Outdoor Adventures Await in Missouri
Explore the Show-Me State on your own two feet with hiking trips through Missouri. Outdoor adventures on Missouri's many hiking trails provide the opportunity to get out of the sun by venturing into some of our 2,100+ caves, including many well-known cave attractions throughout the state.
Hiking Trips Just Outside of St. Louis
City dwellers need look no further than Rockwoods Reservation in Wildwood, a 40-minute drive from downtown St. Louis. The park's seven hiking trails are perfect for outdoor adventures. Located in western St. Louis County, this slice of paradise is ideal for hiking trips, attracting hikers, rock-climbers and avid bird-watchers. In fact, Audubon Missouri lists Rockwoods as an Important Bird Area (IBA). During hiking trips at Rockwoods, keep an eye out for sparrows, warblers, hummingbirds and many other birds that call this area home. The diverse, beautiful landscape includes springs, rock formations and caves.
Outdoor Adventures for Anglers
March is the beginning of trout season. Take your rod and reel to Bennett Spring State Park, 12 miles west of Lebanon. Bennett Spring, the state's third-largest spring, welcomes avid trout anglers (and, as the days warm up, swimmers and float-trippers). Bennett Spring is perfect for diverse outdoor adventures and is a great spot for hiking trips. Along the park's trails, you can spread out your picnic lunch at a scenic spot..
Also, trout are plentiful at one of the top trout fisheries in the nation: Roaring River State Park, south of Cassville. Even if you don't hook a prize fish, you'll take home memories of a beautiful hiking trip along the seven trails that cut through the park’s rugged terrain.
Majestic Hiking Trips Throughout Missouri
A perfect destination for outdoor adventures in Missouri is Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, providing 14 miles of hiking terrain. Part of the Missouri Botanical Garden system, Shaw is a beautiful place for a hiking trip, thanks to a varied terrain of tall-grass prairie, wetlands, savannas, glades and woodlands.
Outdoor adventures in Weston start at Weston Bend State Park, where hikers and bicyclists experience gorgeous views of the Missouri River from a three-mile, paved loop trail.
Bluffwoods Conservation Center delights visitors with dense forests that make the perfect backdrop for hiking trips and outdoor adventures. Located just south of St. Joseph, Bluffwoods features many kinds of trees, including soaring northern red oaks and beautiful black walnuts. As the name suggests, Bluffwoods boasts impressive bluffs with great views. The Forest Nature Trail offers a gentle hike. Picnic areas are located at the trailheads of the Maple Falls Trail and the Lone Pine Trail.
Go Deep in Missouri’s Cave Attractions
Missouri offers even more than what you see above ground. Below ground, remarkable caves beckon the explorer in all of us. Jacob's Cave, near the town of Versailles, enjoys the distinction of being the first Lake of the Ozarks-area cave open to tourists. Since 1932, visitors have marveled at the cave's reflective pools, prehistoric bones (including mastodons), depth illusions and delicate formations. The mile-long tour includes great views of millions of “soda straws,” as well as the enormous stalagmites and stalactites.
For those adventures soles who relish realism, tours of Ozark Caverns are given by lantern-light only. Located in Lake of the Ozarks State Park, eight miles east of Linn Creek, Missouri’s largest state park is perfect for hiking trips and cave exploration. Twelve trails wind through thousands of wooded acres.
Meramec Caverns in Stanton is one of the most famous cave attractions in the US, welcoming visitors from all over the world. It is reputed to have been used as a hideout by the Jesse James gang. This cave attraction, with seven fascinating levels, is more than just a cave. Meramec is great for a weekend outdoor adventure as well. On-site facilities include canoe and raft rentals on the Meramec River; a restaurant; a candy shop; a zipline ride; the Jesse James Wax Museum; and campgrounds.