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Park Trails

at Taum Sauk Mountain State Park

Taum Sauk Section of the Ozark Trail

  • Backpacking
  • Hiking

Length: 14.5 Miles View map

The Taum Sauk Section of the Ozark Trail is 35 miles long and runs through the heart of the ancient St. Francois Mountains. One of the most popular and scenic portions of the Taum Sauk Section is the 14.5 miles between Taum Sauk Mountain State Park and Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park. This rugged portion of trail through two state parks winds across mountains of oak-hickory woodland dotted with shortleaf pine trees, bluffs and rocky glades.

The hike at Taum Sauk Mountain State Park begins on Mina Sauk Falls Trail with steep rocky climbs on high rock “steps” that take hikers past the tallest waterfall in Missouri. Soon after passing the falls, Ozark Trail continues down the valley while Mina Sauk Falls Trail loops back up the mountain. One mile below the falls on Ozark Trail lies Devil’s Tollgate, an 8-foot-wide passage through 50 feet of volcanic rhyolite standing 30 feet high. The trail continues on to Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park with several creek crossings. After reaching the park, it connects with Scour Trail and Goggins Mountain Equestrian Trail.

Follow the green and white “OT” trail markers, allowing plenty of time to complete the hike. Watch out for trail intersections with old roads and fire lines. Carry plenty of water since water to treat for drinking may not be available along the trail. Seasonal flooding is possible and rocks are very slippery when wet.

Find the trailhead on the park map
Missouri State Parks Trail Rules and Etiquette
Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
14.5 Miles 14.5 hours Linear Green and White "OT" signs At the main parking area at the end of the park road past the Taum Sauk Mountain overlook

Mina Sauk Falls Trail

  • Accessible
  • Hiking

Length: 3 Miles View map

Mina Sauk Falls Trail provides access to two of Missouri's most important geologic wonders - its highest point and its tallest waterfall. From the parking area, a short walk along a wheelchair-accessible trail leads to the top of Taum Sauk Mountain and the highest point in the state at 1,772 feet above sea level. Beyond this point, the trail becomes rocky and rugged and is not considered accessible to wheelchairs. The trail passes through oak-hickory woodlands that give way to rocky, open glades with expansive and impressive views of the St. Francois Mountains. The trail passes along the top of Mina Sauk Falls, the tallest waterfall in Missouri. Cascading 132 feet over a series of ledges into Taum Sauk Creek, this wet-weather waterfall flows best after a rain. A hike back up the mountain ends at the trailhead. This is a strenuous and challenging trail so be prepared for the rugged, rocky climb and carry plenty of water. Hikers may encounter water crossings in wet weather.

The Taum Sauk Section of the Ozark Trail can be accessed from Mina Sauk Falls Trail trailhead. These two trails run together for approximately one mile. At the top of the falls, Ozark Trail continues down the valley while Mina Sauk Falls Trail loops back up the mountain.

You may experience:

  • Natural surface, dirt, mud, gravel, shifting rocks, slippery surface, etc.
  • Rocks, roots and/or downed vegetation on trail        
  • Physically challenging obstacles
  • Steep grades and inclines more than 10 percent
  • Bluffs or drop-offs next to trail
  • Water/stream crossings without bridges
Find the trailhead on the park map
Missouri State Parks Trail Rules and Etiquette

 

 

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
3 Miles 3 hours Loop Red At the main parking area at the end of the park road past Taum Sauk Mountain overlook