Council Bluff Lake Trail

Missouri

Distance11.6mi
Elevation Gain2,831ft
Trailhead Elevation1,091ft
Top1,215ft
Elevation Min/Max1059/1215ft
Elevation Start/End1091/1091ft

Council Bluff Lake Trail

Council Bluff Lake Trail is a hiking trail in Washington County and Iron County, Missouri. It is 11.6 miles long and begins at 1,091 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 23.2 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,831 feet. The Walnut Grove Missionary Baptist Church (elevation 1,122 feet) place of worship can be seen along the trail. There is also a beach along the trail.

Council Bluff Lake Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

60 Hikes within 60 Miles: St. Louis (Menasha Ridge Press)
Steve Henry
View more trails from this guide book
"The Lakeshore Trail in Council Bluff Recreation Area is an enthralling ramble along the wooded shores of a deep, blue Ozark lake. Though rugged in places, this trail’s gentle grade makes it a surprisingly easy long hike. And countless relaxing vistas of the lake’s inviting waters bring pleasure with every step."

Council Bluff Lake Trail Trip Reports

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8/10/2011
My wife and I enjoyed this capsite very much. We stayed in the Summit Loop on site 30. The trails were nice as we hiked to the old Silver Mine and to the dam as well. Camphosts were very nice. Although the river was low, we still enjoyed the excellent scenery. We are planning to go back in the spring when the river comes alive. The campsites are much to our liking. We have an Aliner Camper and can enjoy the more basic campsites.
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9/15/2007
While trailhead was tricky to identify, once found this is a nice trail for hiking/biking. Closer to 6-7 miles than 9. This trail ties to Katy trail via the Hamburg (sp?) trail. Since much is on access roads, hardcore mntn bikers may not like it too much.
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6/9/2007
Stayed at the Silver Mines campground riverside loop. I disagree with the guide stating the campsites are too close together and that it is loud in this area do to the swimming access being at this loop. The access is actually, the next drive up, and does connect to the loop, but we did not find that it created any extra noise. This is the only loop with electric, though there were no showers. We were in site 5, which I would not recommend at is is in full sun for most of the day, but ANY other in the this loop looked just fine. Ours was fine once the sun headed down for the day. As for the trail, we only hiked a portion of the trail from the bridge to the dam, but will definitely be going back to see the rest. It was a great hike and I can only imagine how what we missed. I forgot my trail guide at home, and there were no maps available at the trailhead, so we could only guess how far we would go and it was threatening rain. Had to get back and get the pop-up down before we the rain came.

Becky
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4/9/2006
This was a great family trail. There is water paralleling most of the hike and several gorgeous beaver ponds. The first and last parts of the hike are more along the line of a stroll down a country lane, but the middle third breaks away from the valley and goes up the into the hillside and through the woods. At the peak you'll find an old cemetary and a spring amid the switchbacks. This was a very enjoyable and easy hike. The only downside was the need to keep a look out for the mountain bikers. Be sure to take water as there are no facilities along the trail.
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4/1/2006
We left our campsite arround 10am and hiked up the trail leading to the Silver Mines. It was a great time of year to make the hike. The leaves still hadn't sprouted, so views of the river were great, and the tempature was arround 80 degrees. After messing arround the mine area we continued up to the old dam. The dam is a great place to sit on and take a break. We passed the time watching a student group from the University of Missouri collect rock samples below us. Had the pleasure to meet a very nice lady in a brown shirt (sorry forget your name) who talked to us about their trip. While it was very tempting to jump off the dam into the water we hiked back down to the campsite. After having some beers, we went back up to the low water bridge and swam in the rapids for a few hours. The cold water felt great after the hike.
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3/31/2006
Hiked this trail for the first time today. Really enjoyed the scenery and the terrain. The first half from Millstream to Turkey Creek was good, but there was several trees blown across the trail from the storms. It did look like there was an effort underway to get the trail cleaned up though. From Turkey creek to Silver Mines was an awesom hike. I enjoyed the hike through the rocks, it added a little more difficulty to the day. Hiked around the bridge and back up to the dam. Checked out the foundations of the old buildings and the "air conditioner" was nice on a warm day. Definately recommend this trail to anyone. It is a good day hike that I will do again soon.
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7/31/2005
This was a "so so" hike. Not a challenge although some spots towords the end could be considered a challenge when trying to share the trail with bikers that you could not here coming.
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6/18/2005
Be sure to stay at the campground, tent or trailer, but no hook-ups. $8/night and very nice sites. This is a forest service campground. Showers at the beach which is free if you camp, otherwise $3/day for parking. Beach is 3 miles by trail or by road from camp. Starting at the campground, down to the lake, loop and return is 14 miles. Go counter clockwise and cool off with a dip at the beach. Trail is a blast. Constant up and down and turning, but few long climbs. Mostly very close to the shore. Pete Sadow
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7/30/2000
This is a tough trail unless you have great bike control. It is very technical in some areas, but overall not too bad. The lake is beautiful, this is a must see.
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Council Bluff Lake Trail Photos

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Trail Information

Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
Year-round
Season
Camping
Additional Use
Mark Twain National Forest
Local Contacts
Johnson Mountain USGS topo
Local Maps