Missouri was made for exploring, and the best way to do that, hands down, is along one of its many trails. Did you know there are more than 1,290 hiking trails in Missouri? With so many trails, it can be nearly impossible to decide what trail to follow next. Well, if you’re craving a bit of a challenge with some breathtaking rewards, let us introduce you to the Peewah Trail.

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Have you ever hiked the Peewah Trail Yellow Loop? Do you have another favorite trail in Missouri that leads to a scenic overlook? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments! For another one-of-a-kind adventure, plan a visit to this hidden endangered wolf sanctuary in Missouri.

This Hidden Sanctuary In Missouri Is Home To The Largest Number Of Endangered Wolves In The State

For a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the Trail of Tears State Park and its many scenic hiking trails, check out this video:


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Hiking In Missouri

What are the best short hikes in Missouri?

Missouri is a treasure trove of scenic beauty, offering an array of short hikes that showcase the state's natural splendor. Here are some of the best short hikes, each with a bit more detail to help you plan your next outdoor adventure:

  • Katy Trail: Dutzow to Augusta, Augusta: This segment of the Katy Trail offers a relatively flat, easy hike that winds through picturesque wine country. The trail between Dutzow and Augusta provides stunning views of the Missouri River and passes through charming small towns, making it perfect for a leisurely walk or bike ride.
  • Castle Trail, Camdenton: The Castle Trail features the ruins of an early 20th-century castle, offering a unique blend of history and natural beauty. The trail is relatively short and provides breathtaking views of the Lake of the Ozarks and surrounding woodland. It's an ideal hike for families and history enthusiasts alike.
  • Wildflower Trail, Imperial: As the name suggests, the Wildflower Trail bursts with color in the spring and summer, showcasing a variety of native Missouri flowers. Located in Mastodon State Historic Site, this trail offers an easy walk that is both educational and beautiful, with informative signs about the area's natural and archaeological history.
  • Sandstone Canyon Trail, Cedar Hill: Found in Don Robinson State Park, the Sandstone Canyon Trail takes hikers through a stunning sandstone canyon landscape. This moderately challenging hike rewards adventurers with unique geological formations, seasonal waterfalls, and lush forest scenery, making it a must-visit for nature lovers.
  • White Bison Trail, St. Louis: Located in Lone Elk Park, the White Bison Trail offers a unique opportunity to see wildlife, including elk and bison, in their natural habitat. This trail is relatively easy, winding through forested areas and meadows, and is ideal for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers.
  • Rocky Top Trail, Kaiser: This trail is situated in Lake of the Ozarks State Park, offering panoramic views of the Lake of the Ozarks from Rocky Top. The trail is a bit more challenging due to its elevation gain but is still manageable for most hikers. It's perfect for those looking for a short hike with a rewarding view.
  • Lone Wolf Trail, Ballwin: Located in Castlewood State Park, Lone Wolf Trail offers a mix of scenic river views and rugged hill climbs. It's a favorite among local hikers for its overlooks of the Meramec River and the surrounding valleys. The trail is moderately challenging, making it a good choice for those seeking a bit more adventure.
  • Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Trail, St. Louis: This paved trail runs through the Gateway Arch National Park, providing an easy and accessible route for visitors of all ages. The trail offers spectacular views of the Gateway Arch and the St. Louis skyline, along with access to the Mississippi Riverfront, making it perfect for a leisurely stroll steeped in history and urban beauty.


For more short hike suggestions, check out our list of the 10 best hikes in Missouri that are under 3 miles.

What are the best scenic hiking trails in Missouri?

The best scenic hiking trails in Missouri include the following:

Read our comprehensive guide to the 18 best hikes in Missouri for our staff picks of the best in Missouri hiking, with something to love for all ages and skill levels all year round.

What are the best winter hikes in Missouri?

Some of the best winter hikes in Missouri can be found in the following list:

For additional winter hiking inspiration, check out these 11 picturesque hiking trails in Missouri that are even more enjoyable in the wintertime.

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