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Gans Creek Main Loop

Intermediate
 4.2 (9)

A nice loop marked with brown blazes.


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Map Key

6.8

Miles

10.9

KM

95%

Runnable

844' 257 m

High

619' 189 m

Low

645' 197 m

Up

652' 199 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

26%

Max Grade (14°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Runner Notes

Loose rock and multiple easy stream crossings when the water level is down make this a challenging route, but not an unpleasant one.

Description

From the entrance at Rock Quarry parking lot, the trail begins with a nice ascent to the Gans Creek overlooks; there are many throughout the trail, along with multiple easy creek crossings when the water level is down. The creek itself is a smooth limestone bedrock, and the bluff overlooks of it are very nice.

This is a relatively quiet trail; if you're out there for a couple hours, you may see 5-10 people max. There is a bit of vegetation overgrowth on the northern end of the loop and on the outer south loop from Shooting Star Trailhead (not shown on this route which cuts through to the campground). There is a vault toilet at the campground.

The trail is marked for hiking/horses, but horse riders have restricted dates. The trail is marked with brown blazes, although there are two unmarked trails on the way, one off of the far north loop and one near the campground.

It is recommended that you bring a trail map (the park map can be downloaded here or use the Trail Run Project mobile app.) Enjoy.

Contacts

Shared By:

Tim Thomas with improvements by Zac Nixon

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 9 votes

#7774

Overall
  4.2 from 9 votes
5 Star
33%
4 Star
56%
3 Star
11%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#208

in Missouri

#7,774

Overall
17 Views Last Month
1,970 Since Nov 22, 2016
Intermediate

0%
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88%
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13%
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Photos

There are a couple of bluffs off trail that provide excellent views below.  This is one of them.
Dec 6, 2019 near Columbia, MO
One of the few creek-crossings you'll encounter on this loop!
Dec 11, 2019 near Columbia, MO
Mother Nature was showing off on Wagon Wheel trail.
Nov 6, 2021 near Columbia, MO
The trail makes a sharp right and follows blazes with the number three.
May 10, 2017 near Columbia, MO
Starting down the trail, enjoy its smooth surface and pleasant forest views.
May 10, 2017 near Columbia, MO
High Ridge Trailhead is marked by this sturdy sign.
May 20, 2017 near Columbia, MO

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