Loop Trail? Yes
Agency: USDA Forest Service
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No Allowed Uses:
Bicycling (off pavement)
Boating, non-motorized: Canoeing
Boating, non-motorized: Kayaking
Dogs - On leash
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
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Location: Mark Twain National Forest, Iron County Road 131.
From Ironton, MO, take Hwy E south for 9 miles; right on Iron County Road 124 for 2.5 miles; left on Iron County Road 131 for 2 miles.
This trail was traveled by a
NRT Ambassador on 09/22/2018.
Five-mile, double-loop hiking and mountain biking trail, with a short segment also open to horses, where it connects with the cross-state Ozark Trail. A portion of the trail also follows part of the Marble Creek Section of the Ozark Trail. The lake loop roughly parallels the shoreline of Crane Lake, while the South Loop passes through a series of glades, shut-ins, old fields, and oak-hickory forest.
Width: 21 inches.
Primary Surface: Soil
Secondary Surface: Soil
Average Grade: 7%
Maximum Grade: 25%
Elevation Low Point: 858
Elevation High Point: 933
Elevation Gain (cumulative): 321 feet
Year Designated: 1980
Supporting Webpages and DocumentsWebsite: USFS Trail Details
For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.
Mark Twain National Forest
Potosi/Fredericktown Ranger District
10019 Hwy 8 West, PO Box 188
Potosi , MO 63664
Ozark Trail Association
406 West High Street
Potosi , MO 63664
NRT Ambassador Review
We visited Crane Lake Trail in the fall of 2018. It is a double loop trail with a total distance of approximately 5 miles. The referenced north loop circles around Crane Lake, which also is referred to as the lake loop, and is around 3 miles total. There is a short connector that crosses a shut-in just below the dam outlet to form the double loop. The south loop is approximately 2 miles in length. Crane Lake Trail follows part of the Marble Creek section of the Ozark Trail, which also is designated as a National Recreation Trail and more information (e.g., maps) can be found on the Ozark Trail Association website (ozarktrail.com).
At the time of this review, the water level for Crane Lake had been drawn down to allow for evaluation of repairs to the dam. Please note that the connector just below the dam was a precarious water crossing because of the open outlet. Additionally, the southern side of the north/lake loop follows a Forest Service road (FS 2115), which does not make this an enjoyable hike as the road is very wide and muddy. The district plans to decommission this road and try to rehab in the future after repairs to the dam are made.
It is recommended to check on trail conditions and any closures with the U.S. Forest Service district office before heading out on this trail. This project is still ongoing as of Fall 2019 and more information is regularly posted on the Mark Twain National Forest Facebook page as well. If we were to re-visit the area in the near future, we would stick to hiking the Ozark Trail portion of the trail.
September 16, 2019
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