Hike through a gorge of cliffs and boulders, deep in the woods of Don Robinson State Park


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The hike starts on a paved path leading to a small picnic area, and that’s where the loop portion begins.

It’s a natural surface trail through familiar Missouri forest, with various deciduous species covering rolling hills.

The scenery is typical woodland for the most part, but then there is the canyon.

Underlying these hills are thick layers of sandstone, and in one place, natural forces have carved an impressive show of this geology. The trail makes a sharp dip downward to enter the gorge, then flattens somewhat in the bottom.

Overhanging rock walls rise all around, in places more than 50 feet tall.

Giant boulders rest on the canyon floor, and thick oaks crane upward to the canopy.

You might spend time exploring the many nooks and crannies or scrambling on the rocks.

A stream flows through the canyon as well, and you might see seasonal waterfalls tumbling off the cliffs. On the map, you’ll notice the full loop is divided by a connector trail.

If you want to hike a shortened version that features the canyon, you can do just the western half.

The eastern half is also worthwhile, though, for hillier terrain and additional rock formations.

There you’ll find low limestone bands with icicle-like formations underneath, plus many hollow pockets and small caves.

Altogether this loop makes a fantastic tour of Missouri’s natural environment, displaying both what’s on the surface and what’s underneath. Source: https://mostateparks.com/park/don-robinson-state-park