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.

Josh Packer
296 Saves

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.

Jon King
178 Saves

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.

Josh Packer
136 Saves

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.

Alaina Donovan
125 Saves

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.

Keaton Baker
74 Saves

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.

Jon King
67 Saves

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 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 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 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.

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.

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.

Keaton Baker
33 Saves

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.

Payton Bartlett
8 Saves

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.

Will Parker
8 Saves

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.

Ben Spaunhorst
8 Saves

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.

Payton Bartlett
7 Saves

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.

Payton Bartlett
6 Saves

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.

Payton Bartlett
5 Saves

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.

Payton Bartlett
5 Saves

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.

Ian Riley
5 Saves

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.

Payton Bartlett
4 Saves

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.

Payton Bartlett
3 Saves

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.

Payton Bartlett
2 Saves

Hike and Float on The Ozark Trail Courtois Section

Missouri / Onondaga Trailhead

Starting from the Onondaga trail head of the Ozark Trail, this 12.

Ben Spaunhorst
2 Saves

Hike the White Oak Trail

Missouri / White Oak Trail

This trail is located across the road from the horse riding stables. It is an easy one mile hike but can be longer if you connect to Fawn's Ridge Trail. It is an easy hike and is very family friendly.

Payton Bartlett
1 Saves