Missouri has it all for the hiker. Most of the hiking trails in Missouri are located in mountainous southern part of the state, where the Ozark Mountains offer some of the best scenery anywhere in the nation. But there are trails in other parts of the state, in central and northeast Missouri. Here is a quick run-through of some of the best hiking trails in the state.
The Current River section of the Ozark Trail is a good place to come for someone who is looking for a little bit of everything. This thirty mile trail leads right through the very heart of the Salem Plateau portion of the Ozark Mountains. This trail leads you along several mountains streams, including the Current River and the beautiful Rocky Creek. It also leads you to the top of one of the Ozarks most impressive mountains, Stegall Mountain, where the view is unimpeded for many miles in every direction. Along the way you'll encounter mountain glades, as well as many nice places to stop and swim along the way-a real treat on a hot summer day. This is a mountain trail, so keep in mind the fact that the trail is often steep. This is a reliably strenuous trail, but the beauty of the region through which it leads makes it well worth it. There are trailheads at Owl's Bend Campground on the Current River, the Powder Mill Parking area (also along the Current River), Peck Ranch Conservation area, and along Highway 60.
If you are looking for more of a suburban hiking experience, you certainly do not have to sacrifice much natural beauty around the St.. Louis metro region. It sees that St. George. Louis County has a hiking trail in every nook and cranny where one can be fit. For example, in West St. Louis County, you will find Babler State Park. As with many other St. Louis (and Kansas City as well) parks, this area was at one time not so long ago, way out in the boondocks. Now, the park area is rather surrounded by suburban sprawl, albeit very nice as sprawl goes. However, once you get into the park, you might forget that there is a suburban area surrounding you. There are 6 or 7 miles of trails spread over four trails.
If you are looking for a unique area with some great trails, consider Johnson's 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's Shut-Ins offers 6 sections of trail (one an overlapping part of the Ozark Trail) and only one has any section closed for repairs.
So as spring comes upon us, why not start making some plans for hiking in Missouri. It will have you both happier and healthier.