Discover Missouri’s magnificent wilderness by exploring one of the state’s many beautiful hiking trails. You can bring the kids along, too! Many hiking trails across the Show-Me State are easily accessible for small children and less-experienced hikers. From the Ozarks to beautiful bluffs, check out these five great hiking trails for families in Missouri!
The Ozark Greenways are actually an award-winning network of multiple hiking, riding, and biking trails that span over 70 miles with multiple access points. Hikers can take short easy nature walks, or enter the network in a more rugged or isolated area. It’s a great way to spend some quality time in the scenic foothills of the Ozarks.
Hawn State Park is an exquisite park to explore, affording views of glistening streams and blooming with orchids. While there are several trails to take on, the Overlook Trail serves as a great, short trek for children. The trail is paved and only 300 feet in length—taking about 10 minutes to explore. But it’s a great primer to the park. When the little ones are ready for the next level, consider exploring the moderately-rated, 3.75-mile long White Oaks Trail.
The Weldon Spring Conservation Area outside of St. Louis boasts four important trails, and two of them, including the Hamburg, are suitable for both hiking and biking. Of the four, only the Hamburg, which runs parallel to the Missouri River in places, is rated as an easy hike. At just six miles in length, this trek is ideal for your kiddos.
The Pickle Springs Natural Area is not only a Missouri treasure, but has also been designated a National Natural Landmark. The Trail Through Time is a two-mile walk that leads through geological, botanical, and zoological areas, showcasing the development of this landscape over centuries, even millennia, of time. It’s an easy hike, but not necessarily a fast one—hikers frequently stop to look at all the trail’s features!
TRAIL THROUGH TIME This scenic trail at Pickle Springs Natural Area is a national, natural landmark that traverses geological wonders with rare plants and animals. You can walk or hike the two mile loop through sandstone rock formations and box canyons. The ridge tops overlook oak and short leaf pine forests. There is also a creek and waterfall. Watch out for mosses and lichens and seven species of ferns. The canyon walls provide a cool and moist climate from another era. This is a must see area and visitors are asked to stay on the trail to protect the rare species and formations found here. To find directions and learn more about Pickle Springs visit MDC.mo.gov and search under Discover Nature/Find Places to Go in MO/Natural Areas #mdcdiscovernature #mdcarea #picklesprings #trailthroughtime peg@moconservation
While there aren’t quite any “easy” trails at Cuivre River State Park, the Mossy Hill Trail is something everyone in the family can enjoy. The loop trail is designated as moderate, and is just under a mile in length. Explorers will walk through woodlands, with picturesque mosses, lichen, and wildflowers. Keep an eye on the little ones when you’re walking, as the area has roots that can be tripped over, some shifting rocks, and occasional slippery areas.