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Wagon Wheel Trailhead Loop

Intermediate/Difficult

Trail

3.0 mile 4.8 kilometer loop
96% Runnable
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 301' 92 m
Descent: -304' -93 m
High: 845' 258 m
Low: 714' 218 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 11% (6°)

Dogs

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Map Key

Trail shared by Paul P with improvements by Zac Nixon

The highlights of this run include the wagon wheel, some great views, and two crossings of the creek.

Paul P

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

Overview

A tree grew up through the iron loop of an old wagon wheel, which is what gives the trailhead its name. This loop includes both blufftop views and easy crossings on limestone bedrock over Gans Creek, making for an enjoyable run.

Need to Know

Watch for hard right turn at mile 2 (if running clockwise). Also, keep an eye out as there are several options after the second creek crossing.

Description

This is one part of the Gans Creek Main Loop trail system. Wagon wheel is one way downhill from trailhead. Throughout the way, you'll find plenty of great singletrack. Start out on the Gans Creek Main Loop before transitioning to a short connector. Keep an eye out for a final connector heading north to finish the route.

You'll first be making your way along the edge of the bluff, then switchback down to Gans Creek below the same bluff. Cross the creek and then run back up to the opposite bluff and the best overlook views in the park.

Flora & Fauna

Most of the loop is through mature oak hickory forest. Lots of birds, vireos, tanagers, wood thrush and more.

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Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 4 votes

#2299

Overall
  4.5 from 4 votes
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Run Rankings

#12

in Missouri

#2,299

Overall
121 Views Last Month
1,665 Since Apr 22, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

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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
Leading up the the best lookout point on the loop!
Mar 6, 2020 near Columbia, MO
Looking out off of the first bluff you come to, if you take a left at the fork. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Oct 9, 2018 near Columbia, MO
The trails fork at Gans Creek. If you're doing the Shooting Star Loop, do not cross. Crossing here connects to the Wagonwheel Trailhead.
May 17, 2017 near Columbia, MO
This is the largest of the several overlooks on this stretch.
May 10, 2017 near Columbia, MO

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