Located in Missouri, the hiking in Mark Twain National Forest offers over fifteen hikes. The best Mark Twain National Forest hiking based on popularity are considered to be Taum Sauk, Berryman Trail, Kaintuck Hollow Trail, Whites Creek Trail, and Big Piney Trail. For a detailed trail description and printable trailhead map, just select a Mark Twain National Forest hiking trail below.
Southwest of St. Louis and west of Potosi, the Berryman National Recreation Trail is a wooded 24 mile hiking loop in the Ozarks. Many feel this is the best trail between the Rockies and Alleghenies. The route snakes through 100 feet maples, clinges to ridgelines and passes above deep hollows. It is shared with mountain bikers.
Running through the Ozarks, the 33 mile Taum Sauk section of the 500 mile Ozark Trail is generally regarded as the trails most scenic and rugged stretch. The hike begins near Edgehill and undulates between ridges and sculpted side hollows, summits Bell, Goggins, and Taum Sauk Mountains and skirts 132-foot Mina Sauk Falls.
Near Newburg south of the Mill Creek Recreation Area, the Kaintuck Trail burrows into a nice refuge of the Mark Twain National Forest and is open to hiking. The 24 mile trail is also shared by mountain bikers and equestrians while passing a 175 cave (natural tunnel) with limestone wall and slimy boulders. The route passes through green tunnels of foliage, untrampled trail and overgrown logging roads. The rolling terrain is gentle and presents several stream crossings.
Southwest of St Louis and south of Waynesville, the Big Piney Trail is a 17 mile route covering a variety of Ozark terrain in Paddy Creek Wilderness. The 17-mile loop trail can be treked as a 10-mile stretch (north section) or the 7.5-mile south section. The trails are rugged and can be challenging for the inexperienced or unprepared.
Near Winona, the Blue Ridge Trail is a 10 mile hiking route. The Blue Ridge Trail covers a variety of Ozark terrain as it winds 18 miles through hollows and across hills. It joins the Ozark Trail at Spring Creek.
Near Winona, the Eleven Point River Trail is a 35 mile route served by two trailheads. This hiking trail is also popular with horseback riders. It is tough to cover the whole trail in one day, so be sure to allow plenty of time.
Near Winona, the Between The Rivers Trail is a 30 mile section of the longer Ozark Trail. Heading south from the trailhead, the first mile is easy hiking, mostly level with gentle slopes. Second mile is mostly uphill, and the next 4.5 miles is a variety of ridges and hollow bottoms. Most day hikers turn around at this point, but you can continue on for another 23.5 miles.
Southeast of Springfield and west of West Plains, the Devils Backbone Wilderness Trail is an 11 mile hiking route. The section from the southern Collins Ridge trailhead to McGarr Ridge is part of the larger Ozark Trail.
Southwest of Springfield and east of Cassville, the Piney Creek Wilderness Trail is a 13 mile network of five trails providing access to the Piney Creek Wilderness. The trails are shared by hikers and equestrians.
Near Willow Springs, the 38 mile Ridge Runner Trail consists of two hiking loops combining rolling trail and abandoned forest roads. The Spring-time is spectacular with beautiful wildflowers. The route is shared with both mountain bikers and equestrians.