Our favorite hiking spots in Missouri

Destinations are grouped in five categories: close to town, along I-44, South of Rolla, North and West of Rolla, South-East of Rolla. Within each group, destinations are sorted by distance from Rolla.

Close to town

Destination Location Trails
Audobon Nature Center in town
across I-44 from campus
Audubon Society preserve
short trails, totaling 3 miles
Marguerite Bray Conservation Area just outside of town
off Bridge School Rd
2.5 mile loop trail
several short loops
Lane Springs Recreation Area 11 miles South of Rolla
off Hwy 63
Blossom Rock Trail 1 mi
Cedar Bluff Trail 1mi
Great for kids
Maramec Spring 16 miles from Rolla
near St. James
Spring, fish hatchery, fishing
several short trails
Great for kids
Mill Creek Recreation Area 14 miles from Rolla
near Newburg
Kaintuck trail system 16 miles total
short loops of different lengths
Natural tunnel
Spring Creek Gap Conservation Area 16 miles North of Rolla
off Hwy 63
Trail system
and off trail hiking
creek, rock formations
Clifty Creek Natural Area
33 miles from Rolla
near Dixon
40 ft long natural bridge
loop trail 2.5 mi

Along I-44

Destination Location Trails
Onondaga Cave SP 36 miles from Rolla
I-44 to Leasburg
Blue Heron trail 1 mi
Deer Run Trail 2.5 mi
Oak Ridge trail 3 mi
Cave Tours
Meramec State Park 45 miles from Rolla
I-44 to Sullivan
Natural Wonders trail 1.3 miles
Wilderness loop trail 10 miles
Wilderness trail short cut 6 miles
Bluff View trail 1.5 mi
Hamilton Hollow 4 mi Trail description
Shaw Nature Reserve
68 miles from Rolla
near Grey Summit
off I-44
14 mile trail network
Trails starting from 0.5 mile length
Wheel chair accessible trails
Don Robinson State Park
76 miles from Rolla
near Pacific
4 mile Sandstone Canyon trail
2.4 mi LaBarque Hills trail

South of Rolla

Destination Location Trails
Paddy Creek Wilderness 50 miles South of Rolla
Hwy 63 to Licking
Big Piney Loop Trail 17 miles
South and North Loop 8-9 mi each
Paddy Creek trail 0.85 mi
Devil's Well 50 miles South of Rolla
off Hwy 19
trail to Cave Spring 4.6 mi round trip
Current River State Park
54 miles South of Rolla
off Hwy 19
historic resort, several trails.
Current River Trail 5.25 mi to Echo Bluff SP
Echo Bluff State Park 55 miles South of Rolla
off Hwy 19
lodge, cabins, playground.
Painters Ridge trail 2 mi
Current River Trail 5.25 mi to Current River SP
Prairie Hollow Gorge 78 mi from Rolla
near Eminence
Rocky gorge, 100 ft high cliffs
hike in stream bed
1/3 mi to gorge overlook
Rocky Falls 84 mi from Rolla
near Eminence
3 mi to Klepzig Mill (one way)
3 mi to Stegall Mountain (one way)
Alley Spring 80 miles from Rolla
near Eminence
Historic Mill
1.5 mile overlook loop trail
Hercules Glades Wilderness 140 miles from Rolla
near Branson
30 miles of trails

North and West of Rolla

Destination Location Trails
Painted Rock Conservation Area 55 miles North of Rolla
Hwy 63 to Westphalia
1.6 mile trail loop to overlook
Bennett Springs State Park 69 miles from Rolla
near Lebanon
off I-44
Natural Tunnel Trail 7 mi
Lake of the Ozarks State Park
67 miles from Rolla
near Osage Beach
35 miles of trails, Ozark Caverns cave tours
Rocky Top Trail 2 mi
Honeyrun Trail 12.5 mi
Trail of the Four Winds. 13 mi
Ha Ha Tonka State Park 74 miles from Rolla
near Camdenton
Castle ruin, spring, natural arch
several short trails
Devil's Kitchen Trail 1 mi one way
Turkey Pen Hollow trail 7 mi
Rock Bridge Memorial State Park
89 miles North of Rolla
near Columbia
Natural tunnel, cave entrances
several trails 0.5 to 4 miles
Good for kids
8.5 mile trail network in Gans Creek Wild Area

South-East of Rolla

Destination Location Trails
Bell Mountain Wilderness 73 miles from Rolla
near Black
12 mile loop trail
Washington State Park
74 miles from Rolla
near Potosi
1000 Steps Trail 1.5 mi
Rockywood Trail 6 mi
Hughes Mountain Natural Area 81 miles from Rolla
near Irondale
Rhyolite formations
Trail to top and back 1.5 mi
Johnson Shutins State Park 82 miles from Rolla
near Centerville
Shut-Ins trail 2.5 mi
Horseshoe Glade trail 2 mi
Goggins Mountain trail 10 mi
Elephant Rocks State Park 85 miles from Rolla
near Belleview
Braille trail 1 mi
St. Francois State Park
89 miles from Rolla
near Bonne Terre
Mooners Hollow Trail 3 mi
Swimming Deer Trail 3 mi
Taum Sauk Mountain State Park 100 miles from Rolla
near Arcadia
Mina Sauk Falls - highest waterfall in MO
Mina Sauk Trail 3.5 mi
Mina Sauk+ Ozark Trail to Devil's Tollgate 5 mi
Pickle Springs Natural Area 100 miles from Rolla
near Farmington
Sandstone formations
Trail Through Time 2 mi
Great for kids!
Hawn State Park 104 miles from Rolla
near Farmington
One of the best hikes in MO:
Whispering Pines Trail 10 mi
North Loup 6 mi / South Loop 4mi
Pickle Creek trail 0.7 mi
Millstream Gardens CA 101 miles from Rolla
near Ironton
Tiemal Shutins Trail 1 mile, disabled accessible
Trail to Silvermines Recreation area 4 mi
Sam A. Baker State Park 117 miles from Rolla
near Patterson
Shut-ins Trail 3 mi
Mudlick Trail system 12 miles
Cathedral Canyon
of Lower Rock Creek
112 miles from Rolla
near Arcadia
Shutins of Lower Rock Creek
remote and scenic, almost alpine atmosphere
4 mi round trip (2 mi off-trail in stream bed)
Rockpile Mountain 123 miles from Rolla
near Fredericktown
7 mi round trip to summit
ancient stone circle of undetermined origin