm road 2150, and around 4.5 miles on Highway 76 from Highway 39. See Getting To Piney Creek.
Bell Mountain Wilderness is in Iron County Missouri, around 30 miles south of Potosi. Bell mountain is an 11 or so mile loop depending on the trail head you start from. Bell Mountain is 1702 ft. and offers superb views to the east and of the 600 ft. drop into the very steep valley of Shut-in Creek.
We’ve got a trail map you can view online, and there’s an even better one complete with a full USGS topographic map of the area to download for Google Earth, or your GPS if it accepts KMZ files. We’ve also included Google Street view links to get you to the trailhead.
Berry Bend Campground. sits on a promontory reached via short causeway on the Osage River Arm of Harry S Truman Lake, 29 Miles from Clinton Missouri, 18 miles from the junction with Highway 13 and 11 miles from Warsaw Missouri.
The Sac River Trail is 3 miles North of the I44 at Springfield on Highway 13. It’s primarily a biking trail, but it’s our ‘go to’ place for a quick hike. You just need to keep an ear out for fast approaching bikes and step out of the way.
On the shore of Table Rock Lake, near the town of Shell Knob, Missouri, lies the Big Bay Recreation Area. Unique on Table Rock, it’s the only campground owned by Mark Twain National Forest. It’s a primitive campground, meaning there is no electricity, no drinking water or showers, though there are flush toilets. But most of the 35 campsites are along the shore of the lake which can be accessed by a short path. Screening between the campsites is quite good, so it’s a great place to have your own little private summer lake holiday.
Right off the bat, the most unusual thing about this Wilderness area is that its boundaries circumscribe the entire drainage of Piney Creek. So you always start on a ridge and go down into the valley of the same creek system. There isn’t a lot of up and down all day hiking. Once you’re down in the valley it’s flat. Piney Creek opens into Table Rock Lake on the east, allowing access to and from the lake…
There’s a little-known trail just north of Springfield, within the city limits, that will give you miles of moderately rugged hiking and exposure to streams, woods, and open fields. The Springfield-Greene County Park Board owns the 300 acres that contain well over 8 miles of natural surface single track. The trail is rocky in places, muddy in places, and winds back and forth an amazing amount. There are no steep climbs but the trail goes up and down enough, and has many small seasonal stream crossings and plenty rugged rocks to give you a decent hiking workout.
In the Ozarks we have many, many streams that are excellent for floating with either a canoe or kayak. An excellent reference for finding floatable streams in Missouri is the Paddler’s Guide to Missouri, produced by the Missouri Dept of Conservation. It is now out of print but I’ve been told they’re producing an updated […]
There are thousands of places where you can hike on public land in the Ozarks, we’re busy cataloging them to make a usable directory with lots of information. Keep coming back and check this section as we’ll add to it as we visit and map more places.
Welcome to our comprehensive list of places to go backpacking in the Ozarks. Use the table below to see the various places you can go backpacking. We’ve had to search a bit to compile a list of places where backpacking is allowed in the Ozarks. We’ve managed to bring together the sites of all the […]