18 Best Hikes In Missouri: The Top-Rated Hiking Trails To Visit In 2023
By Beth Price-Williams|Published August 07, 2023
A professional writer for more than two decades, Beth has lived in nearly a dozen states – from Missouri and Virginia to Connecticut and Vermont – and Toronto, Canada. In addition to traveling extensively in the U.S. and the U.K., she has a BA in Journalism from Point Park University (PA), a MA in Holocaust & Genocide Studies from Stockton University (NJ), and a Master of Professional Writing from Chatham University (PA). A writer and editor for Only In Your State since 2016, Beth grew up in and currently lives outside of Pittsburgh and when she’s not writing or hanging out with her bunnies, budgies, and chinchilla, she and her daughter are out chasing waterfalls.
Hiking’s probably the best way to really get to know and appreciate all the natural beauty in Missouri. After all, we miss a lot when we’re in the car or even exploring by bike. The best hikes in Missouri take us deep into the forest, to big cities and small towns, and to ruins that we might never have known existed. Even better, we can go hiking in Missouri any time of the year.
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or brand new to hiking, you’ll find plenty of hikes to meet your needs and interests. Here are just 18 of the best hikes in Missouri to help get you started.
We’re spoiled with choices when deciding where to hike in Missouri. More than 1,300 hiking trails wander throughout the state, ranging from easy to difficult. From chasing waterfalls to strolling past unique rock formations, we’ll find a little bit of everything. Here are just a few of the best places to hike in Missouri.
Best Short & Easy Hikes in Missouri
Short on time but really want to get outdoors, drink in the fresh air, and explore a bit? We’ve got you covered. You’ll find so many short, sweet, and easy trails in Missouri that your biggest challenge will be deciding which to follow first. May we suggest one of the following?
Hardest Hikes in Missouri
If you crave a challenge that will test your skills, you’ll find countless difficult hikes in Missouri. One of the best things about those hard hikes is the rewards – usually breathtaking views and a unique opportunity to connect with nature. The hardest hikes in Missouri certainly deserve a spot on your bucket list.
Missourians and water just go hand-in-hand, so naturally we’ve included some of the best waterfront hikes in Missouri. Each of these Missouri trails tallies less than five miles and promises sensational views of the water.
Best Winter Hikes in Missouri
Winter’s about more than curling up under the covers with a hot chocolate and watching the snow fall. It’s also the perfect time to get outdoors and go on a hike. Feel as though you’ve fallen into a snow globe when you follow the best winter hikes in Missouri. Bundle up!
Best Hikes Near St. Louis
Next time you’re in St. Louis, explore one of its short, sweet, and beautiful hiking trails. Each of the three hikes in Missouri featured below clocks in at under three miles and will take you to some of the most beloved destinations in St. Louis – from the Arch to Forest Park.
These are just 18 of the best places to hike in Missouri. Did your favorite trails make the list of the best hikes in Missouri? Let us know in the comments! Then check out some of the best hiking trails in Missouri as recommended by you, our readers. Ready to explore even more of Missouri? Try AllTrails+ For Free
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Whispering Pines Trail meanders through Hawn State Park and provides quite a challenge, clocking in at more than 12 miles.
Greer Spring Trail in Mark Twain National Forest leads to the second-largest spring in Missouri.
The Interpretative Loop Trail at Grand Gulf State Park takes you to Missouri's very own Grand Canyon.
See if you experience the paranormal along the Rock Hollow Trail which, thanks to its reputation for being haunted, is more commonly known as the Zombie Trail.
What are the best months to hike in Missouri?
One of the best things about hiking in Missouri is we can do it any time of the year. Spring and summer often mean passing vibrant wildflowers and lush foliage that, when fall arrives, will transform into jaw-dropping autumn colors. If you've ever wondered what a winter wonderland is like, just follow one of the best hikes in Missouri on a snowy day.