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Park Trails

at Pershing State Park

Canfield Savanna Trail

  • Hiking

Length: .40 Mile View map

For visitors staying in the campground, this trail is an easy walk from the campground. It winds through an area inhabited by large oak trees and an understory of native grasses and wildflowers. Ending at the parking lot beside Locust Creek, hikers may return to their starting point via the asphalt road or continue their hike on the boardwalk.

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
.40 Mile 20 minutes, one way Linear Red 1) At the south end of the campground shower house, across from the outer road; 2) At the south end of the Cambria Iron Bridge parking area

Boardwalk Trail

  • Accessible
  • Hiking

Length: 1.5 Miles View map

The best way to explore the wetlands and view wildlife is on this accessible interpretive boardwalk. The exhibits along the boardwalk explain the forces that interact with one another to create and maintain the wetlands and wildlife found in the park. The boardwalk leads visitors through bottomland forest, marsh and wet prairie. An observation tower overlooks the largest remaining wet prairie in north Missouri at nearly 1,000 acres.

The area along the trail has been designated an Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society. Birdwatchers can enjoy a huge variety of birds including great blue herons, barred owls, pileated woodpeckers, migrating songbirds, waterfowl and wintering eagles. On the prairie, visitors will find cordgrass, compass plant, spiderwort, blue flag iris and the rare pale green orchid. The endangered massasauga rattlesnake can be found along with deer, raccoon, river otter, mink, beaver, muskrat and several species of amphibians. The trail shares a trailhead and a section with Locust Creek Riparian Trail.

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
1.5 Miles 1 hour, 10 minutes Loop Green Past the campground on the outer road at the west end of Cambria Iron Bridge

Oak Ridge Trail

  • Hiking

Length: .40 Mile View map

Oak Ridge Trail begins next to the open shelter in the day-use area and takes you through an oak-hickory forest along Locust Creek and near a shrub swamp. Visitors may have a chance to view wildlife associated with both an upland forest and wetlands environment, including deer, squirrel, beaver, an occasional otter and migrating waterfowl.

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
.40 Mile 25 minutes, one way Linear Orange 1) Behind campsite 14; parking is located at the shower house; 2) Behind the playground at the open shelter house in the day-use area

Locust Creek Riparian Trail

  • Backpacking
  • Hiking

Length: 6 Miles View map

Riparian refers to the land along rivers and streams and this trail follows the west bank of Locust Creek from the iron bridge to the northeast portion of Fountain Grove Conservation Area. It uses the boardwalk’s first .80 miles before branching off and paralleling Locust Creek before it terminates on Fountain Grove Conservation Area.

The Riparian Trail is unique to north Missouri and it follows a meandering prairie stream with its associated oxbows and wetlands under a tall canopy of bottomland forest of oak, hickory, cottonwood, sycamore and silver maple in Locust Creek Natural Area.

The type and amount of vegetation in this corridor have great influence on the water quality of the stream. Human settlement along rivers has replaced native vegetation with agricultural, residential, commercial and industrial developments, often to the detriment of the stream.

Since the Riparian Trail is not a loop trail, hikers will need to plan for a pick-up at the south end, or drop a vehicle there first, similar to many canoe trips, to hike its full course. Short hikes are also encouraged by hiking in and out from the same location.

Due to the potential of flooding along parts of this trail, users are encouraged to contact the park office or check the park’s web page for notices. 

Two trailheads also are located in Fountain Grove Conservation Area. One is at the parking area on the north end of the conservation area, which can be reached via Belt Road. The second is located off the auto tour route on the east side of the area, accessed on Crown Drive. About one mile of this trail is located on Missouri Department of Conservation property. Special rules, regulations and access may apply on Missouri Department of Conservation property.

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
6 Miles 4 hours, 30 minutes, one way Linear Blue At approximately the halfway point of Boardwalk Trail

Scout Lake Trail

  • Hiking

Length: .30 Mile View map

Scout Lake Trail winds through an upland wooded area accented with wildflowers. This trail crosses wooden foot bridges and encircles the Scout Lake Area of the park. Picnic sites and parking lots are located just north of the trailhead at the intersection of Hwy. 130 and Husk Road.

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
.30 Mile 20 minutes, one way Loop Yellow

North of the campground on the east side of Hwy. 130