An ancient circle of granite rocks, erected by early man, marks Missouri's smallest Wilderness area.
The 4,238-acre Rockpile Mountain Wilderness is primarily a broken ridge, with steep limestone bluffs, rock formations, and caves along the St. Francis River. From the trailhead there is a two-mile section of maintained trail which is often steep (rated Moderate), where elevations range from about 1,300 feet to 520 feet. The rest of the area is accessed by old roads and by cross-country hiking. The area is within the St. Francois Mountains.
No camping is allowed within 100 feet of an established trail, stream, body of water, cave, rock shelter, and other occupied campsites. Do not build rock fire rings. Horses are allowed; motorized and mechanical transportation is not allowed.
The U.S. Congress designated the Rockpile Mountain Wilderness in 1980. Check the area's website for details, a map, and restrictions.
Two crucial rules: 1> Do Not Carry in Your Own Firewood! (Moving firewood around the country spreads forest pests like the Emerald Ash Borer and Gypsy Moth.) 2> On and near any waterway, glass containers and glass bottles of any kind, and all foam-type food and beverage coolers are prohibited by Missouri law.
Note: the address and phone shown are for the Mark Twain National Forest office responsible for this wilderness area; however, the map pointer indicates the approximate location of this Wilderness Area.