Park Trails

at Hawn State Park

Whispering Pines Trail

  • Backpacking
  • Hiking

Length: 9.75 Miles View map

This trail is generally considered to be one of the best hiking and backpacking trails in the state. It consists of two loops: the north loop is approximately six miles long and the south loop is approximately 3.75 miles. The trail provides the opportunity for day hikes of varying lengths or a longer backpacking trip. It meanders through a beautiful mixed hardwood and pine forest that is home to a variety of animals such as bobcat and wild turkey. Extensive exposures of sandstone and granite can be explored along the banks of Pickle Creek and the River Aux Vases. Mosses and ferns create a luxurious effect on the moist overhangs that occur along the two streams. A hike on Whispering Pine Trail is especially enjoyable in the spring and winter, but a summer day hike ending with a cool dip in Pickle Creek or a backpacking trip on a crisp, fall weekend can be equally rewarding.

Whispering Pine Trail can be reached by turning left at the park entrance and proceeding to the picnic area where a parking area is provided. Water is not available at the trailhead, but can be obtained at the park office or the campground. Water from Pickle Creek or the River Aux Vases may be used for drinking while on the trail, but it should always be treated before consumption. The trail is signed in a counterclockwise direction with colored arrows. Additional markers are used to mark spur trails leading to the camp areas. 

You can also access the White Oaks Trail by using either white connector 1 or 2. In addition, if you want to stay on Whispering Pines Trails but would like to shorten your hike, white connector 3 is available for this purpose. All trail users must register at the trailhead or park office before starting their trip. Groups of seven or more are permitted to camp only in designated areas. While smaller groups are not required to use the designated areas, they must camp at least 100 feet from the trail, 200 feet from any major public-use area, and at least one-fourth mile from the trail entry/exit point. Campfires are prohibited. Bring your own stove if cooking is necessary.

You may experience:

  • Natural surface, dirt, mud, gravel, shifting rocks, slippery surface, etc.
  • Rocks, roots and/or downed vegetation on trail        
  • Low hanging vegetation
  • Wood or stone steps
  • Steep grades and inclines more than 10 percent
  • Bluffs or drop-offs next to trail
  • Bridges and/or structural crossings
  • Water/stream crossings without bridges

Find the trailhead on the park map

Missouri State Parks Trail Rules and Etiquette


North Loop
Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
6 Miles   Loop Red

Picnic area

South Loop
Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
3.75 Miles   Loop Blue Picnic area