• Table Rock State Park in Missouri offers some of the best hiking trails in the US, with stunning views and lush green landscapes.
  • Visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities in the park, including birdwatching, boating, fishing, kayaking, and swimming in outdoor pools.
  • The park features a range of hiking trails, from challenging and iconic ones like Table Rock Trail to easier loops like Carrick Creek Loop and Green Creek Falls Loop. Dogs are welcome but must be on a leash.

Table Rock State Park in Missouri has some of the best hiking trails. This nature lover’s paradise features scenic hikes and trails that can make every adventurer appreciate the beauty of lush green landscapes.

There is a grand amount of things to do in Branson’s Table Rock State Park. The park is open daily from 5 am to 5 pm, and travelers can experience various outdoor activities, including birdwatching, boating, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and more. Tourists who love bathing in outdoor pools can also try swimming, where public pools are open daily from 7 am to 6 pm.

But a trip to Table Rock State Park will not be complete without trying at least one hiking trail, and this guide has got it all covered. Visitors in Missouri can make the journey more memorable in this iconic state park by experiencing the ten best hiking trails in the US, from rugged terrain to serene lakeside strolls.

10 Table Rock Trail

Table Rock Trail
Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington, Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-2.0
One of the rocky stopovers on the Table Rock Trail

Table Rock Trail is one of the hardest yet iconic trails. It’s only an hour from Greenville and is easily recognizable, thanks to its granite and south-facing dome. Table Rock Trail takes more than four hours to complete.

One thing to know about this hiking spot is its elevation; the elevation gain is about 600 feet. Professional hikers also don’t recommend climbing this mountain during summer.

Dogs are welcome, but they have to wear their leashes. Hikers should register in the Nature Center, including writing one emergency contact in case of emergencies.

  • Parking is available at the Nature Center.
  • Admission fee costs $6 for adults and $3.75 for seniors.

Beginners are not advised to hike Table Rock Trail because of its difficulty.

RELATED: Hit The Road: 14 Unforgettable Adventures Await With These U.S. Road Trip Ideas

9 Carrick Creek Loop

Carrick Creek Loop
John Foxe, WIkimedia CommonsPublic Domain
Beautiful Waterfall in Carrick Creek Loop

Carrick Creek Loop is among the best hikes to do in the US. This 1.9-mile loop trail is an easier hike and should only take an hour to complete. Carrick Creek Loop was named after Carrick Creek Falls, the only waterfall on this hiking trail.

Tourists are recommended to visit this trail from March to November.

This trail is also famous for running and birdwatching. Tourists should expect larger crowds; dogs can be off-leash in certain areas. Visitors will also encounter various stream crossings.

  • There’s one stream crossing where kids must be careful to avoid falling into the river.
  • Mosquito activity can be plenty, so hikers should bring plenty of repellent.

Travelers need good hiking shoes that won’t slide when the trail gets slippery and enough water.

8 Pinnacle Mountain Trail

Pinnacle Mountain Trail
Ray Redstone, Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-4.0
A narrow trail overlooking green landscapes

Another extreme hike is the Pinnacle Mountain Trail. This route is ideal for professional hikers who want to add a little challenge to their outdoor adventure. Pinnacle Mountain Trail takes five hours to complete, and hikers can also see tourists running while appreciating nature.

The trail begins at the edge of the state park’s parking lot, beyond the Nature Center.

Pinnacle Mountain Trail’s first part is relatively easy, with flat, paved paths parallel to the creek. Hikers can also access small pools and cascades. A popular landmark is the Bald Rock Overlook, where hikers can view beautiful Table Rock Mountain.

  • The trail is open all year round.
  • Hikers can bring their dogs but must be on a leash.

7 The Red Trail

The Red Trail
Photo by Frames For Your Heart on Unsplash
A muddy and slippery part of the trail after rainfall

The Red Trail is part of the White River Valley Trail System. It’s filled with large loose rocks, tree roots, and green landscapes with abundant wildlife. A fun fact about The Red Trail is that some parts were roads from Table Rock Dam construction in the 1950s.

It starts east of State Highway 165, along a parking area. Hikers who want to check out the Table Rock Dam can see it along the loop’s northern side. While The Red Trail can get rocky and slippery when it rains, it’s an easy hike, ideal for all types of hikers.

  • Dogs can join hikers but must be on their leash.
  • It’s only a short hike, about three to five miles.

RELATED: Amtrak St. Louis: 10 Things To Know About The Gateway Station & Its Train Routes

6 Mill Creek Pass Trail

Mill Creek Pass Trail
Vinestone1, Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-4.0
A flat and paved path along Mill Creek Trail

The Mill Creek Pass Trail is less than a mile long, making it one of the easiest hiking trails. Like The Red Trail, it does not start at the park’s Nature Center and connects the Ridge Trail with the Pinnacle Mountain Trail.

Hikers can also start at the Pinnacle Mountain Trail and turn right once they reach half a mile from Mill Creek Falls. This should also lead them to the Ridge Trail. Almost the entire trail has flat and non-rocky roads, and hikers can keep their bearings thanks to trail markers.

  • No trailside camping is allowed.
  • Restrooms are only available in the Nature Park parking area.

5 Lakeside Trail

Lakeside Trail
Teeks99 , Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 3.0
Path leading to Lakeside Trail

Another easy hike is the Lakeside Trail. Hikers can quickly identify it because of the purple blazes surrounding it. The Lakeside Trail features beautiful mountain views and family-friendly alternative routes to avoid the steeper mountainous trails. This loop hiking trail is 1.9 miles long and allows camping and dogs on their leashes.

Hikers will see Pinnacle Lake, where 0.75 miles from it is a boat house. The Lakeside Trail is easy and quick, so hikers don’t need to show their hiking registration cards.

  • Filling out an emergency contact is unnecessary because the hike is easy.
  • The hiking trail consists of almost flat paths, making it safe and quick to reach the end.

4 Sassafras Mountain Trail

Sassafras Mountain Trail 
DXR, Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 4.0
An elevation marker along the Sassafras Mountain Trail

The Sassafras Mountain Trail has the most amazing hiking records in the US. It’s an out-and-back trail and 28 kilometers long. Only professional hikers are recommended to try this trail because it’s strenuous and takes 10 hours to complete.

Backpackers can enjoy this trail and camp overnight to witness the Missouri sunrise, especially if they carry more things while hiking. They can also bring their dogs; there are certain areas along the trail where they can be off-leash.

  • Don’t forget to visit the restrooms in the Nature Center before beginning the hike.
  • The Sassafras Mountain has one of the highest peaks in South Carolina.

RELATED: U.S. National Parks: 14 Road Trips To Explore The Best Of America's Natural Beauty

3 Palmetto Trail

Palmetto Trail
Evanoco, Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-4.0
Swamp Fox Passage in the Palmetto Trail

The Palmetto Trail is a 13-plus-mile point-to-point hiking trail. It’s near Sunset, South Carolina, another challenging trail for professional hikers. This trail should take more than six hours to complete.

Palmetto Trail is famous for running and hiking but is relatively quieter than other trails. Hikers should visit this to get the most out of its amazing beauty from February to November.

Travelers can witness rugged, rocky areas and abundant wildlife and flowers. There is also a remarkable boulder field, mountaintop vistas, and waterfalls.

  • The Palmetto Trail is open all year round.
  • The trail is more suitable for professional hikers and trekkers who love camping overnight at the trail's peak.

2 Ridge Trail

Ridge Trail
Photo by Anthony Da Cruz on Unsplash

Hikers trekking uphill to reach the peak 


The Ridge Trail is also a connecting trail for hikers to reach the Pinnacle Mountain Summit from the Table Rock Trail. It’s a quick, short route with less challenging roads, ideal for beginners. The Ridge Trail extends approximately two miles. When heading from Table Rock Trail to Pinnacle, it predominantly involves an uphill climb and is quite steep.

Conversely, if hikers approach it from Pinnacle to Table Rock Trail, it can offer an enjoyable downhill experience.

  • The Ridge Trail is more enjoyable downhill than uphill because it’s easier to access it from the Pinnacle Mountain Summit.
  • Dogs must be leashed when hikers bring them.

1 Green Creek Falls Loop

Green Creek Falls Loop
Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash
Beautiful waterfalls surrounded by abundant lush landscape

This is also one of the easiest trails. It’s a loop trail passing through Carrick Creek and Green Creek Falls. With an elevation of 381 feet and a distance of 1.8 miles, this trail only takes an hour to complete.

Most hikers choose the Green Creek Falls Loop to reach the Pinnacle Mountain Summit more easily. It’s a more convenient route to access the mountain peak.

  • Dogs are permitted, and hikers can remove their leashes in some areas.
  • This route can get travelers to the Pinnacle Mountain Peak half the time than the Pinnacle Mountain Trail.

Tourists are advised to bring swimwear and swim in the falls. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience to appreciate the waterfalls on various trails in Table Rock State Park.