Taum Sauk Section
Introduction

This is one of the finest trails in Missouri. It's rugged, scenic, and passes by one of the best swimming areas you'll find.

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Overview

It's hard to understate how great this section is. You have 1.5 billion-year-old mountains, igneous glades, springs, grand vistas, odd rock formations, and a swimming hole complete with natural flumes. If this author could only hike one trail in Missouri, this would be his choice. The section is 35 miles in length, but lends itself to two different hikes: one from Highway A to Shut-Ins (15 miles), and the other to Shut-Ins to Taum Sauk (12.5 miles ( although you can continue to Highway 21 for a total of 18 miles). This trail will slow you down-- you'll find your average speed drop a mile-an-hour for your normal pace as you negotiate the rough terrain. One person described the tread as "a natural stair-stepping machine." Look for the cairns in the igneous glades, as it's easy to get lost.

Current Trail Conditions

As of 07/28/2014, the condition is:
Open. Burn Area. Seasonal Growth.

Seasonal Mowing - OTA Adopters, "Friends of Glenn Hoffmeister", have gone above and beyond their assigned duties and have brushed the trail from Hwy N east to the Black River. Four volunteers went out July 19th and cleared from Hwy N west to the OT connector to Goggins mountain. The Padfield area is still overgrown.

The Russell Mtn Trailhead has moved a little farther up the road to the High Pointer Trailhead. The reroute has been completed.

Hwy 21 to Taum Sauk to JSI should be mostly clear, with a tree down here and there. There is a recent burn area near Devil's Tollgate, but seasonal growth will likely hide this very quickly. Hwy A to Johnson's Shut-Ins Scour Area is reported as all clear. Otherwise expect early seasonal growth in the storm damaged and bottomland areas of the trail, but the corridor should be generally free of downfall.

Trail Statistics


Hiking
Distance:35 miles
Difficulty:Moderate to Difficult
Camping:

Campgrounds: Johnson's Shut-Ins, Taum Sauk. Primitive Camping is allowed 100' from the trail, except within two miles of of Johnson Shut-In's main parking lot. Please don't camp on glades.

Total Ascent:4250' N-to-S; 4150' S-to-N (refers to total gain of all climbs on trail)
Topo Quads:Johnson Mountain, Edgehill, Johnson Shut-Ins, Ironton
Restrictions:

This trail is for foot-traffic only, with the exception of the northern-most two miles of trail in the Bell Mountain Wilderness Area. Fires are NOT allowed on DNR land.

Trailheads and Directions
Highway A Trailhead
From Bixby, MO...
Head east on MO-32 for 5.4 mi.
Trun right at MO-49 and follow for 9.8 mi.
Turn left at MO-A follow for 3.0 mi.

From Caledonia, MO...
Head south on MO-21 for 4.1 mi.
Turn right at MO-32 and continue for 7.2 mi.
Turn left at MO-A and follow for 5.4 mi.

From Lesterville, MO...
Head west on MO-21 for 3.7 mi.
Take a slight right at MO-49 and continue 9.5 mi.
Turn right at MO-A and continue for 3.0 mi.

From Ironton, MO...
Head northwest on MO-21 for 3.6 mi.
Turn left to stay on MO-21 and continue for 6.8 mi.
Turn left at MO-32 and follow for 7.2 mi.
Turn left at MO-A and continue for 5.4 mi.

Highway N Trailhead
From Bixby, MO...
Head east on MO-32 5.5 mi.
Turn right at MO-49 and follow for 14.6 mi.
Turn left to stay on MO-49 and follow for 4.7 mi.
Turn left at MO-21 / MO-49 / MO-72 and follow for .3 mi.
Slight left at MO-N and follow for 6.7 mi.
Trailhead is on the right about .5 mi past Johnson's Shutins.

From Caledonia, MO...
Head south on MO-21 for 10.4 mi.
Turn right at MO-N and follow for 12.2 mi.
Watch for the Scour Trail signage. Trailhead is on the left.

From Lesterville, MO...
Head west on MO-21 for 3.1 mi.
Take a right at MO-N and continue 6.8 mi.
Trailhead is on the right about .5 mi past Johnson's Shutins.

From Ironton, MO...
Head northwest on MO-21 for 4.3 mi.
Turn left to stay on MO-21 and continue for .5 mi.
Turn right at MO-N and follow for 12.2 mi.
Watch for the Scour Trail signage. Trailhead is on the left.
Taum Sauk Mtn Trailhead
From Bixby, MO...
Head east on MO-32 for 5.4 mi.
Turn right at MO-49 and follow for 14.6 mi.
Turn left to stay on MO-49 and continue for 18.0 mi.
Turn left on to Veterans Memorial Hwy and follow for 5.1 mi.
Turn left at MO-CC and follow for 3.1 mi.
Park entrance on right
Follow the park road for 1.0 mi. to the trailhead.

From Caledonia, MO...
Head south on MO-21 for 20.1 mi.
Turn right at MO-CC and follow for 3.1 mi.
Park entrance on right
Follow the park road for 1.0 mi. to the trailhead parking lot.

From Lesterville, MO...
Head east on MO-21 for 14.7 mi.
Turn left at MO-CC and follow for 3.1 mi.
Park entrance on right
Follow the park road for 1.0 mi. to the trailhead parking lot.

From Ironton, MO...
Head southeast on MO-21 for 5.6 mi.
Turn right at MO-CC and follow for 3.1 mi.
Park entrance on right
Follow the park road for 1.0 mi. to the trailhead parking lot.

Russell Mtn Trailhead
From Bixby, MO...
Head east on MO-32/MO-49 for 5.4 mi.
Turn right at MO-49 and follow for 14.6 mi.
Turn left to stay on MO-49 for 18 mi.
Continue on MO-21/MO-72/Veterans Mem Hwy for 5.1 mi.
Turn left at MO-CC and follow for 1.6 mi.

From Caledonia, MO...
Head south on MO-21 for 20.1 mi.
Turn right at MO-CC and follow for 1.6 mi.

From Lesterville, MO...
Head east on MO-21/MO-49/MO-72 for 14.7 mi.
Turn left at MO-CC for and follow 1.6 mi.

From Ironton, MO...
Head southeast on MO-21/Veterans Mem Hwy for 5.6 mi.
Turn left at MO-CC and follow for 1.6 mi.

Highway 21 Trailhead
From Bixby, MO...
Head east on MO-32/MO-49 for 5.4 mi.
Turn right at MO-49 and follow for 14.6 mi.
Turn left to stay on MO-49 and follow for 18.0 mi.
Turn left on to Veterans Memorial Hwy and follow for 4.0 mi

From Caledonia, MO...
Head south on MO-21/MO-32 for 21.2 mi.

From Lesterville, MO...
Head east on MO-21 for 13.5 mi.

From Ironton, MO...
Head southeast on MO-21 for 6.8 mi.

Maps
Taum Sauk 1
Miles 0 to 7

Taum Sauk 2
Miles 6 to 23

Taum Sauk 3
Miles 22 to 36

Photos
Glade hopper on Bell Mountain

Top of Mina Sauk falls

Bottom of Mina Sauk falls

Ottery Creek

Misty day on Taum Sauk

Cairns along the Taum Sauk section

View from Taum Sauk Mountain

Padfield Branch crossing

Taum Sauk in the Fall

Taum Sauk Forest

Taum Sauk Glade

Taum Sauk Glade

Grasshopper

Peace and Tranquility

Hiking along the Taum Sauk Section

Hornet's Nest

Johnson's Shut-ins

Beautiful Rocks

Lizard

Looking Up the Scour - Taum Sauk Section

Mina Sauk Falls - Taum Sauk Section

Mina Sauk Falls - Taum Sauk Section

Mina Sauk Falls - Taum Sauk Section

Mina Sauk Falls - Taum Sauk Section

Oak Leaves

Oxalis

Lots of Beautiful Rock Outcroppings along the Taum Sauk

Scour at Johnson's Shut-ins

Scour at Johnson's Shut-ins

Scour at Johnson's Shut-ins

Spiderwort

Highway 21 Trailhead - Taum Sauk Section

Devil's Tollgate - Taum Sauk Section

Devil's Tollgate - Taum Sauk Section

Devil's Tollgate - Taum Sauk Section

Devil's Tollgate - Taum Sauk Section

Devil's Tollgate - Taum Sauk Section

Yellow Leaves

Contacts
US Forest Service
Mark Twain National Forest
Potosi District

Potosi District Office
Hwy 8 West
Potosi, MO 63664
(573) 438-5427

Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park

Jeff Ayers
HC Route 1, Box 126
Middlebrook, MO 63656
(573) 546-2450

Missouri Department of Conservation

Wildlife Division
PO Box 180
Jefferson City, MO 65102
(573) 751-4115