Mark Twain National Forest
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  • Cedar Creek Trail

    Cedar Creek Trail is situated in the northern portion of the Houston/Rolla/Cedar Creek District, which comprises more than 16,000 acres in central Missouri just southeast of Columbia. The trail traverses 36 miles alternating between oak hickory forests and tall grass prairie lands. The trail consists of four main sections. The Southern Loop crosses 23 miles of pastoral countryside with cross-country sections and trail along gravel roads. The Smith Creek Loop traverses five miles between Boydsville and Rutherford Bridge and offers a scenic hike that provides glimpses of Cedar Creek from the bluffs above. The Pine Ridge Section passes through Pine Ridge Recreation Area and is open to foot travel and mountain bikes only; no horses. A horse route is located to the west. The Moon Loop portion is approximately seven miles in length and is named for the moon-like appearance of the area caused by soil erosion in the 1930s. The area has since been restored. The Cedar Creek Unit provides a variety of wildlife habitats and recreational opportunities for the public. A printable brochure is available for download.


    None, donations are accepted at Dry Fork and Pine Ridge Recreation Areas, which offer picnic areas and camping.


    No motorized travel. No horses on the 1 mile Pine Ridge Section; use alternate route.


    Trailheads are available at Pine Ridge recreation area for hikers and mountain bikers. Equestrian trailhead available at Dry Fork Campground. A trailhead is also available on Ginn Road and Route AB: from Columbia take Hwy 63 south to Road AB; turn south on Ginn Lane and travel about 1 mile to trailhead.