If you are ready to explore the amazing scenery of Missouri, one of the best ways is to go hiking. Many of the state and local parks have trails that twist and turn through miles of woodlands, filled with wildlife and native vegetation. Take your camera and make sure to capture the beauty during your time in the wilderness of Missouri.
At Wallace State Park, you will have the opportunity to take one of two main trails through the preserved woodlands. The trails can be taken separately or together for a three-mile hike that will take you around Lake Allaman and over deep ravines. Check out the small sand bars, fish and amphibians, woodland birds, and deer tracks as you enjoy your hike. These trails are maintained by the park system. However, you may experience downed vegetation, slippery surfaces, and occasional water over the trails. Visit the park website for more information.
Located by the Lake of the Ozarks, Ha Ha Tonka State Park has one of the most interesting collections of geological marvels in the state. You can see sinkholes, a huge natural bridge, caves, and sheer bluffs. If you like castles, there are turn-of-the-century stone castle ruins located within the park grounds that you can explore during your hike. Take the Turkey Pen Hollow Trail through the woodlands and open rocky glades of the park and enjoy the relaxing scenery on the 6.5-mile trail. If you want to camp in this park, there are several primitive sites to use. Visit the state park website for more information on camping and available amenities.
With three types of trails to take, Table Rock State Park has a way for most people to enjoy a hike in these woodlands. The easiest path to take is the Table Rock Lakeshore Trail that is only 2.25 miles-long. This trail is paved and relatively flat, which is perfect for beginning hikers. The second path is the Chinquapin Trail and it is rated as a moderate trail. This natural surfaced route is approximately 1.5 miles-long and is flat for the most part. However, it gives hikers the chance to experience the woodlands and glades of the region. The most rugged trail is the White River Valley Trail that has an elevation that ranges from 710 to 1,200 feet above sea level and gives hikers a chance to test themselves with physically challenging obstacles and elevation changes along the trail. Every hiker will have the opportunity to take in the beauty of the scenery, including the great blue heron, roadrunners, and collared lizards.
Located in Northwest Missouri, Mozingo Lake Recreation Park offers hikers of all skill levels the chance to explore the woodlands that surround the lake as well as the lake itself. There is a 1.3-mile paved walking trail for those just starting out or for those more experienced, you can try your hand at the over three-mile naturally designed trails on the east side of the lake. There is also nine miles of trails designed for both hiking and horseback riding. Either way you decide to hike in this park, you are bound to enjoy the beauty of the bright blue lake and crisp green forest area.
With eight trails to choose from, Castlewood State Park will keep you busy for hours. The length of the trails varies from 1.5 miles to 6.5 miles-long. However, all the trails have spectacular views and terrain to enjoy along the way. Try the Al Forest Trail as it follows the original route of the Pacific Railroad until it reaches the Meramec River. If you are looking for a challenge, you can try the Chubb Trail that is 6.5 miles-long and travels through three parks. The terrain changes from hilly to flat, forested bottomland and back again. Watch out for a variety of wildlife on your hike and make sure to take pictures along the way to capture your experience in Castlewood State Park.