The Best Outdoor Activities in Missouri
Discover the best hiking, camping, backpacking, fitness, and more.
Explore the Devil's Ice Box
Missouri / Rock Bridge Memorial State Park
Rock Bridge Memorial State Park is located near Columbia, Missouri and has over 2,000 acres to explore.
Hike West Ridge Trail in Weston Bend State Park
Missouri / West Ridge Trailhead
A short day trip from Kansas City, Weston Bend State Park offers a nice getaway for those seeking the outdoors.
Hike the Colosseum Trail
Missouri / Colosseum Trailhead
This park is best known for its castle ruins, which are also worth a visit.
Hike Shooting Star Bluffs
Missouri / Shooting Star Bluffs
Rock Bridge Memorial State Park is located near Columbia, Missouri and has over 2,000 acres to explore. The Shooting Star Bluffs are roughly a 1/2 of a mile into the Gans Creek Wild Area Trail System.
Bouldering at Elephant Rock State Park
Missouri / Elephant Rock State Park
The area is preserved for these amazing geological wonders. Huge boulders that stand end-to-end like a train of circus elephants fill the park.
Explore Rocky Falls
Missouri / Rocky Falls
Rocky Falls are located only a short hike away from the parking lot. The swimming hole is also popular, and the adventurous can climb up to the rock face to reach the top of the falls.
Hike the River Scene Trail
Missouri / River Scene Trailhead
This hike in Castlewood State Park gives you multiple vantage points on the Meramec River. Follow the red arrows as the trail heads out on the bluffs.
Hike the Whispering Pines Loop
Missouri / Whispering Pines Trailhead
Large rock formations, picturesque creeks, and wildflowers are all found along this trail.
Photograph Grand Falls
Missouri / Grand Falls, Shoal Creek
There really isn't much adventure in getting to the Grand Falls, because you could drive within 100 feet of it.
Hike the Lewis and Clark Trails
Missouri / Lewis and Clark Trailhead
Located in the Weldon Spring Conservation Area, this hike links together the Lewis and Clark Trails. At first the two trails overlap one another. When the trails split, for a shorter, 5.
Hike the Rocky Top Trail
Missouri / Rocky Top Trailhead
Located in Lake of the Ozarks State Park, the Rocky Top Trail (yellow blazes) starts out with a climb to the top of a large glade.
Explore Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge's Scenic Loop
Missouri / Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge
Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge is located just outside of Mound City in northwest Missouri. The refuge is approximately 100 miles northwest of Kansas City off I-29.
Hike the Lone Wolf Trail
Missouri / Lone Wolf Trailhead
This hike or bike ride in Castlewood State Park starts out with pleasant views on the bluffs.
Hike the Hawk Ridge Trail
Missouri / Hawk Ridge Trailhead
This well maintained trail is open to hiking, trail running, and biking. As it loops around the park, the trail passes through forest and meadows.
Hike or Bike Chubb Trail
Missouri / Chubb Trailhead
Chubb Trail, marked by black blazes, links together Lone Elk County Park, Castlewood State Park, and West Tyson County Park. It is a loose gravel and rock trail.
Hike the Lost Valley Trail
Missouri / Lost Valley Trailhead, Weldon Spring
This well-marked trail in the Weldon Spring Conservation Area is open to hikers and bikers. Bikers will find that the loop is easier in the clockwise direction.
Photograph Jolly Mill
Missouri / Jolly Mill
This park is really neat, its not very big but for the area there is lots to do. You can check out the mill that does still work.
Photograph the Hodgson Mill Waterfall
Missouri / Hodgson Mill Waterfall
With easy access off of Missouri Hwy 181, the Hodgson Mill Waterfall makes for a great photo opportunity. The historic water mill neighboring the falls dates to the mid to late 19th century.
Backpack the Bell Mountain Loop
Missouri / Highway A Trailhead
An offshoot from the Ozark Trail, the Bell Mountain Loop trail offers a 12 mile loop (when starting from the HWY A trail head) that works perfectly as a beginner backpacking trip.
Backpack the Turkey Pen Hollow Trail
Missouri / Turkey Pen Hollow Trailhead
This 6.5 mile loop is a great hike that takes you into the Haha Tonka Oak Woodland Natural Area. It shares a trailhead with the Acorn Trail but is clearly marked on which way you should go.
Hike the Spring Trail
Missouri / Spring Trail
This hike starts out on a half mile of paved trail. From here you will climb a ton of steps to the top, which when the leaves are off the tress can offer a pretty good view.
Photograph the MKT Katy Trail Bridge
Missouri / MKT Katy Trail Bridge
Whether you are biking along the historic Katy Trail, or driving through Central Missouri on your cross country road trip, you won't want to miss the Katy Trail Bridge.
Backpack the Woodland Trail
Missouri / Woodland Trail
Starting at 850 feet of elevation, this 3.25 mile loop is a great beginner backpacking trip. The trail is fairly rough so a sturdy pair of hiking boots is a must.
Hike the Boulder Ridge Trail
Missouri / Boulder Ridge Trail
The trail is a gravel surface that makes a loop around the long narrow ridge top southwest of the lake parking lot. You will pass the trail on your way to the lake parking lot.
Hike the Lakeview Bend Trail
Missouri / Lakeview Bend Trail
Starting near the camp store at Lake of the Ozarks State Park, this trail is an easy 1.5 mile hike.Less than a half mile in it will give you the option to go left or right. You will want to go right.
Mountain Bike the Edgewood Trail
Missouri / Edgewood Trail
Once you pull into the parking lot you will see a bridge. Cross this bridge on your bike and go left. Just follow this trail and it will loop back around to the parking lot.
Hike and Float on The Ozark Trail Courtois Section
Missouri / Onondaga Trailhead
Starting from the Onondaga trail head of the Ozark Trail, this 12.
Hike the Lake Trail, Lake of the Ozarks SP
Missouri / Lake Trail
Starting next to the Outpost Cabins in Lake of the Ozarks State Park, this is an easy 1.5 mile hike that is very scenic. The trail will lead you right up next to the lake.
Mountain Bike at Binder Lake
Missouri / Binder Lake Trail Head
There are four different loops here that all connect. The blue and green are the most ridden, but are still in great shape. The trails are well marked so it would be hard to get lost.
Hike Hidden Springs Trail
Missouri / Hidden Springs Trail
This two and a half mile trail shares a trail head with White Oak Trail. It also intersects with the Trail of Four Winds but is clearly marked.