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Cedar Creek Trail

Area Status: Open
This area is Open
 

Bluff above Cedar Creek, looking over into Boone County

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.

view of the parking area at the cedar creek trailhead view of the road gate for Cedar Creek Trail at Oak Chapel Bluff above Cedar Creek, looking over into Boone County

At a Glance

Fees None, donations are accepted at Dry Fork and Pine Ridge Recreation Areas, which offer picnic areas and camping.
Best Season: Spring and fall; Suitable for year round use.
Restrictions: No motorized travel. No horses on the 1 mile Pine Ridge Section; use alternate route.
Closest Towns: New Bloomfield on the east; Ashland on the west
Water: None, except at Dry Fork and Pine Ridge Recreation Area trailheads
Restroom: None, except at Dry Fork and Pine Ridge Recreation Area trailheads
Operated By: Forest Service

General Information

Directions:

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.


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities


Bicycling

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Hiking

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Horse Riding & Camping

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Nature Viewing

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Viewing Scenery

The Cedar Creek Trail provides multiple avenues to experience nature in its natural setting either by hiking, mountain biking, or horseback riding.  Prior to 1940, the land was exceedingly cultivated by private land owners resulting in depleted and eroded soils.  Since 1953, the U.S. Forest Service has been managing this land and now Cedar Creek Trail offers a variety of wildlife habitats and plants species that call the oak-hickory forests and tallgrass prairies their home.  Plant and wildlife observers can now enjoy activities such as bird watching, rock hounding, and photography fromthe low ridges and tributaries of Cedar Creek, to the scenic bluffs overlooking the area.    

Viewing Plants

The Cedar Creek Trail provides multiple avenues to experience nature in its natural setting either by hiking, mountain biking, or horseback riding.  Prior to 1940, the land was exceedingly cultivated by private land owners resulting in depleted and eroded soils.  Since 1953, the U.S. Forest Service has been managing this land and now Cedar Creek Trail offers a variety of wildlife habitats and plants species that call the oak-hickory forests and tallgrass prairies their home.  Plant and wildlife observers can now enjoy activities such as bird watching, rock hounding, and photography fromthe low ridges and tributaries of Cedar Creek, to the scenic bluffs overlooking the area.

Viewing Wildlife

The Cedar Creek Trail provides multiple avenues to experience nature in its natural setting either by hiking, mountain biking, or horseback riding.  Prior to 1940, the land was exceedingly cultivated by private land owners resulting in depleted and eroded soils.  Since 1953, the U.S. Forest Service has been managing this land and now Cedar Creek Trail offers a variety of wildlife habitats and plants species that call the oak-hickory forests and tallgrass prairies their home.  Plant and wildlife observers can now enjoy activities such as bird watching, rock hounding, and photography fromthe low ridges and tributaries of Cedar Creek, to the scenic bluffs overlooking the area.    

Areas & Activities

Location

 
  Area/Length : 
36 miles

  Latitude : 
38.7600011

  Longitude : 
-92.1577897

 



https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mtnf/recreation/recarea/?recid=21804&actid=64