National Recreation Trails Database


Trail Description Continued

Mudlick Trail provides an intimate journey into one of the oldest mountain regions of North America: the St. Francois Mountains. It is a moderate to very strenuous 12-mile loop trail, climbing from 415 feet above sea level in Big Creek Valley to 1,313 feet above sea level at the top of Mudlick Mountain. It is open to hiking, backpacking and equestrian use. Most of the trail is located in the Mudlick Mountain Wild Area, one of the most significant, undisturbed natural landscapes in Missouri.

The trail begins by ascending the bluffs above Big Creek where three stone hiking shelters, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, offer outstanding views of the surrounding countryside and the "shut-ins" valley below. The trail then drops into Mudlick Hollow, a narrow rock-strewn valley interspersed with pools of clear water. The trail follows Mudlick Hollow for about three-fourths of a mile before beginning a gradual climb to the summit of Green Mountain. Horses may bypass the rocky Mudlick Hollow on the "horse friendly" Hollow Pass Trail. Hikers may use the Hollow Pass Trail as a return route after visiting the scenic hollow. The view from Green Mountain is best during the fall and winter when the trees in the thick oak-hickory forest have shed their leaves. From the southern end of Green Mountain, the trail descends rapidly, via a series of "switchbacks," into Logan Creek valley. A dense stand of red cedar grows in the valley, providing a cool shaded corridor for the trail. Once through the valley, the trail begins a steady climb to the top of Mudlick Mountain. It then traverses the rugged eastern slope of the mountain back to the starting point.

The surrounding conical, domelike hills of the St. Francois Mountains and the distinctive 1930s craftsmanship of the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) characterize the more than 5,000-acre park. Big Creek and the St. Francois River attract anglers who cast for smallmouth bass, crappie, sunfish, goggle-eye and catfish. Water enthusiasts enjoy wading, tubing, swimming and snorkeling in the cool, clear waters. Canoeing is offered year-round on the St. Francois River while the best time to float Big Creek is in the spring or early summer when kayaks are often used.


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This website provides access to the National Recreation Trail (NRT) database, a collection of information on the various trails which have been designated as NRT's. These trails are located throughout the United States and U.S. territories. The amount of information may vary from trail to trail. If you need more information than is available on this site, please use the contact(s) listed for that trail. (If no contacts, are listed, you may request help from American Trails at

The on-line database has details on the currently designated National Recreation Trails. The NRT Program online is hosted by American Trails: