John J. Audubon Trail and Trailhead

Area Status: Open

This is a 12-mile, circular, wilderness trail established as a memorial pilgrimage through the area which the great naturalist/artist visited on his wide-ranging bird collecting trips while living in Ste. Genevieve.

The trailhead is located at a ford where FR 2199 crosses Bidwell Creek.

A printable brochure is available.

At a Glance

Fees: No fees
Usage: Light
Restrictions: Camp at least 100 feet from the trail, treat all water used, bury human waste and pack out all trash
Closest Towns: Fredericktown
Water: None
Operated By: USDA Forest Service
Information Center: Potosi-Fredericktown Ranger District
Email | Phone and Address

General Information

Directions: From St. Louis, take I-55 south to Hwy. 32 (2nd Ste. Gen. exit); go west, then south on Hwy B; follow Hwy B to WW and go east 5.7 miles to Bidwell Creek Road; follow this for 0.5 miles then turn right at the Coldwater Club, following this road 0.4 miles; turn left on FR 2199 and go 6.5 miles to Bidwell Creek ford.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Dispersed Camping

Dispersed camping is the term used for free camping anywhere in the National Forest OUTSIDE of a designated campground.

Dispersed camping means there are no toilets, no structures, no trash cans, no treated water, and no fire grates.

There are extra responsibilities required for this type of camp. It's a must to educate yourself before you try it, but we hope the adventure of dispersed camping in the Mark Twain National Forest calls to you!

  1. Pick a Campsite and follow the Leave No Trace Principles
  2. Camp 100 feet away from trails and water sources.
  3. Treat any water found in the area before consuming it.
  4. Human waste (Feces) must be buried at least 6 inches deep and covered.
  5. Pack out all of your garbage.

For more information on Dispersed Camping visit our dispersed camping page which has information on picking a campsite, how to protect water quality, and campfires!

Day Hiking


Horse Riding

Viewing Wildlife

Viewing Plants

Viewing Scenery

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
12 miles

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