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Park Trails

at Lake of the Ozarks State Park

Aquatic Trail

  • Boating

Length: 9.75 Miles View map

This unique aquatic trail provides boaters with a different perspective of the park when viewed from the Lake of the Ozarks. Buoys are placed at various locations between the park’s Grand Glaize Beach and the main campground. A special corresponding interpretive guide provides information about what boaters see at each stop. The diversity of the park and its natural communities are showcased with stops to view woodlands, glades, streams and geological structures. Boaters can learn how swallows use the bluffs in the park, how chert is formed and why glades are being lost to cedar invasion.  

This trail is accessible only from the water and users must provide their own boats. An Aquatic Trail guide is available at various locations in the park and is recommended before launching on this unique interpretive trail.

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
9.75 Miles   Linear Buoy 1.) Campground marina; 2.) Grand Glaize Beach area

Bluestem Knoll Trail

  • Hiking

Length: .80 Mile View map

Bluestem Knoll Trail gives hikers an idea of how the Ozark landscape looked when settlers first arrived more than two centuries ago. Widely spaced trees, tall native grasses and wildflowers were characteristic of the natural communities found in central Missouri.  Through active management practices such as prescribed burning, removal of exotic species and opening of the canopy, these native landscapes are being restored and are showcased along the trail.   

 

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
.80 Mile 35 minutes Loop Yellow 1.)South of park office on Hwy. 134; or at the trail center off Hwy. 134; 2.) At the trail center off Hwy. 134

Coakley Hollow Trail

  • Hiking

Length: 1 Mile View map

This self-guiding interpretive trail meanders through one of the most ecologically diverse areas in Lake of the Ozarks State Park.  Six different types of natural communities, including dolomite glades, fens, spring-fed streams and several types of woodlands, can be seen. Rare species such as Riddell’s goldenrod, gray petaltail dragonflies and Ozark sculpins are frequently encountered.  Other species such as the digger crayfish are found only in the valley in the park. Interpretive stations are located along the trail.

The trail may be closed during evening hours and in the off season.  It is recommended that visitors call the visitor center at Ozark Caverns, 573-346-2500, after Sept. 15 through May 15 to see if the area is open.

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
1 Mile 1 hour Loop Yellow 1.) At the front of the Ozark Caverns Visitor Center; 2.) Behind the visitor center area

Fawn's Ridge Trail

  • Accessible
  • Hiking

Fawns Ridge Trail has two sections. The first part is a level .60-mile one-way section that runs from the campground check station to the picnic area along Highway 134 and is accessible to wheelchairs. Pleasant views of the dry-mesic chert woodlands found throughout the park can be viewed along this section of the trail.  Dominant plants include native white oaks, mockernut hickories, tick trefoils and elm-leaved goldenrods.  Hikers early in the day may hear or see white-eyed vireos and brown creepers. The trail veers off to make an additional .60- mile loop winding along wooded slopes and ending at the campground check-stand. 

If starting at the trailhead along Highway 134, the trail is approximately 1.25 mile long.  If starting at the trailhead at the campground check stand, the trail is approximately 1 mile long.  White connector 1 joins this trail to White Oak Trail to make a longer hike. The trail shares a trailhead and a section with Lakeview Bend Trail.

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
1.25 Miles 55 minutes Loop Yellow 1.) Across from the picnic area on Hwy. 134; 2.) At the campground check station

Hidden Springs Trail

  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding

Hidden Springs Trail goes through native Missouri woodlands to bluff tops above the lake. Depending on the season, users may see flowering dogwoods, hear pileated woodpeckers or feel the cool temperatures of a seasonal spring. In addition to the abundant natural history in this area, the trail also passes near a small family cemetery.

The trail shares a trailhead and section with White Oak Trail and intersects with Trail of Four Winds for a longer hike or ride.

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
2.5 Miles 1 hour, 45 minutes Loop Green On Hwy. 134 approximately 4.6 miles from the main park entrance

Honey Run Trail

  • Bicycling/Mountain Biking
  • Hiking

Length: 12.75 Miles View map

Honey Run Trail is actually three diverse trails in one.  Starting at the trailhead along McCubbins Drive, this linear portion of the trail immediately goes through a natural community known as the Upland Flatwoods Section.  Due to a soil feature known as fragipan, which restricts water movement below the surface, this rare community type has pools of water on the surface half the year and soil that cracks due to lack of water the remainder of the year.  This creates a community requiring some unique adaptations.  As the trail leaves the upland flatwoods and drops off the ridge, dry-mesic and dry chert woodlands are common before reaching a dry mesic bottomland community and ending at the stream that runs through Honey Run Hollow. From this point, the trail branches off into two separate loops.

The South Loop runs through a dry-mesic bottomland woodland. This natural community forms a transition between the upland woodlands and wetter mesic bottomland woodlands found in the park.  This loop winds around Honey Run Creek.  Ozark sculpins and bleeding shiners, which are found only in the Ozarks, can be found in this creek. Depending on the time of the year, tall bellflowers, spring beauties or river oats can be found growing near the streambank.

The North Loop offers a variety of different community structures. Dry chert and dry-mesic chert woodlands, with their predominately post oak and white oak communities, dominate the uplands while dry-mesic bottomland woodlands dominate the bottomlands.  Interspaced between these communities are numerous dolomite glades and views of the lake before the foliage comes out in the spring.

The Uplands Flatwood Section starts at the trailhead on McCubbins Drive and ends at Anderson Hollow Road (a gravel road) where both the North Loop and the South Loop begin. Trail users wanting to use only the North or South loops should park along Anderson Hollow Road near the beginning of the South Loop. The round-trip distance is 12.75 miles when starting at the trailhead off McCubbins Drive and traveling all three sections.  

 

Uplands Flatwood Section
Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
3 Miles, one way 2 hours, 15 minutes Loop Yellow 1.) McCubbins Drive Trailhead: North of Ozark Caverns approximately 2.50 miles from the intersection of Highway A and McCubbins Drive; 2.) Anderson Hollow Trailhead: Approximately 1.50 miles from the intersection of McCubbins Drive and Anderson Hollow Road.
North Loop
Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
4.25 Miles 3 hours, 10 minutes Loop Yellow 1.) McCubbins Drive Trailhead: North of Ozark Caverns approximately 2.50 miles from the intersection of Highway A and McCubbins Drive; 2.) Anderson Hollow Trailhead: Approximately 1.50 miles from the intersection of McCubbins Drive and Anderson Hollow Road.
South Loop
Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
2.5 Miles 1 hour, 50 minutes Loop Yellow 1.) McCubbins Drive Trailhead: North of Ozark Caverns approximately 2.50 miles from the intersection of Highway A and McCubbins Drive; 2.) Anderson Hollow Trailhead: Approximately 1.50 miles from the intersection of McCubbins Drive and Anderson Hollow Road.

Lake Trail

  • Hiking

Length: 1.5 Miles View map

Lake Trail shows a variety of Ozark terrain. Part of the trail is densely shaded and covered in ferns while the rest is open and rocky with areas of exposed chert and few trees and plants. The trail follows the shoreline of Lake of the Ozarks and provides views of the lake. In addition to the natural history, evidence of the past can be seen in an old foundation from a former Scout camp and a Civilian Conservation Corps structure now being used as a showerhouse for the camper cabin area. White connector 5 can be used to shorten the hike.

 

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
1.5 Miles 1 hour, 10 minutes Loop Green

Outpost Cabins main parking area

Lakeview Bend Trail

  • Hiking

Length: 1.5 Miles View map

Lakeview Bend Trail offers an amazing amount of natural community diversity as well as views of the lake. Towering dolomite bluffs and steep rocky slopes that are the result of the erosive forces of the Grand Glaize River can be found along one section. Gentle slopes through native Ozark woodlands characterize the other half of this trail. Native columbines and ferns are common on the trail and hikers often see white-tailed deer and fox squirrels. Access points can be found in sections three and four of the campground and the trail also provides access to the campground amphitheater. The trail shares a trailhead and a section with Fawn’s Ridge Trail.

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
1.5 Miles 1 hour, 10 minutes Loop Blue

At the campground check station

Rocky Top Trail

  • Hiking

Length: 2 Miles View map

Rocky Top Trail is a popular trail that quickly climbs to one of the largest glades in the park.  Historically influenced by periodic fires, these dolomite glades are becoming rarer as cedars encroach and choke out the native vegetation. Rocky Top glade is managed by periodic fires to help maintain its natural integrity. After passing through the glade, native Ozark woodlands with white oaks, bluestem grass and asters become common. The trail crosses through a ravine and reaches a rich north-facing slope that gives way to dolomite cliffs overlooking the Lake of the Ozarks.

This trail is actually two loops joined together for a total of about two miles. After approximately half a mile, the trail reaches an intersection. Hikers can finish the first loop by hiking back along the lakeshore to the parking lot and trailhead for a total hike of about one mile. For a longer hike, the trail crosses the small ravine and goes up to the overlook on the lake and loops back. This will be an additional 1.5 miles of hiking. 

 

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
2 Miles 1 hour, 30 minutes Loop Yellow

At the Grand Glaize Beach picnic area

Shady Ridge Trail

  • Hiking

Length: 1 Mile View map

Shady Ridge Trail is known for its lake views.  Meandering along the lakeshore, the trail traverses dry-mesic chert woodland where white and black oaks shade the woodland floor. The trail connects the Grand Glaze Beach area (PB2) with the Pa He Tsi area in the park.

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
1 Mile 45 minutes, one way Linear Red 1.) East of the marina at Grand Glaize Beach; 2.) At the Pa He Tsi boat ramp access area

Trail of Four Winds

  • Bicycling/Mountain Biking
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding

Length: 13.5 Miles View map

The longest trail in the park, Trail of Four Winds, travels through almost every type of natural community in Lake of the Ozarks State Park. This diversity provides stunning views of the lake, rock outcrops, breathtaking overlooks, seasonal streams, ponds and woodlands.  Depending on the time of the year and the section, encounters with Cooper’s hawks, white-tailed deer and fence lizards are not uncommon.

The trail is divided into two sections with a north loop and a south loop; two connectors are available to make your hike longer or shorter. White connector 2 on the south loop is approximately 2.25 miles long. White Connector 3 on the North Loop is approximately .60 mile long. In addition there is a .30 mile spur on the South Loop that leads to a scenic overlook.

Having a trail map or topographic map is strongly suggested before using this trail.

North Loop
Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
4.25 Miles 4 hours, 15 minutes Loop Green 1.) On Hwy. 134, 1.2 miles south of the trail information center; 2.) On Ridgecrest Road off Hwy. 134
South Loop
Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
9.25 Miles 9 hours, 15 minutes Loop Red 1.) On Hwy. 134, 1.2 miles south of the trail information center; 2.) On Ridgecrest Road off Hwy. 134

White Oak Trail

  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding

Length: 1 Mile View map

White Oak Trail is a quiet, shaded trail that follows along a ridge top where various woodland animals such as northern fence lizards, three-toed box turtles or eastern chipmunks may be seen. After hiking about .20 miles, the trail splits in two to form a loop.  On the right, white connector 1 is a .20-mile long connector trail that joins Fawn’s Ridge Trail for those wanting a longer hike. White connector 1 and Fawn’s Ridge Trail are open to hikers only.

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
1 Mile 45 minutes Loop Orange On Hwy. 134 approximately 4.6 miles from the main park entrance

Woodland Trail

  • Backpacking
  • Hiking

Length: 3.25 Miles View map

Flowering dogwoods in the spring and warm blazes of color in the fall make Woodland Trail a rewarding hike. This trail goes through the 1,275-acre Patterson Hollow Wild Area. Wild areas in Missouri state parks are set aside to minimize the effects of humans.  This allows the hiker to enjoy the native woodlands in the park without any man-made visual or sound intrusions.

This is the only trail in the park that allows backpacking and a designated backpacking camp is located along the trail. A .40-mile white connector 4 offers a shorter hike of 1.75 miles. A topographic map, a compass or GPS is recommended for hiking this trail.

 

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
3.25 Miles 2 hours, 30 minutes Loop Blue

Behind the trail information center on Hwy. 134