Finding a long backpacking trail in northern Missorouri can be difficult luckily the trail on Mark Twain Lake is dutifully filling this role. The trail over 16 miles of continuous trail which is nice but needs some maintanence. The trail is pretty free of blockages but is poorly marked sometimes going hundreds of yards before picking up a faint mark on a tree that my just turn out to be moss. Our first time there we were falling back to our map and park boundries several times until we could pick up the trail again. Hiking to Lot 16 the trail seems to disappear when you get to a hilltop. Out in front of you is a huge praire and you can only guess your car is in a small parking lot somewhere on the other end. We ended up hugging the forested area to the right and getting through. The same thing happened on the northern tip of Little Indian Creek. You know the trail wraps around the top of the water and back down to your left, you may even think you can see the sign on the other side but between you and it is a flat marshy area and a body of water. Pending on the season you may have to trek another 1/4 - 1/2 mile north before safely crossing the water. The lake is a source of water but is often brown and stale looking, we have filtered water form it without issue. All this being said the park has some sort of attraction that draw you back and is a good adventure.

"The Lick Creek Trail is an 8-mile trail from point to point and also includes a 2.5 mile loop on the north end. There are 5 designated campsites along the trail with one of them being on the 2.5 mile loop. The Joanna Trail is 21.5-miles long from point to point and also has two internal loops (the Pioneer Loop and the Prairie Loop) that can be used to get the mileage near 30-miles. There are 5 primitive campsites on the Prairie Loop of the Joanna Trail." via Danny's Missouri Backpacking & Hiking Trails Reviews


Backpacking Mark Twain Lake

Mark Twain Lake in Missouri offers many outdoor recreation opportunities including hiking and backpacking on many miles of scenic trails. The forests, grasslands, and limestone bluffs surrounding the lake offer a great setting for a relaxed weekend backpacking trip.

This place and I have a true love hate relationship. The good - long trail, disbursed camping, no registration need and numerous trail heads. The bad - poorly marked, keep an eye on your map and an open mind because several times you may just have to trust your gut. Nothing overly remarkable to see on your trip but a nice place none the less.

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