Missouri has everything for the walker. Most hiking trails in Missouri are located in the mountainous southern part of the state, where the Ozark Mountains offer some of the best scenery from anywhere in the country. But there are trails in other parts of the state, in central and northeastern Missouri. Here is a quick overview of some of the best hiking trails in the state.
The Current River section of the Ozark Trail is a good place for those looking for a bit of everything. This thirty-mile trail leads into the heart of the Salem Plateau portion of the Ozark Mountains. This trail takes you along several mountain streams, including the Current River and beautiful Rocky Creek. It also takes you to the top of one of Ozarks' most impressive mountains, Stegall Mountain, where the view is unimpeded for many miles in all directions. Along the way you'll find mountain clearings as well as many nice places to stop and swim along the way – a treat on a hot summer day. This is a mountain trail, so keep in mind that the trail is usually steep. This is a relatively strenuous trail, but the beauty of the region it passes through makes it worthwhile. There are trails at Owl Camp on the Bend River, the Powder Mill Parking area (also along the Current River), the Peck Ranch Conservation Area and Highway 60.
If you are looking for more of a walking experience in the suburbs, you certainly need not sacrifice much natural beauty around the st. Louis Metropolitan Region. It seems that St. Louis County has a hiking trail in every nook and cranny where anyone can be fit. For example, in West St. Louis County, you will find Babler State Park. Like many other parks in St. Louis (and also Kansas City), this area was at a time not long ago on the banks of the river. Now the park area is surrounded by suburban, albeit very nice, expansion. However, upon entering the park, you may forget that there is a suburban area around you. There are 6 or 7 miles of trails spread over four trails.
If you are looking for a unique area with great trails, consider Johnson Shut-Ins. This area was damaged several years ago due to a dam failure, but is now open for business and as good as ever. Johnson Shut-Ins offer 6 trail sections (one overlapping Ozark Trail) and only one has a closed repair section.
So when spring comes, why not start making some hiking plans in Missouri. You will have happier and healthier.