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Named for the explorers who traveled up the Missouri River to eventually reach the Pacific Ocean, the Lewis and Clark trails explore a small piece of that historic route along the mighty Missouri River.
Located in Weldon Spring Conservation Area, the trails meander through hilly woodlands and reach the top of tall bluffs near the river.
Unlike some other trails in the area, these are hiker-only, so they remain a bit more peaceful in the absence of mountain bikers. At the bluffs, the trail accesses several overlook points where you can sit and take in the view.
This is a popular spot, but there’s plenty of room to spread out.
Note that the edges are unprotected, so you’ll need to be especially cautious if it’s muddy or icy.
In addition to the river and wooded expanses on either side, you’ll see the Katy Trail below.
It’s a long-distance gravel path that spans most of the state.
After passing the bluffs, there’s the option to stay on Clark Trail and return to the trailhead in a loop of about 5 miles, but the route mapped here is the full loop with Lewis trail.
On this extension, you’ll enjoy more woodland scenery, including spacious upland forest, dense bottomlands, and edge habitat where deer are common.
Fewer people hike the full loop, so you’re likely to find solitude in the quiet woods.
Keep an eye out for interesting wildflowers, mushrooms, and other wildlife as you go. Sources: https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places/weldon-spring-conservation-area https://www.visitmo.com/things-to-do/weldon-spring-conservation-area