Park Trails

at Knob Noster State Park

Buteo Trail

  • Hiking

Buteo Trail circles Buteo Lake allowing easy access for anglers. Beaver, muskrat, frogs, snakes, several species of fish and even freshwater jellyfish inhabit Buteo Lake.

This dirt-surfaced trail does get wet and muddy after rain, has a water crossing in which hikers must cross Buteo Lake's spillway via strategically placed rocks and stone steps, and, for a very short distance, the trail is along a park road. This trail may occaisionally be closed for prescribed burns. Please call the park for details.

Buteo Trail was constructed by park staff and is available for adoption; ask at the park office for details. 

You may experience:

  • Natural surface, dirt, mud, gravel, shifting rocks, slippery surface, etc.
  • Rocks, roots and/or downed vegetation on trail        
  • Wood or stone steps
  • Physically challenging obstacles
  • Bridges and/or structural crossings
  • Water/stream crossings without bridges
  • Occasional water over trail
  • Road/highway crossing
Find the trailhead on the park map
Missouri State Parks Trail Rules and Etiquette
Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
1 Mile 45 minutes Loop Brown

Down the hill on the right past Buteo shelter parking area

Clearfork Woodland Trail

  • Hiking

Length: .60 Mile View map

Clearfork Woodland Trail shares a section of trail with Hawk Nest Trail. It allows access to a small interior section of a large open woodland management area known as Clearfork woodland.  This woodland has been managed for more than 20 years and shows a distinct contrast from the density of the woodland management area along Opossum Hollow that has had limited management application. This trail may occasionally be closed for prescribed burns. Please call the park for details.

Clearfork Woodland Trail is available for adoption; ask at the park office for details.

You may experience:

  • Natural surface, dirt, mud, gravel, shifting rocks, slippery surface, etc.
  • Rocks, roots and/or downed vegetation on trail
  • Occasional water over trail
Find the trailhead on the park map
Missouri State Parks Trail Rules and Etiquette
Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
.60 Mile 25 minutes Loop Blue

At the Clearfork Woodland kiosk near the intersection of SE 871 and Hwy. DD

Discovery Trail

  • Hiking

Length: .90 Mile View map

Discovery Trail winds to the visitor center, travels along a creek for a short distance, then returns to the campground.  It is rich in spring and summer wildflowers. Deer, birds, frogs and turtles are common sites along Discovery Trail. 

Users will encounter bridges, water-bars, and rocks and roots along this dirt-surfaced trail.  Discovery Trail was constructed by park staff and is available for adoption; ask at the park office for details. 

You may experience:

  • Natural surface, dirt, mud, gravel, shifting rocks, slippery surface, etc.
  • Rocks, roots and/or downed vegetation on trail
  • Steep grades and inclines over 10%
  • Bridges and/or structural crossings
  • Road/highway crossing
Find the trailhead on the park map
Missouri State Parks Trail Rules and Etiquette
Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
.90 Mile 40 minutes Loop Green

In the campground near site 18

Hawk Nest Trail

  • Hiking

Length: 1.75 Miles View map

Hawk Nest trail shares sections of trail with both Buteo and Clearfork Woodland trails.  Wildflowers are abundant in the spring and summer months. Oak hickory woodlands dominate this area of the park, allowing for ample wildlife viewing opportunities.

Hikers may encounter occasional water over the trail, slippery, muddy trail surfaces, rocks and roots.  There are also wooden bridge crossings, stone steps, and steep grades and inclines of more than 10 percent along the dirt-surfaced trail. The trail acts as a burn line for prescribed burn management within the woodland and may occasionally be closed for prescribed burning. Please call the park for details.

Works Progress Administration workers constructed a small portion of Hawk Nest Trail near the picnic area. The trail is available for adoption; ask at the park office for details.

You may experience:

  • Natural surface, dirt, mud, gravel, shifting rocks, slippery surface, etc.
  • Rocks, roots and/or downed vegetation on trail
  • Wood or stone steps
  • Steep grades and inclines over 10%
  • Bridges and/or structural crossings
  • Water/stream crossings without bridges
  • Occasional water over trail
Find the trailhead on the park map
Missouri State Parks Trail Rules and Etiquette
Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
1.75 Miles 1 hour, 20 minutes Loop Red Down the hill on the right past the Buteo Shelter parking area

McAdoo Trail System

  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding

Length: 7 Miles View map

McAdoo Trail System is the park’s only trail open to equestrian riders and hikers. Travelers will pass through Christopher Woods, a section of forest that contains the oldest stand of continuous timber within the park. 

Users will encounter both bottomland and upland forests with several creek crossings, steep grades and inclines, slippery conditions and possible downed vegetation. This trail may occasionally be closed to equestrian users due to inclement weather. Please call the park for details. This trail has two white connectors: white connector 1 is 1.20 miles and white connector 2 is .45 miles.

This trail is available for adoption; ask at the park office for details.

You may experience:

  • Natural surface, dirt, mud, gravel, shifting rocks, slippery surface, etc.
  • Rocks, roots and/or downed vegetation on trail
  • Low-hanging vegetation
  • Steep grades and inclines over 10%
  • Bridges and/or structural crossings
  • Water/stream crossings without bridges
  • Occasional water over trail
  • Road/highway crossing
Find the trailhead on the park map
Missouri State Parks Trail Rules and Etiquette
Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
7 Miles 60 minutes per mile Loop Yellow At the equestrian trailhead parking area off the entrance road to Camp Bobwhite

North Loop Trail

  • Hiking

Length: 2 Miles View map

Works Progress Administration workers constructed a few sections of North Loop Trail in the early 1940s. Hikers can see their stonework around water crossings. The forested dirt-surface trail opens up into a prairie management area before leading visitors through a rich, moist bottomland timber stand vivid with spring and summer wildflowers.  Possible wildlife sightings include the eastern bluebird, pileated woodpecker, turkey and deer. 

Hikers will encounter bridges, steep grades and rocks or roots along this trail. 

North Loop Trail is available for adoption; ask at the park office for details.

You may experience:

  • Natural surface, dirt, mud, gravel, shifting rocks, slippery surface, etc.
  • Rocks, roots and/or downed vegetation on trail
  • Steep grades and inclines over 10%
  • Bridges and/or structural crossings
  • Road/highway crossing
Find the trailhead on the park map
Missouri State Parks Trail Rules and Etiquette
Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
2 miles 1 hour, 30 minutes Loop Yellow

In the campground, by the playground

Opossum Hollow Trail

  • Bicycling/Mountain Biking
  • Hiking

Length: 5.5 Miles View map

Opossum Hollow Trail is the park's only trail open to bicyclists and hikers. This trail takes users through a woodland management area similar to Clearfork Woodland Trail. Works Progress Administration-era erosion control structures and remnants from former landowners’ farms are scattered within the area.Along the dirt-surfaced trail, users will encounter areas filled with wildflowers.

Along this trail, users will encounter water crossings without bridges, steep grades and inclines of more than 10 percent, and rocks and roots in the trail. This trail may occasionally be closed for prescribed burns. This trail may occasionally be closed to bicyclists due to inclement weather. Please call the park for details. This trail has a .6-mile connector section blazed in white.

Opossum Hollow Trail, which was partially constructed by Whiteman Air Force Base bike trail volunteers and Free Ride Volunteers, is available for adoption; ask at the park office for details.

You may experience:

  • Natural surface, dirt, mud, gravel, shifting rocks, slippery surface, etc.
  • Rocks, roots and/or downed vegetation on trail
  • Steep grades and inclines over 10%
  • Bridges and/or structural crossings
  • Water/stream crossings without bridges
  • Occasional water over trail
Find the trailhead on the park map
Missouri State Parks Trail Rules and Etiquette
Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
5.5 Miles 4 hours, 10 minutes Loop Red

At Opossum Hollow Woodland Area off SE 751 Road off Hwy. DD