The Taum Sauk Section of the Ozark Trail is 35 miles long and runs through the heart of the ancient St. Francois Mountains. One of the most popular and scenic portions of the Taum Sauk Section is the 14.5 miles between Taum Sauk Mountain State Park and Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park. This rugged portion of trail through two state parks winds across mountains of oak-hickory woodland dotted with shortleaf pine trees, bluffs and rocky glades.
The hike at Taum Sauk Mountain State Park begins on Mina Sauk Falls Trail with steep rocky climbs on high rock “steps” that take hikers past the tallest waterfall in Missouri. Soon after passing the falls, Ozark Trail continues down the valley while Mina Sauk Falls Trail loops back up the mountain. One mile below the falls on Ozark Trail lies Devil’s Tollgate, an 8-foot-wide passage through 50 feet of volcanic rhyolite standing 30 feet high. The trail continues on to Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park with several creek crossings. After reaching the park, it connects with Scour Trail and Goggins Mountain Equestrian Trail.
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