Added by Josh Packer
- Distance: 8.5 mile loop
- Easy hike
- Great views
- Family friendly
- No fee to enter park
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. There's a fork in the trail, so stay to the left to see the bluffs. You will see an opening in the trees along the trail on the right, where there is a 100-foot drop off. This is where you will find the bluffs. There is no guard rail, so watch your step. There is an amazing view of green trees as far as the eye can see. There is also a small stream down below the bluffs. This is a great spot to watch the sunset against the trees. Wildflowers and wildlife can also be seen along the trail depending on the time of day and time of year.
Once you're done looking off the bluffs, you can continue on the trail, or just turn around and come back from where you came. The total length of the trail is 8.5 miles, and it makes a complete loop from start to finish. If you want to do the full 8.5 miles, plan accordingly and bring plenty of food and water as it takes about an hour a mile to hike. Also, riding horses is allowed along this trail from July 1st to October 31st only when the trails are dry.
Directions to the Shooting Star Bluffs: Head south on Hwy 163 from Columbia. The road will veer off, so turn left to stay on Hwy 163 and drive 1.1 miles. Then turn left onto E Bonne Femme Church Road. Turn left into the small parking area at the Gans Creek Wild Area Trail System trailhead.
- Altitude: 785 feet
- Latitude 38.8827656
- Longitude -92.30442089
- Food if doing the full 8.5-mile hike
- Map of the park for trails
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