Natural Tunnel Trail - Bennett Springs
Off County Road OO-123
The trail’s signature feature is the Bennett Spring Natural Tunnel, which is 296 feet long and forms an S curve through the hill. Formed from Gasconade dolomite, the tunnel contains a large gravel creek bed. On its way to the tunnel, the trail crosses Spring Hollow and passes through many different habitats, including bottomland and upland forests, tall bluffs, sunny glades, small and large streams, and old farm fields. The trail is a combination of roads used by people living in the area from the 1840s to present and rugged wooded areas crossed by small streams. The wooded areas support abundant wildlife including deer, squirrels, chipmunks, many woodland birds and insects, including ticks. Several bluffs have interesting geologic features, tiny caves, sheer rock faces and deep overhangs with vines and other foliage.
The trail passes near a small cemetery that dates from the late 1880s and holds the graves of two families who lived in the area. Upstream from the natural tunnel is a large overhang that may have been used as shelter by earlier travelers. The trail overlaps with Savanna Ridge Trail for a mile along the west side of Spring Hollow.