In all, this trail covers approximately seven miles in its entirety, but with multiple road crossings, and trail crossovers, it can be adapted to a shorter route if you like. It should be noted that the trail is often poorly marked, in many places in rough condition, has lots of blow downs across the trail, and in the lower Natural Area, has multiple stream crossings.
As you can see on the GPS image from my hike, I did leave out one portion of the hike. The main reason for this was that as I proceeded through one of the burn areas, I lost the trail, and it was not marked, so I moved out to the road and proceeded back to my vehicle (a short distance).
This area is in the western section of Warren County in Missouri. It's about one hour from my house...maybe 1:45 from St. Louis.
The terrain is diverse...forests, savannah, creek bottoms, some hilly terrain on the trail...but a well worthwhile trek on a weekend afternoon. There is camping permitted in the area, but check rules prior to pitching camp.
This is an area that gets hunted during deer and turkey seasons, and at these times, be absolutely certain to wear as much blaze orange as you can put your hands on.
I covered the five miles of the trail I took at a 2.5 mph pace when actually moving. It was very wet and muddy and slippery the day I went. If you are in good shape, a 3+ mph pace is doable in good conditions. Trekking poles would be advised, though I regrettably left mine in my Jeep.
HERE is a link to the MDC page for the area where you can download a brochure and map, as well as read area regs and rules.