Horse trails, walking trails, abandoned photography, and more in Midwest US!

The Beautiful Waterfalls and Trails of Dogwood Canyon Nature Park – Some of the Best Waterfalls in Missouri

The Beautiful Waterfalls and Trails of Dogwood Canyon Nature Park – Some of the Best Waterfalls in Missouri
Dogwood Canyon Photos 1: Waterfalls in Missouri

Gorgeous Scenery in Southwest Missouri:

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park has 10,000 acres of trails and beautiful scenery.  It’s located in Lampe, Missouri and the 6.5 mile walking trail traverses into Arkansas.  This beautifully landscaped park features some of the best waterfalls in Missouri, which you can view by walking, biking, or taking the tram if you prefer a guided tour.

The walking trail is shared with bikers and trams.  Bikes can be rented or you can bring your own.  There’s a wildlife area that includes bison, elk, and longhorn that’s only accessible to tram riders.  Walking the trails is free with admission to the park (which was $16 per person when I visited), but bike rental, segway rental, and tram all have an additional fee.

Activities Off The Beaten Path:

Horseback riding is also available, with either a one hour ride or a longer 2.5 hour (lunch included) ride.  The horse trails are separate from the walking trail.  The horse trail rides are guided and horses will be provided (you can’t bring your own).

Other park activities include trout fishing and kayak tours.  There’s a restaurant, fully functioning mill, and conservation center located in the main building, and a convenience store where you can rent bikes, grab a quick drink, and rest if you choose to walk or bike the entire 6.5 mile trail.

The Beautiful Waterfalls and Trails of Dogwood Canyon Nature Park – Some of the Best Waterfalls in Missouri
Dogwood Canyon Photos 2: Dogwood Canyon Nature Park main building, with conservation center and restaurant

My husband and I visited Dogwood Canyon Nature Park at the beginning of the season, and in some pics you may see that there’s still snow on the ground.  This park is beautiful in spring and autumn, but even in the off-season when I went, the pictures and experience were still breathtaking.

The walking trail is easy to maneuver and most of the main trail is wheelchair accessible, but some areas are only accessible via steps and unpaved paths, and you do need to give right away to bikers, segways, and trams when they come through.  Some of the tram crossings can be under water, but there are alternate paths (usually bridges) for foot and bike traffic. 

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Overall it’s an easy walk, and there’s some really nice features at the beginning of the trail if you don’t walk to walk the full distance.  There are restrooms and vending machines throughout the trail.

Dogwood Canyon Photos 3: The Tram Crossing at Kid's Cove
Dogwood Canyon Photos 3: The Tram Crossing at Kid's Cove
Dogwood Canyon Photos 4: Stairs to Access the Top of a Glory Hole Waterfall
Dogwood Canyon Photos 4: Stairs to Access the Top of a Glory Hole Waterfall

Kid’s Cove is fairly close to the beginning of the trail, and features beautiful waters and bluffs.

The blue waters of this creek make for some really nice pictures.  Benches and other rest areas close to many of the main features in this park make enjoying the area even easier.

Dogwood Canyon Photos 5: Waterfalls in Missouri
Dogwood Canyon Photos 5: Waterfalls in Missouri

The Waterfalls At

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park

Great Spirit Rock Shelter:

This waterfall is another park feature that’s not too far along the trail.  Great Spirit Rock is easily accessible for viewing from the ground.  Following an unpaved path, you can walk up into the shelter area which has a bench for sitting and enjoying the waterfall from underneath.  This area likely isn’t wheelchair friendly, but it’s worth the short trip if you’re able.

Waterfalls in Missouri: Great Spirit Rock Shelter in the background
Waterfalls in Missouri: Great Spirit Rock Shelter in the background
Waterfalls in Missouri: Great Spirit Rock Shelter
Waterfalls in Missouri: Great Spirit Rock Shelter
Taking unpaved path to Great Spirit Rock Shelter
Taking unpaved path to Great Spirit Rock Shelter
Waterfalls in Missouri: Inside Great Spirit Rock Shelter
Waterfalls in Missouri: Inside Great Spirit Rock Shelter
Waterfalls in Missouri: Inside Great Spirit Rock Shelter
Waterfalls in Missouri: Inside Great Spirit Rock Shelter

Glory Hole:

This waterfall is easily accessible to view from the ground, but there are stairs and a narrow bridge at the top if you wish to go to the top of this waterfall.  The view from the top is beautiful, so I highly suggest making the very short trip if you’re able!

Waterfalls in Missouri: Glory Hole Waterfall
Waterfalls in Missouri: Glory Hole Waterfall
Dogwood Canyon Photos: From the top of Glory Hole Waterfall
Dogwood Canyon Photos: From the top of Glory Hole Waterfall
Dogwood Canyon Photos: Crossing the Arkansas Border
Dogwood Canyon Photos: Crossing the Arkansas Border

Wish Bowl Falls:

After crossing the Arkansas border, you’ll continue on the trail until it becomes an unpaved path, which takes you up to Wish Bowl Falls.  There’s a seating area and a small vending machine for feeding the fish, so take some change if you’d like to do so.

Dogwood Canyon Photos: Wish Bowl Falls, Waterfalls in Arkansas
Dogwood Canyon Photos: Wish Bowl Falls, Waterfalls in Arkansas
Waterfalls in Arkansas: Wish Bowl Falls
Waterfalls in Arkansas: Wish Bowl Falls

You’ve officially made it to the end of the walking trail!  If you took the tram, you’ll continue on to the wildlife area, which is inaccessible to walkers, segways, and bikers due to safety reasons.  While this is the end of the trail, you’re only halfway there – it’s now time to turn around and make your way back!

I’ve both walked and biked this trail, and thanks to the many benches, restrooms, and vending machines, it’s not a bad trip!  It is long though, so make sure you get there early so you can get back before closing.

This isn’t all of the waterfalls, and I plan to update this post with more pictures when I go back!

Visit the official park website.

See more walking trails  ||  biking trails  ||  horse trails!

Have you visited Dogwood Canyon Nature Park?  Feel free to leave a comment on your experience!

18 Extraordinary Horseback Riding Trails in Southeast Missouri State Parks and Conservation Areas

Horse Riding and Horseback Trail Riding in the Midwest: Horse Trails and Trail Rides in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas

Horse Trails in SE Missouri State Parks and Conservation Areas:

*Note – most equestrian trails in conservation areas are closed during firearms seasons.  Contact the park in the links below to find out if trails are open before traveling.

Angeline Conservation Area:   (25.00 trail miles)   (Summersville, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. This rugged forest and old fields area has a hiking trail and 25 miles of horseback riding trails through field roads. It also offers access to the Jacks Fork and Current Rivers.

Points of interest include a scenic overlook on Highway 19, the headquarters for the Eminence forestry district office, Bay Creek Shooting Range, Flat Rock Lookout Tower, Lick Log Hollow Nature Trail a one mile interpretive hike and a day use Equestrian loop trail system that is 9.5 miles long.

This park has the largest horse trail systems of the SE Missouri Conservation Areas.  Read more at Horseback Riding Trails – Missouri Conservation Areas – Angeline

Apple Creek Conservation Area:   (5.00 trail miles)   (Jackson, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. Horseback riding is restricted to the multi-use (Hike/Bike/Horse) Apple Creek Trail (moderate). Read more at Horseback Riding Trails – Missouri Conservation Areas – Apple Creek

Babler State Park:   (6.00 trail miles)   (Wildwood, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park near St. Louis has a six-mile trail that takes riders by the historic stables, an outstanding example of the beautiful stonework done by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Read more at Horseback Riding Trails – Missouri State Parks – Babler

Canaan Conservation Area:  (10 Trail Miles)  (Owensville, MO)  – View on Google Maps.  Multi-use hike / bike / horseback riding trails on the Canaan Conservation Trail Loop.  Trail has springs, creek crossings, and an old cemetery.  I’ve not ridden this trail but it’s reported that boots/shoes/hoof protection is a good idea due to rocky terrain.  Read more and view trail maps (PDF) at Horseback Riding Trails – Missouri Conservation Areas – Canaan

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Castlewood State Park:   (13.50 trail miles)   (Ballwin, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. Castlewood State Park has two equestrian trails, the popular Chubb Trail, with connections to two St. Louis County parks, and the Grotpeter Trail, which heads uphill to the top of a long ridge. Read more at Horseback Riding Trails – Missouri State Parks – Castlewood

Castor River Conservation Area:  (11.2 trail miles)  (Zalma, Missouri)  – View on Google Maps.  From the website: “Castor River CA is nearly all forest with several small springs scattered across the area, including Blue Pond Natural Area. Blue Pond is the deepest natural pond in Missouri at more than 65 feet deep. It’s believed to have been formed from a cavern collapse during the New Madrid earthquake in 1811.

Facilities/features at Castor River CA include primitive camping, multi-use trails for hiking, biking and horse riding, numerous intermittent streams and one permanent stream.”  The Blue Pond area is at the 2.94 mile mark.  Read more and view trail maps (PDF) at Horse Riding Trails – Missouri Conservation Areas – Castor River

Forest 44 Conservation Area:  (5 trail miles)  (High Ridge, Missouri)  – View on Google Maps.  From the website: “You might think of Forest 44 as your “Gateway to the Ozarks” from St. Louis County. It lies right along I-44 corridor that conveys travelers to some of the Show-Me State’s most scenic places. Several springs on the area feed Williams Creek, which flows along the eastern portion of Forest 44.

Flowering dogwood and redbud trees add to the area’s natural beauty, especially in the springtime. Hiking, wildlife viewing, and horseback riding are popular activities. An extensive and intertwining trail system covers the area. The Dogwood Ridge trail is reserved for hikers, while the rest of the trails will satisfy both hikers and riders.”  Read more and view trail maps (PDF) at Horseback Riding Trails – Missouri Conservation Areas – Forest 44

Gist Ranch Conservation Area:  (unknown trail miles)  (Yukon, Missouri)  – View on Google Maps.  Multi-use hike / bike / equine trails.  Read more and view trail maps (PDF) at Horse Riding Trails – Missouri Conservation Areas – Gist Ranch

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Holly Ridge Conservation Area:  (3.9 trail miles)  (Bloomfield, Missouri)  – View on Google Maps.  Multi-use hike / bike / equine trails.  Read more and view trail maps (PDF) at Horseback Riding Trails – Missouri Conservation Areas – Holly Ridge

Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park:   (10.00 trail miles)   (Middlebrook, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. I have been to this park many times – this is one of the most beautiful Missouri state parks with many outdoor activities. This is one of my favorite parks, but I haven’t ridden the trails yet so have no first-hand knowledge of them. Riders can enjoy some of the state park system’s most spectacular scenery on the 10-mile Goggins Mountain Equestrian Trail at Johnson’s Shut-ins State Park. The trail passes through a 5,000-acre wild area with several rocky creek crossings. Read more at Horseback Riding Trails – Missouri State Parks Camping – Johnson’s Shut-Ins

Lake Wappapello State Park:   (12.75 trail miles)   (Williamsville, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. It is recommended that you travel this trail counter clockwise. You can experience shoreline views, open fields and cherty Ozark hillsides. The trail leaves park property and crosses other public lands. There are connectors to other public trails. Certain portions of the trail are closed to overnight camping and overnight equestrian use is not allowed. The trailhead at the end of Wappapello Trail Road has a large equestrian trailer parking lot. Read more at Horseback Riding Trails – Missouri State Parks – Lake Wappapello

Little Indian Creek Conservation Area:  (unknown trail miles)  (Sullivan, Missouri)  – View on Google Maps.  Primitive camping – unsure if there are horse camping amenities so call in advance (this park requires 10 day notice for camping).  This Missouri state parks camping area is well maintained.  Most trails are multi-use old logging roads.  Read more and view trail maps (PDF) at Horseback Riding Trails – Missouri Conservation Areas – Little Indian Creek

Little Lost Creek Conservation Area:  (6.4 trail miles)  (Warrenton, Missouri)  – View on Google Maps.  Small bluffs and waterfalls along the partially spring-fed creek make for nice views.  Multi-use hike / bike / horse trails.  I found this by word of mouth, and unfortunately don’t have a link for the area. 

Route 66 State Park:   (7.25 trail miles)   (Eureka, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. The trails at Route 66 State Park mostly follow old roadways, so riding is permitted in all weather. Read more at Horseback Riding Trails – Missouri State Parks – Route 66

St. Francois State Park:   (10.50 trail miles)   (Bonne Terre, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. This trail traverses much of the undeveloped 2,256-acre Coonville Creek Wild Area. It includes a southern loop and a northern loop, which are connected by white connector 1, which is marked with white blazes.

In addition, there is a .60-mile backpack camp spur located on the south loop. This moderately difficult trail contains water crossings and steep inclines in some places. This trail illustrates the type of wild, undeveloped landscape that characterizes wild areas in state parks. Read more at Horseback Riding Trails – Missouri State Parks – St. Francois

St. Joe State Park:   (17.00 trail miles)   (Park Hills, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. Two equestrian trails – the Pine Ridge Trail is a 13 mile loop, and the Hickory Ridge Trail is a 4 mile loop, both of which intersect with other trails. Near the Pine Ridge Trail is the Equestrian Staging Area which includes a paved parking lot to accommodate large rigs, picnic tables, barbecue grills, a vault toilet, hitching posts, trash cans and a recycling can. Campers in Campground 2 have access from the basic loop and the electric loop.

This park has one of the largest horse trail systems of the SE Missouri State Parks.  Read more at Horseback Riding Trail – Missouri State Parks – St. Joe

Sam A. Baker State Park:   (16.75 trail miles)   (Patterson, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. Riders are welcome at Sam A. Baker State Park on portions of the Mudlick Trail, which goes through the St. Francois Mountains, one of the oldest mountain regions in North America. The trail goes from Big Creek Valley to the top of Mudlick Mountain. Equestrian campsites available.

This park has one of the largest horse trail systems of the SE Missouri State Parks.  Read more at Horseback Riding Trails – Missouri State Parks – Sam Baker

Trail of Tears State Park:   (10.00 trail miles)   (Jackson, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. This trail explores Indian Creek Wild Area, one of the most remote parts of the park. It consists of two loops with white connector 3 linking both loops, which is marked with black and white. In general, Peewah Trail is moderately difficult and offers a wide range of possibilities for both day use and overnight stays. Read more at Horseback Riding Trails – Missouri State Parks – Trail of Tears

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8 Charming Northwest Missouri Parks and Missouri Conservation Areas for Horseback Trail Riding

Missouri Parks and Missouri Conservation Areas: Horse Trail Northeast Missouri, Missouri state parks and conservation areas

Trail Riding in Northwest Missouri Parks and Missouri Conservation Areas:

Charlie Heath Memorial Conservation Area: (unknown trail miles)  (Luray, MO) – View on Google Maps.  Mostly forest land with some open meadows, this park has equestrian trails throughout the entire 1600 acres of land.  The Fox River meanders through the property.  Multi-use hike / bike / equestrian trails.  Read more at and view map (PDF) at Trail Riding at Charlie Heath Memorial – Missouri Conservation Area

Crowder State Park:   (8.60 trail miles)   (Trenton, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. At Crowder State Park, the Thompson River Trail on the open low-lying floodplain of the Thompson River, is open to trail riding. Read more about this Missouri Park at Horseback Riding Trails – Missouri Parks – Crowder

Daniel Boone Conservation Area:  (6.8 trail miles)  (Jonesburg, MO) – View on Google Maps.  Multi-use hike / bike / equestrian trails run through rugged valleys, hills and woodlands.  Multiple primitive camping sites available.  Read more and view trail map (PDF) at Trail Riding – Daniel Boone – Missouri Conservation Area

Deer Ridge Conservation Area:  (20 trail miles)  (Williamstown, Missouri) – View on Google Maps.  Has a campground with easy access to almost 20 miles of multi-use hike / bike / equestrian trails.  Mostly wooded with a large lake, fishing, gun range, and more.  Read more and find a trail map (PDF) at Trail Riding – Deer Ridge – Missouri Conservation Area

Henry Sever Lake Conservation Area: (unknown trail miles)  (Fabius Township, Missouri) – View on Google Maps.  From website:”Equestrian use is allowed on roads open to vehicular traffic. Horses must stay on roads open to vehicular traffic or on multi-use trails posted as open to horses. Groups of 10 or more people using horses on a department area must obtain a special use permit from the area manager. The area manager can be contacted at the phone number listed in the area details section for this department area. This department area also has multi-use trails open to equestrian use.

On multi-use trails designated as open to equestrian use, horses and horseback riding is prohibited during all portions of the firearms deer hunting season and during the spring turkey hunting seasons.”  Read more and find a trail map (PDF) at  Henry Sever Lake – Missouri Conservation Area

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Katy Trail State Park:   (14.00 trail miles)   (Sedalia to Clinton, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. From Sedalia to Clinton, MO trail is over 40 miles – Horses are permitted on the section of Katy Trail State Park between the State Fairgrounds at Sedalia and Clinton on the Rock Island Trail: Windsor to Chilhowee trail. Trails are reported to be well maintained and easy (old railroad paths – packed gravel footing).  Read more about this Missouri park at Trail Riding – Missouri Parks – Katy Trail

Knob Noster State Park:   (7.50 trail miles)   (Knob Noster, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. Knob Noster State Park has an equestrian trail riding system that includes the McAdoo Trail Yellow Loop. Read more about this Missouri park at Horseback Riding Trails – Missouri Parks – Knob Noster

Watkins Mill State Park:   (4.00 trail miles)   (Lawson, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. This trail traverses oak-hickory forest on the west side and stands of red cedar on the east side. A center trail on the north end is a more open, grassy area that follows a ridge on a gentle slope down to a creek. It intersects the east trail, and then a little farther on, the west side of the trail. Watch for loose rocks and steep slopes when approaching the two creek crossings.

Some trail areas may be rutted, particularly on the extreme northwest and northeast sections. Trail conditions will be muddy after moderate rain and snowfall. In addition, the trail has a white connector and a blue connector that can be used to shorten or extend your hike or trail ride. Read more about this Missouri park at Horseback Riding Trails – Missouri Parks – Watkins Mill.  

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6 Memorable Horse Trails Found in Northeast Missouri

Horse Riding and Horseback Trail Riding in the Midwest: Horse Trails and Trail Rides in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas

Northeast Missouri Horse Trails

Bonanza Conservation Area:  (4 trail miles)  (Cowgill, Missouri) – View on Google Maps.  Multi-use hike / bike / equestrian trails on this 1,948 acre conservation area.  I’ve not ridden this trail but it’s reported to be a quick, easy 4 mile trail with some muddy spots and some older dirt roads.  Read more and view trails maps (PDF) at Equestrian Trails – Bonanza Conservation Area

*Note – most horse trails in conservation areas are closed during firearms seasons.

Bunch Hollow Conservation Area:  (unkown trail miles)  (Dawn, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. Multi-use hike / bike / equestrian trails on this 1,948 acre conservation area.  Read more and view trails maps (PDF) at Horse Trails – Bunch Hollow Conservation Area

Cuivre River State Park:   (13 equestrian trail miles)   (Troy, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. Cuivre River State Park allows equestrian use on both loops of the Cuivre River Trail. The Cuivre River Trail Loop is 6 miles long and has views of bluffs and a clear water spring.  The Cuivre River Trail Loop South is a 7 mile loop.  Dedicated horse campground and lots of amenities, all close to St. Louis, Missouri.  Twelve more trails and amenities that aren’t open to equestrians, so lots to do for family members that don’t ride.  Read more at HorseTrails – Missouri State Parks – Cuivre

Honey Creek Conservation Area:  (10+ trail miles)  (Amazonia, Missouri)  – View on Google Maps. Multi-use hike / bike / equestrian trails on this 1,948 acre conservation area.  Read more and view trails maps (PDF) at Horse Trails – Honey Creek Conservation Area

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James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area:  (8.6 trail miles)  (Lee’s Summit, Missouri)  – View on Google Maps.  I haven’t personally rode these trails, but they’re reported to be beginner friendly and well maintained!  Multi-use hike / bike / equestrian trails on this 1,948 acre conservation area.  Read more and view trails maps (PDF) at Horse Trails – James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area

Rock Bridge Memorial State Park:   (8.50 trail miles)   (Columbia, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. Horseback riding is permitted on the 8.5-mile Gans Creek Wild Area Trail in Rock Bridge Memorial State Park only when the trail is dry. This trail is moderately difficult and is a multi use hike / bike / riding trail.  Just outside of Columbia MO.  I’ve not ridden there yet, but trail is reported to be well maintained.  Read more at Horse Trails – Missouri State Parks – Rock Bridge Memorial.  

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17 Beautiful Horseback Riding Trails in Southwest Missouri

Horse Riding and Horseback Trail Riding in the Midwest: Horse Trails and Trail Rides in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas

Southwest Missouri Horseback Riding Trails

Being my main stomping grounds, the area around Springfield MO is my main focus for finding horseback riding trails.  I’m constantly looking to update these horse trail pages, so if you know of some horse riding trails I’ve missed feel free to leave a comment!

*Note – most equestrian trails in conservation areas are closed during firearms seasons.

Find Public Horse Trails Near Me: Springfield MO Area

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Hercules Glades Wilderness Area

32 trail miles in Bradleyville, Missouri

View on Google Maps.   Hercules Glades Wilderness Area is 12,413 acres of the most scenic and unique country in the Midwest. Its combination of open grassland, forested knobs, steep rocky hillsides, and narrow drainages offers unusual beauty and a measure of solitude within easy reach of wilderness lovers. Read about my visit to Hercules Glades horseback riding trails here! 

See the park website here: Beautiful Horseback Riding Trails – Hercules Glades Wilderness Area.

Horse Riding Trails near Springfield MO - Hercules Glades Wilderness Area Horseback Riding Trails

Big Buffalo Creek Conservation area:  (unkown trail miles)  (Benton and Morgan Counties, Missouri) – View on Google Maps.  Two multi-use hike / bike / horseback riding trail systems on this 3,612 acre tract.  Read more and view a trail map (PDF) at Horse Riding Trails – Big Buffalo Creek Conservation Area

Bushwhacker Lake Conservation Area:   (6.60 trail miles)   (Bronaugh, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. There is a 6.6 miles of hiking and horse trails located southeast of the lake. The trail is closed to horse riding during all Deer and Turkey hunting seasons (see Area Regulations for deer and turkey hunting dates). Read more at Horseback Riding Trails – Missouri Conservation Areas – Bushwhacker Lake

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Busiek State Forest & Wildlife Area:   (18.00 trail miles)   (Highlandville, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. Very close to Springfield MO!  The West Trail System and East Trail System both have moderate terrain and are multii-use hike / bike / horse trails. The West is an 8 mile horse trail and the East is a 10 mile horse riding trail. Read more at Horseback Riding Trails – Missouri Conservation Areas – Busiek

Caney Mountain Conservation Area:  ()  (Gainsville, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. A multi-use hike / bike / horseback riding trail skirts the perimeter of this 7,899 acre natural area.  Horseback riding is also allowed on vehicular roads.  Read more and view trail maps (PDF) at Horse Riding Trails – Caney Mountain Conservation Area

Missouri Horse Trails: Compton Hollow Conservation Area in Rogersville MO

Compton Hollow Conservation Area

5.50 trail miles in Rogersville, Missouri

View on Google Maps. Close to Springfield MO!  Horse riding is allowed on service roads and designated horse trails. Closed to use during Spring Turkey season and Fall Firearms Deer seasons. Read more on the park website: Horseback Riding Trails – Missouri Conservation Areas – Compton Hollow

Read about my rides at Compton Hollow horseback riding trails here! 

Flag Spring Conservation Area:   (11.30 trail miles)   (Washburn, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. This area is mainly forestland. Facilities/features: primitive camping, firearms range, 13 fishless ponds, and Flag Spring. Horseback riding is permitted on the multi-use hike / bike / horse trails. Read more at Horse Riding Trails – Missouri Conservation Areas – Flag Spring.

Fort Crowder Conservation Area:   (11.00 trail miles)   (Neosho, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. 11 miles of multi-use hike / bike / horse trails and service roads. Read more at Horseback Riding Trails – Missouri Conservation Areas – Fort Crowder.

Huckleberry Ridge Conservation Area:   (17.30 trail miles)   (Pineville, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. Horseback riding is permitted on Huckleberry Ridge Trail (Difficult), a multi-use hike / bike / horse trail. Read more at Horse Trails – Missouri Conservation Areas – Huckleberry Ridge.

Lake of the Ozarks State Park:   (16.75 trail miles)   (Kaiser, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. Lake of the Ozarks State Park has three horse riding trails, including the 13.5-mile Trail of Four Winds, which crosses almost every kind of natural community in the park. Read more at Horseback Riding Trails – Missouri State Parks – Lake of the Ozarks

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Lead Mine Conservation Area:   (22.20 trail miles)   (Tunas, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. Close to Springfield MO!  Five multi-use hike / bike / horse trails open to horse riding, ranging from moderate to difficult terrain. Read more at Horseback Riding Trails – Missouri Conservation Areas – Lead Mine

Pleasant Hope Conservation Area:   (7.70 trail miles)   (Brighton, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. Very close to Springfield MO!  Easy horse trails and terrain, with a couple of creek crossings. This area also contains a shooting range, so be prepared if your horse is not used to loud noises (a great learning experience for green horses!) 7.7 miles of designated trails used for horse riding and hiking. Read more at Horseback Riding Trails – Missouri Conservation Areas – Pleasant Hope

Pomme De Terre Lake Management Lands:   (Bolivar, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. Very close to Springfield MO!  Multi-use trailhead at Bolivar access, open to horseback riding, hiking, bicycling. Read more at Horse Riding Trails – Missouri Conservation Areas – Pomme De Terre

Robert E. Talbot Conservation Area:   (10.50 trail miles)  (Miller, Missouri)  – View on Google Maps. 10.5 miles of multi-use hike / bike / horse trails open to horseback riding. Read more at Horse Riding Trails – Missouri Conservation Areas – Talbot

Stockton Lake Management Lands:   (14.00 trail miles)   (Bolivar, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. Very close to Springfield MO!  Hulston Mill multi-use hike / bike / horse trail is open to horseback riding. Riders MUST stay on the designated horse trails. Read more at Horseback Riding Trails – Missouri Conservation Areas – Stockton Lake

 

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield

7 trail miles in Battlefield, Missouri

View on Google Maps.  Close to Springfield MO!  Horse riding is allowed on designated horse trails. Read more on the park’s website Horseback Riding Trails at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield.

Read about my rides at Wilson’s Creek here! 

Horse Trails near Springfield, MO - Wilson's Creek National Battlefield

Wire Road Conservation Area:   (3.70 trail miles)   (Crane, Missouri) – View on Google Maps. A 1.3 mile horse trail and a 2.4 mile multi-use hike / bike / horse trail are designated for horseback riding. Horses are strictly forbidden from entering Crane Creek. Read more at Horseback Riding Trails – Missouri Conservation Areas – Wire Road.

*Note – the pics above were taken through the ears of my amazing PSSM horse, Jax – for more info on PSSM and muscle disorders in horses, see my blog PSSM – Jax’s Story.

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7 Blissful Miles of Horse Trails near Springfield, MO – Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield

Horse Trails near Springfield, MO - Wilson's Creek National Battlefield

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, Missouri

7 trail miles in Battlefield, Missouri

I’ve rode this trail twice now, and  it was really nice!  There’s an entrance fee, and if you plan to ride often then it’s definitely worth the yearly fee (I believe it was $20 for the weekend or $35 yearly).  There were a few other riders, bikers, and walkers, but there was plenty of room to maneuver and it didn’t feel crowded.  Very easy horse trails, but some gravel – so boots/shoes may be needed for more tender-hooved horses.  Very quick drive from Springfield MO.

From Wilson Creek Battlefield’s website:

A 4.9 mile paved tour road provides a self-guided auto tour. There are eight interpretive stops at significant battle-related locations. There are five walking trails off the tour road, varying in length from 1/4 to 3/4 of a mile. A seven mile trail system for horseback riding and hiking is accessible from the tour road.” – www.nps.gov/wicr

*Note – the pic was taken through the ears of my amazing PSSM horse, Jax – for more info on PSSM and muscle disorders in horses, see my blog PSSM – Jax’s Story.

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Horse Trails in Southwest Arkansas

Horse Riding and Horseback Trail Riding in the Midwest: Horse Trails and Trail Rides in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas

Daisy State Park:   (Kirby, Arkansas)  – View on Google Maps. This park is listed as having equestrian trails. See website and contact park for more information. Read more at Horseback Riding Trails – Arkansas State Parks – Daisy.

Know of any horse trails in Southwest Arkansas, or other areas of the midwest you’d like to see on this page?  Contact me!

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Missouri Horse Trails: Compton Hollow Conservation Area in Rogersville MO

Missouri Horse Trails: Compton Hollow Conservation Area in Rogersville MO

Compton Hollow Conservation Area in Rogersville, Missouri

5.5 trail miles in Rogersville, just east of Springfield MO

This is a nice trail ride, with a bit of human foot traffic and the occasional bike traffic.  Overall, most people are happy to yield to horse traffic and are polite.  I did encounter some leashed dogs, but owners were polite and there were no issues (and importantly, no loose or aggressive dogs when I’ve been there).

I’ve rode Compton Hollow Conservation Area many times!  A lot of the trail consists of a gravel and rock base (basically a small gravel road), but some areas are hard-packed dirt and older, ungraveled road-type surface.  Overall a pleasant ride that most barefoot horses could easily do by staying off to the side of gravel areas if needed, but you may need boots/shoes for the more tender-hooved horses. 

Parking is decent and easy to get to.  Trails can get busy, mostly with hikers, but occasionally with a bike or two on weekends or holidays with nice weather.

Compton Hollow Conservation Area allows hunters during hunting season, so be prepared for the trails to be off-limits during those times.

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*Note – the pic above was taken through the ears of my amazing PSSM horse, Jax – for more info on PSSM and muscle disorders in horses, see my website PSSM – Jax’s Story.

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3 Beautiful and Expansive Northwest Arkansas Horseback Riding Trails

Horse Riding Trails Oklahoma State Parks, Horse Camping Arkansas, Arkansas Horseback Riding Trails, Parks with Walking Trails and Hiking Trails, Bike Trails Biking Trails Bicycle Trails

Devil’s Den State Park:   (20.00 trail miles)   (Winslow, Arkansas) – View on Google Maps. With 20 miles of Arkansas horseback riding trails, Devil’s Den features a horse camp area and riding trails in the Lee Creek Valley and on surrounding ridges. Horses are welcome on Highways 170, 74, and 220, but are not permitted on other park roads or in camping area other than the horse camp. Also, horses are not permitted in the crevice area, Yellow Rock, or on any of the hiking trails except where the horse riding trails and the Butterfield Hiking Trail are the same.

Mountain bike riders are also allowed on these trails, but must yield to horses. Water for horses and riders is available at the trail head. Here, riders will find a complete campground where they can camp with their horses. The campground features campsites with hookups, and a modern bathhouse that also includes a bathing area for horses. Call ahead to check on the availability of the horse camp. Read more at Arkansas Horseback Riding Trail – Arkansas State Parks – Devil’s Den

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More Northwest Arkansas Horse Riding Trails

Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area:   (24.00 trail miles)   (Rogers, Arkansas) – View on Google Maps. The 24-mile Multi-use Hidden Diversity Trail is designed for equestrians, mountain bikers and hikers. This Arkansas horse riding trail system does not allow motorized vehicles. Users have the option of four trail sections or loops for horse riding. The trail follows ridge tops and rims with lots of curves and a few hills that drop 200 to 300 feet in elevation.

This entire Arkansas horse trail system is surrounded by woods that are mainly comprised of oak and hickory. When weather conditions warrant, the trail is subject to closure to mountain bike and equestrian use. In addition, all or a portion of the park’s trail system may be closed occasionally for permitted hunting seasons or maintenance repair. Contact the park to check on the current trail status before traveling to Hobbs to participate in these activities. Read more at NW Arkansas Horseback Riding Trails – Arkansas State Parks – Hobbs

Mt. Magazine State Park:   (34.00 trail miles)   (Paris, Arkansas) – View on Google Maps. Huckleberry Mountain Horse Trail – located in the Arkansas River Valley – difficulty is moderate to strenuous. This is the only multi-use trail in the state park. Horse riding and motorized vehicles are not allowed on any other trail listed here. From the horse camp down to the highway, this old wagon road drops 200 feet. For a detailed map, pick up the Huckleberry Mountain Horse Trail brochure at the visitor center. Read more at Arkansas Horseback Riding Trails – Arkansas State Parks – Mt. Magazine

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Beautiful Horse Riding Trails near Springfield MO – Hercules Glades Wilderness Area

Horse Riding Trails near Springfield MO - Hercules Glades Wilderness Area Horseback Riding Trails

Hercules Glades Wilderness Area and Horse Riding trails Near Springfield MO  

32 trail miles in Bradleyville, Missouri 

I haven’t rode these horse riding trails, just walked them.  Hercules Glades Wilderness Area was absolutely breath taking, even though we were in a mild drought (this pic should have been the Falls, but the water was too low).  The trails are rocky, and hoof protection will be needed for most horses. 

Trailering in to Hercules Glades Missouri trail system will be difficult as the road gets very narrow and steep, and the parking area isn’t very large (at least not the parking area I visited – I followed Google Maps, and it didn’t seem like a public thoroughfare!).  However, it’s worth the trouble – it’s a beautiful set of horse riding trails! 

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More About This Park and It’s Breath Taking Horse Riding Trails:

Hercules Glades Wilderness Area is 12,413 acres of the most scenic and unique country in the Midwest. Its combination of open grassland, forested knobs, steep rocky hillsides, and narrow drainages offers unusual beauty and a measure of solitude within easy reach of wilderness lovers. 

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