Big Piney Trail

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Big Piney Trail covers a variety of Ozark terrain in Paddy Creek Wilderness. Hiking in a wilderness area brings its own special challenges along with special delights. Signs and trail markings are sparse, there are no bridges across the creeks, and the trail may be rough. The remoteness and lack of facilities almost guarantees solitude, and means that you must be well prepared. Be sure to tell someone your plans, bring a map and compass and/or a GPS, and don’t hike the wilderness alone. NO drinking water is available at trailheads or along the trail; bring what you will need, or be prepared to sterilize water you find in the wilderness.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: No operational hours, no fees.
Restrictions: No motorized or mechanized transportation; foot or horseback only. No camping within 100’ of trails, water, or other occupied campsites. Maximum group size of 10 persons.

General Information


From Roby, MO take Hwy 17 north 1 mile; turn right on gravel Forest Road 274, and go about .6 miles to Roby Lake Recreation Area.
From Licking, MO take Hwy 32 west 4 miles to Hwy N; go 2 miles to Hwy AF, then 7 miles to Big Piney Trail Camp. 

General Notes:

Rating: Moderate to more difficult. Terrain is sometimes steep. Vertical rise is 500 feet.
Length: 17 miles
Best Seasons: Fall, winter, spring
Leave No TracePack out what you pack in; be prepared and minimize your impact.
Surface Type: Unsurfaced, native material.
Safety: During temperate months, be prepared for biting insects, poison ivy and high temperatures. Be advised of hunting seasons. Avoid using the trail during excessively wet periods.  Most of the area has no cell phone coverage – plan ahead and be prepared for emergencies.


Big Piney Trail Camp:This trail camp is open year round. The primitive camp is designed specifically for horse use to reduce impacts to other camping spots. There is no fee for camping; facilities include a few picnic tables, hitching posts and fire rings.
Roby Lake Recreation Area:This recreation site is the southern-most of the 3 trailheads for the Big Piney Trail. Area includes a large parking area for horse trailers, a small lake, and picnic tables.
Paddy Creek Recreation Area:The most developed of the three areas, this recreation sites serves as the third trailhead access to the Big Piney Trail. It contains a picnic area and campground with a vault toilet and 23 campsites, all with table, fire ring, and grill.  There is no drinking water, and no garbage service.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


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