Near Chariton, the 13,000 acre Stephens State Forest has 68 miles of hiking trails. Keep an eye out for wild turkeys.
Access to the backpack trails is 4 miles south of Lucas on U.S. Hwy. 65, then 3.5 miles west, then .5 miles south, then west on lane to trail head or about 1.25 miles south of Woodburn, then .5 miles east on the same road, then follow the gravel road south about 2.5 to 3 miles to the forest.
Overall, Stephens State Forest is the 3rd most popular hiking trail of all 9 hikes in Iowa.