What to do in Taum Sauk Mountain State Park

**This information provided by www.mostateparks.com

Make the great escape to Missouri's wilderness - Taum Sauk Mountain State Park. The park provides 7,448 acres of solitude amid unspoiled land with a wilderness quality hard to find in today's world.Taum Sauk Mountain State Park is located in the St. Francois Mountains, one of the most rugged and scenic areas of the state. Almost 1.5 billion years ago, volcanic eruptions of hot ash settled and cooled to form rhyolite. Erosion has left only the roots of these mountains behind, now dotted by oak-hickory forest and rocky glades. Taum Sauk Mountain literally stands above others as the highest point in Missouri, rising to 1,772 feet. An easy walk leads visitors to the top. From there, the moderately rugged three-mile Mina Sauk Falls Trail continues to the tallest wet-weather waterfall in Missouri. Mina Sauk Falls drops 132 feet over a series of rocky ledges. A portion of this trail also serves as part of the Taum Sauk Section of the Ozark Trail. Farther down the trail lies Devil's Tollgate, an eight-foot-wide passage through volcanic rhyolite standing 30 feet high. The Ozark Trail continues on to Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park, a distance of 12.8 miles.

Taum Sauk Mountain State Park offers basic, walk-in campsites and a special-use camping area. Water is available in the camping area. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Recreation
Picnic Area/Playground The picnic area is located at the Taum Sauk Mountain overlook and provides space to relax, take in the view and enjoy lunch under the trees. Drinking water and a vault restroom is available.

Other Amenities A special-use area is available for use by non-profit organized youth groups. Advanced reservations are required and can be made by calling the Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park office at (573) 546-2450.

TrailsAn easy walk from the parking lot leads visitors to the state's highest point rising to 1,772 feet above sea level. The Taum Sauk Mountain overlook is accessible to people with disabilities and provides an opportunity to view the expansive mountainous landscape to the north. Interpretive displays are placed at the overlook providing visitors with a detailed history of the region.

Beginning in close proximity to the parking lot is the moderately rugged, three-mile Mina Sauk Falls loop trail, which takes visitors to the state's tallest waterfall dropping 132 feet. The best time to view the wet-weather falls is after heavy rainfall, particularly in the spring and fall seasons.

One mile below the falls along the Taum Sauk Section of the Ozark Trail lies Devil's Tollgate. This eight-foot-wide passage takes visitors through 50 feet of volcanic rhyolite standing 30 feet high.

The 33-mile Taum Sauk Section of the Ozark Trail is one of the most scenic and rugged sections along the entire Ozark Trail. It crosses numerous mountains, including Bell Mountain, Goggins Mountain, Proffit Mountain and Taum Sauk Mountain. These mountaintops, and associated valleys, contain outstanding scenic attributes ranging from panoramic glade vistas to rock strewn streams to the cascading Mina Sauk Falls. The trail crosses several significant drainages, including Padfield Branch, the East Fork of the Black River, which has a footbridge, and Taum Sauk Creek. The Ozark Trail connects Taum Sauk Mountain State Park to Johnson's Shut-ins State Park, which is 12.8 miles to the west, providing solitude and beautiful scenery to hikers and backpackers seeking a day's adventure.

The Ozark Trail will eventually connect St. Louis with the Ozark Highlands Trail in Arkansas.

Location
c/o Johnson's Shut-Ins State ParkHCR 1, Box 126, Middlebrook, MO 63656

Climate
Missouri experiences four distinct seasons with an average yearly temperature of 54 degrees F. Summer temperatures reach 90 degrees F often and are plagued with high humidity levels. Nighttime lows during the summer dip slightly near 70 degrees. September brings cooler fall weather with less humidity. By October nights begin to cool significantly and the fall foliage changes to brilliant hues of orange, red and yellow. Winter months bring an average of 24 inches of snow and normal temperatures average between 20 and 45 degrees F. Spring is characterized by wet weather with temperatures reaching between 32 and 60 degrees F.

Address
c/o Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park HCR 1, Box 126
Middlebrook, MO 63656

Phone: 573-546-2450

Email: moparks@dnr.mo.gov
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