Lake of the Ozarks Hiking
With over 17,000 acres, the Lake of the Ozarks is the largest park in Missouri. Besides the lake itself, there are many hiking trails in the area. These trails vary in length and offer spectacular views, bird watching, beautiful scenery, and great picnic spots for visitors. Some of the trails are also suitable for horseback riding and mountain biking. In the Lake of the Ozarks area, there are trails to meet every hikers needs. Here are a few trails to enjoy:
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Lake of the Ozarks Hiking
In the Lake of the Ozarks Park there is an area called Coakley Hollow. It covers four acres with a trail around. The area is a swampy meadow where cool temperature mineral water saturates the ground. A trail and boardwalk surround the area and walking along them you will spot many wildflowers. The trail is self guided; a guide can be purchased in the visitor center.
This trail traverses the 1275 acre Patterson Hollow area. It is 6 miles long and includes a very basic campsite for those hiking overnight. During the spring, you will notice the color dogwood and in the autumn the oak hickory provide bright colors. There is also a fen where you can watch the cool spring water trickle down the hill side.
Bluestem Knoll Trail This short trail is only ¾ of a mile total. Part of the trail is separated into two one half mile loops. The prairie grasses that are native to the area can be enjoyed. These tall grassy areas in the bluestem knoll savanna were popular with the early settler’s. This beautiful area is now a protected area.
Trail of Four Winds 16.5 miles
This trail is 16.5 miles long and offers something for everyone. Whether you are hiking, bicycling, or riding horseback, you will enjoy the scenery. The trail takes you through the oak hickory forest and into open grassland areas. Magnificent views of the lake, rock formations, and the old quarry can be enjoyed. While on the trail you will find a wooden walkway that leads to a platform with a great view of the forest. This trail offers great views of the area and is also the most challenging. For a longer hike, the trail leads to Squaw’s Revenge.
Squaws Revenge Trail
This trail is two miles long and can accommodate horseback riding. Historically it was used as a supply road during the Civil War. A group of Union soldiers ambushed Confederate soldiers traveling along the path. They are buried in a small cemetery that can be viewed from the trail.
Fawns Ridge Trail
This trail lives up to its name; the area is home to many deer. In addition to these there are skinks, lizards, and songbirds. A half mile portion of the trail is designated accessible for wheelchair users. The trail connects to Lake View Bend.
Lake View Bend Trail
This trail is short, only about 1.5 miles long. It is a great trail to take if you want easy access to the amphitheater or the shore.