Hike back in time with your four-legged BFF at the Big Sugar Creek State Park! Spanning 2,083 acres in the rugged Elk River region of southwest Missouri, this pawtastic park features plants and animals that are not often seen anymore in the state. Discover Big Sugar Creek's unique features by going on a 3-mile hiking adventure, and bring your curious pup along—leashed doggos are welcome!
Constructed in 1996, the Ozark Chinquapin Trail enables visitors to enjoy the natural beauty and quiet solitude of the park's Elk River Breaks Natural Area. This trail will take you and Fido along a small bedrock stream surrounded by steep hills before climbing into the upland woodlands and glades. A 1-mile connector path is also available to shorten or lengthen your hike. Take your time in checking out the local flora and fauna—there are 345 kinds of plants and 134 kinds of birds to see here! Rare plants that can be spotted in the park include the Ozark Chinquapin tree, low prickly pear cactus, Ozark corn salad wildflower, and mock orange. Keep your eyes peeled for scarlet tanagers, graybelly salamanders, and armadillos as well.
In addition, you and your furry hiking partner will be treated to woofderful views of the area, whose woodlands are among the last of a landscape that once covered the region. There are no benches or picnic areas along the trail, so it would be best to eat something before your hike. As always, keep your pooch on a leash no longer than 10 feet and clean up after them. Human restrooms are available at the trailhead. Don't forget to bring lots of water for Fido and yourself, as well as insect repellent to keep ticks at bay.
Enjoy some relaxing moments in nature with your doggo at the Big Sugar Creek State Park!