5 Energizing Hikes in Missouri

By Kerrie Hatcher

5 Energizing Hikes in Missouri

Sometimes, the regularly-traveled, easy trails don’t provide the exhilarating hike you’re seeking. If you’re looking to up the ante a bit and challenge your endurance, Missouri features some outstanding hikes that will really make you work up a sweat. Here are our favorite energizing hikes in the state. 

1. Castlewood Loop at Castlewood State Park

This is just one of the many great trails in Castlewood State Park near Ballwin, Missouri. Accessible via Chubb Trail, Castlewood Loop passes through old farmland, field, and forest. Because this trail is in a floodplain, hikers may experience sand and/or water at different spots along the path. A popular feature found on Castlewood Loop is Lincoln Beach, which was a popular swimming hole in the mid-1900s.

2. Bluestem Knoll Trail at Lake of the Ozarks State Park

The 0.8-mile Bluestem Knoll Trail near Kaiser will give you a glimpse into Missouri history. The landscape in Miller County looked a lot different a few centuries ago before the first settlers arrived here. It takes an average of 35 minutes for visitors to hike the multi-terrain Bluestem Knoll Trail.

3. Chinquapin Trail at Table Rock State Park

Chinquapin Trail, near Pickens, is a natural surface trail at Table Lake State Park that shares a section with Table Rock Lakeside Trail. Visitors to Chinquapin Trail are treated to scenic views of the Missouri Ozarks and native wildlife as they hike across a variety of terrain. In an effort to preserve the native wildflowers, visitors are asked to please not pick the flowers.

4. Honey Run Trail at Lake of the Ozarks State Park

At nearly 13 miles, the multi-terrain Honey Run Trail is an energizing three-in-one trail in the Lake of the Ozarks State Park. Most visitors break this hike up into three sections: the three-mile Upland Flatland Section (two hours or more), the 4.25-mile North Loop (three hours or more), and the 2.5-mile South Loop (one hour or more). The trailhead for Honey Run Trail is located at McCubbins Drive.

5. Horseshoe Glade Trail at Johnson’s Shut-In State Park

This moderate, 1.5-mile hike is just one of the many popular trails at Johnson’s Shut-In State Park. Horseshoe Glade Trail takes visitors on an energizing hike through the wilderness of the East Fork Wild Area of the Park. A fraction of this trail is uphill and, after rain, hikers may see water covering the trail at certain parts.

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