The wooded Ozark Mountain Range and native grassland prairies dominate Missouri's landscape, and more than 1,000 miles of trails give hikers the opportunity to explore the state's great outdoors. We've highlighted five great hikes based on recommendations from Trails.com and Missouri State Parks to show you some of the best of what the “Show Me” State has to offer.
The 390-mile Ozark Trail offers hikers the opportunity to explore the hills, mountains, and valleys of the Ozark Mountains, where breathtaking scenes of clear springs and streams, rocky caves and bluffs, hardwood forests, and wildflower fields abound. The Ozark Trail offers many opportunities to see wildlife, including deer, bobcats, turkeys, bald eagles, and songbirds and is broken up into sections for the convenience of those who can't make the entire trek. Cuivre River State Park Nearly 40 miles of trails are open to hikers within Cuivre River State Park, offering a variety of treks ranging in length and difficulty. Along these trails, hikers are treated to views of tall-grass prairies, woodlands, rocky bluffs, and clear streams, including the pristine Big Sugar Creek.
Lost Valley Trail
The Lost Valley Trail is an easy 10.5-mile loop that meanders through a scenic valley in the Weldon Spring Conservation Area's western portion. Hikers are treated to views of clear natural springs, the Little Femme Osage Creek, a waterfall, and rocky terrain along this trail.
Prairie State Park
You can explore six hiking trails at Prairie State Park (Coyote Trail 3.2 mi., Drover's Trail 3 mi., Gayfeather Trail 1.5 mi., Sandstone Trail 4.25 mi., Path of the Sky People Trail 1.75 mi., Path of the Earth People Trail 2 mi.), which is home to Missouri’s largest expanse of tall-grass prairie. Prairie State Park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including American bison, coyotes, and white-tailed deer, as well as several species of songbirds.
The 24-mile Berryman Trail leads hikers on a scenic loop through the Mark Twain National Forest to offer picturesque views of the Ozark countryside. Hikers travel through dense, mixed woodlands as the Berryman Trail leads them through serene terrains that alternate from low creek beds to high rocky outcroppings.