Nature January 14, 2022
12 Scenic Trails To Explore In Missouri, One For Each Month Of The Year
Adventure lurks around just about every corner here in Missouri, so we might as well take advantage of it! Channel your inner explorer all year long and discover just a taste of what our beautiful state has to offer by hitting the hiking trails. Here are 12 scenic hiking trails in Missouri to get you started – one for each month of the year.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. January – Mina Sauk Falls Trail
Taum Sauk Mountain State Park, Hwy. CC, Middle Brook, MO 63656, USA
Mina Sauk Falls Trail leads to the tallest waterfall in Missouri, and it's definitely one you want to hike in each season. The nearly three-mile trail offers somewhat of a challenge; some call it easy while others deem it moderate. Just make sure you're wearing sturdy hiking boots, because you'll have some rocky terrain. If you're not up for all three miles, turn back once you see the waterfall. (It's at about the halfway point of the trail.)
Plan your hike
2. February – Interpretive Loop Trail
Grand Gulf State Park, Hwy W, Koshkonong, MO 65692, USA
Did you know that Missouri has its very own Grand Canyon? Yep, it's the gorge at Grand Gulf State Park, and it's picture-perfect all year around. Follow the 1.2-mile Intepretive Loop Trail for gorgeous views of the gorge, which looks like a winter wonderland after a fresh snowfall.
3. March – Greer Spring Trail
Greer Spring, Woodside Township, MO 65606, USA
A trek through Mark Twain National Forest always promises an abundance of beauty. When you follow the Greer Spring Trail, you'll get to see the second largest spring in Missouri. The less than two mile trail winds through lush forested area, particularly pretty in the spring and summer months.
4. April – Wilderness Trail
Meramec State Park, 115 Meramec Park Drive, Sullivan, MO 63080, USA
Spring is in full swing, and that means the landscape transforms into a colorful masterpiece. Dotted with vibrant wildflowers, the Wilderness Trail meanders just over eight miles through Meramec State Park. It's a lengthy hike, but it's packed with scenic beauty. You might even want to bring a picnic along.
Plan your hike along the Wilderness Trail
5. May – Shut-In Trail
Sam A. Baker State Park, 5580 MO-143, Patterson, MO 63956, USA
Summer will be here before we know it, but we might already need to cool down in May. The two-mile Shut-In Trail at Sam A. Baker State Park leads to a gorgeous swimming hole, so bring your gear along. Before you arrive at the water, however, you'll stroll along a forested path and over a fairy tale footbridge.
6. June – Rocky Falls Shut-In Trail
Rocky Falls, Winona Township, MO 65588, USA
Summer can be a scorcher in Missouri. Fortunately, we have quite a few swimming holes in which to cool off. The Rocky Falls Shut-In Trail, which tallies just .01 of a mile, takes you straight to the waterfall, perfect for cooling off on those simmering hot days. Just be prepared for crowds if you're going when it's really hot out.
7. July – Mooner’s Hollow Trail
St. Francois State Park, 8920 US Highway 67 North, Bonne Terre, MO 63628, USA
Our next hike takes us through the varied scenery at St. Francois State Park. Mooner's Hollow Trail, in fact, is brimming with beauty - waterfalls, wildflowers, and an adorable footbridge. Follow the blue blazes of this easy trail that offers some much-needed shade in the summer; towering trees line much of the path.
8. August – Smithville Lake Trails
Smithville Lake, Missouri, USA
Smithville Lake is a prime destination in the summer for both beachgoers
hikers. Do a bit of both during your visit. The best way to see all the beauty the lake has to offer is to hit the Smithville Lake Trails, which measure 7.3 miles. During the hike, you'll be treated to views of gorgeous wildflowers, the shimmering lake, and lush trees.
Read more about Smithville Lake Trails
9. September – Locust Creek Covered Bridge Trail
Locust Creek Covered Bridge State Historic Site, 16597 Dart Rd, Laclede, MO 64651, USA
Welcome fall with a trip back in time to Locust Creek Covered Bridge, which features a trail of the same name. The covered bridge dates back to 1868 and takes on an enchanting aura when flanked by fall's colors. Follow the trail that is just a quarter of a mile long but offers a beautiful glimpse back in time.
Plan your hike along the Locust Creek Covered Bridge Trail
10. October – Grindstone Nature Trail
Grindstone Nature Trail, Columbia, MO 65201, USA
Bring your camera along on your jaunt on the 1.9-mile Grindstone Nature Trail. The winding trail, which is rated easy, is perfect for families with babies, kiddos, and pooches. Don't forget your camera, so you can stop and take photos of the pedestrian bridge.
11. November – Chimney’s Loop Trail
Cave Spring Park, 8701 E Gregory Blvd, Raytown, MO 64133, USA
Journey back through time - and to some pretty unique ruins - along the short but sweet .08-mile Chimney's Loop Trail at Cave Spring Park. While the trail is considered easy, even for little ones, you will have to climb some stairs. Keep an eye out for local wildlife, too, on this path that's brimming with lush greenery and a tiny waterfall.
12. December – Sandstone Canyon Trail
Don Robinson State Park, 9275 Byrnesville Rd, Cedar Hill, MO 63016, USA
Gorgeous scenery awaits along the Sandstone Canyon Trail, which tallies 3.9 miles. Winding through Don Robinson State Park, the scenic trail is rated moderate, so prepare for a chalenge. Wear shoes you don't mind getting wet, too, because you'll have to cross a few streams that don't have bridges.
What are your favorite scenic trails in Missouri? Did any make the list? Let us know in the comments! Up for some more adventures? Head over to
Big Oak Tree State Park in East Prairie. Address: Taum Sauk Mountain State Park, Hwy. CC, Middle Brook, MO 63656, USA Address: Grand Gulf State Park, Hwy W, Koshkonong, MO 65692, USA Address: Greer Spring, Woodside Township, MO 65606, USA Address: Meramec State Park, 115 Meramec Park Drive, Sullivan, MO 63080, USA Address: Sam A. Baker State Park, 5580 MO-143, Patterson, MO 63956, USA Address: Rocky Falls, Winona Township, MO 65588, USA Address: St. Francois State Park, 8920 US Highway 67 North, Bonne Terre, MO 63628, USA Address: Smithville Lake, Missouri, USA Address: Locust Creek Covered Bridge State Historic Site, 16597 Dart Rd, Laclede, MO 64651, USA Address: Grindstone Nature Trail, Columbia, MO 65201, USA Address: Cave Spring Park, 8701 E Gregory Blvd, Raytown, MO 64133, USA Address: Don Robinson State Park, 9275 Byrnesville Rd, Cedar Hill, MO 63016, USA