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Park Trails

at Lake of the Ozarks State Park

Aquatic Trail

  • Boating

Length: 9.75 Miles View map

Pick up the Aquatic Trail Guide at one of various locations in the park before launching on this unique trail, which takes boaters to some of the park’s natural communities. A diversity of woodlands, glades, streams and geological structures can be viewed. Among the stops, you may be able to see 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 from the water only. Buoys marked “Aquatic Trail” are placed at various locations between the Grand Glaize Beach (PB #2) and the main campground (PB #1). Each buoy is marked with a letter corresponding to a letter in the Aquatic Trail Guide. You must provide your own boat.

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
9.75 Miles   Linear Buoy

Grand Glaize beach area; or Campground marina

Bluestem Knoll Trail

  • Hiking

Length: .80 Mile View map

Settlers arriving in Missouri more than two centuries ago encountered a landscape much different than what is found in the Ozarks today. Widely spaced trees, tall native grasses and large herbivores 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.  Bluestem Knoll Trail goes through one of these areas actively managed by the park.

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
.80 Mile 35 minutes Loop Yellow

South of park office on Hwy. 134; or 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 the 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. You may want to allow time for stops at the interpretive stations. This trail may be closed during evening hours and in the off season.  It is recommended that you 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

Ozark Caverns Visitor Center

Fawn's Ridge Trail

  • Accessible
  • Hiking

This trail has two sections. A level .6 mile, linear section runs from the campground check stand 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. The trail veers off to make an additional .6-mile loop, winding along wooded slopes and ending at the campground check stand. If you start at the trailhead along highway 134, this loop trail is approximately 1.25 mile long.  If you start at the trailhead at the campground check stand, this loop trail is approximately one mile long. If you want to make your hike longer, a short .20-mile white connector trail joins this trail to White Oak Trail. This connector trail is marked with white blazes.

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
1.25 Miles 55 minutes Loop Yellow

Across Hwy. 134 from the picnic area; or at the campground entrance

Hidden Springs Trail

  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding

This trail goes through native Missouri woodlands to bluff tops above the lake.  Depending on the season, one 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.

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
2.5 Miles 1 hour, 45 minutes Loop Green

At the stables

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 goes through a terrestrial 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 you leave the upland flatwoods and drop off the ridge, dry-mesic and dry chert woodlands become the norm 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 Greek. Ozarks 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 beauty or river oats can be found growing near the stream bank.

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 wonderful views of the lake before the foliage comes out in the spring.

The Upland Flatwoods Section starts at the trailhead on McCubbins Drive and ends at Anderson Hollow Road (a gravel road), where the beginnings of both the north and the south loops can be found. If you want to use only the north or south loops, parking is available along Anderson Hollow Road near the beginning of the south loop. You can travel a round-trip distance of 12.75 miles if you start at the trailhead off McCubbins Drive and travel all three sections.

Uplands Flatwood Section
Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
3 Miles, one way   Linear Yellow

North of Ozark Caverns off McCubbins Drive; or Off Anderson Hollow Road

North Loop
Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
4.25 Miles   Loop Yellow North of Ozark Caverns off McCubbins Drive; or Off Anderson Hollow Road
South Loop
Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
2.5 Miles   Loop Yellow North of Ozark Caverns off McCubbins Drive; or Off Anderson Hollow Road

Lake Trail

  • Hiking

Length: 1.5 Miles View map

Part of this trail is densely shaded and covered in ferns, while the rest is open and rocky. Between the two extremes, the trail will take you along the shoreline of the Lake of the Ozarks. In addition to the natural history, evidence of the past and present cultural history can also be seen. Lake Trail is a study in what this part of Missouri has become.

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

This loop trail offers an amazing amount of natural community diversity. Towering dolomite bluffs and steep rocky slopes that were the result of the erosive forces of the Grand Glaize River can be found along one section. You will see views of the lake as well as native columbines and ferns. Gentle slopes through native Ozark woodlands are characterized by the other half of this trail. Native white-tailed deer and fox squirrels are frequently seen. Access points can be found in the third and fourth areas of the campground. This trail also provides access to the campground amphitheater.

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

This popular trail 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. Once you have hiked through the glade, native Ozark woodlands with its composition of white oaks, bluestem and asters become the norm. Crossing through the ravine, you will come to a rich north facing slope that gives way to dolomite cliff overlooking the Lake of the Ozarks.

This trail is actually two loops joined together for a total of about two miles.  After hiking for approximately half a mile, you will come to an intersection. At this point you 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. If you would like a longer hike, cross the small ravine up to the overlook on the lake and loop 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

Grand Glaize Beach picnic area

Shady Ridge Trail

  • Hiking

Length: 1 Mile View map

This trail is known for its great lake views. Meandering along the lakeshore, this trail traverses dry-mesic chert woodland, where white and black oaks shade the forest floor. It connects the Grand Glaze Beach area with the Pa He Tsi area in the park.

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
1 Mile 45 minutes, one way Linear Red

Grand Glaize northern boat ramp parking area; Off Public Beach Road; or Pa He Tsi boat ramp access

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 traverses almost every type of natural community in the park. This diversity provides stunning views of the lake, rock outcrops, seasonal streams, ponds and woodlands. There are two white connectors on this trail to make your experience more diverse or shorter. White connector 2 on the south loop is 2.25 miles long. White connector 3 on the north loop is .6 mile long. In addition, there is a .30 mile spur on the south loop that leads to a scenic overlook. A trail map or topographic map is strongly suggested before using this trail. 

North Loop
Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
4.75 Miles 4 hours, 15 minutes Loop Green

On Hwy. 134, 1.2 miles south of the information center; or Near Ozark Homestead Stables off Hwy. 134

South Loop
Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
9.25 Miles 9 hours, 15 minutes Loop Red On Hwy. 134, 1.2 miles south of the information center; or Near Ozark Homestead Stables off Hwy. 134

White Oak Trail

  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding

Length: .70 Mile View map

This relatively flat trail runs along a ridge top where you may encounter various woodland animals such as northern fence lizards, three-toed box turtles or eastern chipmunks. After hiking about .2 mile, the trail splits in two to form a loop. If you continue to the right, a white connector trail intersects White Oak Trail. This .2-mile long connector trail joins Fawn’s Ridge Trail for those wanting to make a longer hike and is marked in white blazes. The white connector trail and Fawn’s Ridge Trail are open to hikers only. 

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
.70 Mile 30 minutes Loop Orange

At Ozark Homestead Stables

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, where you can enjoy the native woodlands without any man-made intrusions. This is the only trail in the park where backpacking is allowed. A designated camp is found along the trail. A .4-mile connector trail will allow you to shorten this trail to approximately 1.75 miles.  The connector trail is marked with white blazes. A topographic map, a compass or GPS are 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