The Greater St. Louis Area Council sponsors hiking trails throughout Missouri from a 4-mile trail over the rolling hills of Beaumont Scout Reservation to the rugged, two-day 20-mile hike across Taum Sauk Mountain in the Ozarks. There are also historic trails such as the Gateway West in downtown St. Louis and the Les Petites Cotes in St. Charles.
Check out the list below to find your unit’s next outdoor adventure!
HOW TO REGISTER FOR TRAIL HIKES
Applications to hike all trails must be filed at least two weeks in advance at the Camping Department, which will issue a permit.
- Cub Scouts may hike the Shippey Color Trails (2-9 miles) at Beaumont. There is a recognition patch.
- Webelos may hike these 10-mile hikes: Gateway West, 1904 World’s Fair and Les Petites Cotes.
- Any Scout may hike any trail except the School Craft, Daniel Boone, Taum Sauk and Lost Creek. Scouts hiking these four trails must have hiking experience.
All Boy Scouts, Explorers, Venturers and Scouters hiking trails should be in uniform. There must be two adult leaders for every 10 Scouts who hike, and one leader for each additional 10 Scouts. A fee of $3.00 per hiker covers cost of awards. This fee is payable after the trail has been hiked and should accompany the Trail Hike Report.
This is a 10-mile trail (5 miles up and 5 miles back) that winds up Mount Logan at Camp Lewallen. Anpetu-We Trail is a perfect backpack trail to get ready for Philmont because it offers a chance to do a hike with a dry campsite — meaning you have to carry your own water in. The one and only campsite is located near the top of Mount Logan. It is also possible to do this hike in one day.
John J. Audubon Trail
Located in the Mark Twain National Forest just west of Ste. Genevieve, this 12-mile trail is a wonderful trail hike to do as a one- or two-day trek. This trail is currently the only council-sponsored trail that has a GPS geo-cache located on a section of the trial (this would be a good trail to teach with GPS). Hikers will encounter approximately 3,000 vertical feet of ups and downs, so consider this terrain as rugged.
Daniel Boone Trail
This one-way 20-mile trail in St. Charles and Warren Counties follows the Katy Trail for 15 miles of its length. It starts in Defiance and takes scenic back roads to Matson, where it joins the Katy Trail. Augusta is a good halfway point. The Boone Trail leaves the Katy Trail a little past Dutzow to end at the Daniel Boone Monument. Troops can use the trail for the one-day, 20-mile requirement of Hiking Merit Badge, or they can bike the Katy Trail straight from Defiance to Dutzow and then the Boone Monument for the 15-mile requirement of Cycling Merit Badge.
Carondelet-Jefferson Barracks Trail
This 12-mile closed-loop city hike is located in the Carondelet-Jefferson Barracks area of south St. Louis and south St. Louis County. This trail covers many historic buildings and sites, along with two scenic overlooks of the Mississippi River. Bring a camera, as this trail can offer the Scout a chance to work on the Photography merit badge.
Gateway West Historical Trail
This is a circular 10-mile city hike that begins and ends at Eads Bridge in downtown St. Louis. It is a question-and-answer trail over many of the historical sites in downtown and south St. Louis. Many of the historical sites also offer tours of their facilities, so plan ahead and visit some of these sites while you hike and learn about the city of St. Louis.
The hike starts at the Rockwood Range Tract, travels through the Greensfelder County Park, and finishes its one way 14-mile hike at Rockwoods Reservations where the museum and wildlife displays are available for nature and wildlife education. This trail can also be hiked backwards to complete the trail as a 20-mile hike and fulfill one of the requirements for the Hiking merit badge. This trail is 99 percent in the woods, and it is also a perfect opportunity to work on individual advancement with the use of map and compass.
Henry School Craft Trail
This map and compass trail can be divided into north and south loops located in the Mark Twain National Forest southwest of Potosi, Mo. The south loop is approximately 9 miles long, while the north loop is approximately 5 miles. Many hiking options are available, such as individual day hikes of the two loops, combinations of the two loops and backpacking. This trail also can be used with GPS navigation equipment.
Les Petites Cotes Trail
A circular 10-mile urban hike located in historic St. Charles, the first capitol of Missouri. This is a question-and-answer trail over many of the historical sites in downtown St. Charles. Many of the historical sites offer tours of their facilities, so plan ahead and visit some of these sites while you hike and learn about the city of St. Charles.
Lost Creek Trail
This is a 20-mile circular hiking and bicycling trail located in Warren County, Mo. The entire trail is over county and state roads. The trail starts in Pendleton. The trail can be used to cover some of the requirements for the Hiking and Cycling merit badges.
Moses Austin Trail
The 14.5-mile wilderness trail is in a rugged section of the Clark National Forest in Washington County, northwest of Potosi, Mo. This is a wonderful trail to work on the Backpacking merit badge.
This rugged 17-mile circular trail around the perimeter of the Beaumont Scout Reservation is ideal for overnight backpacking programs. Groups planning high-adventure treks will find the trail to be a challenging shake down. It is a great trail to work on the Backpacking merit badge.
The Shawnee Trail, named after one of the Greater St. Louis Area Council’s Order of the Arrow lodges, was developed to be a 20-mile hiking trail in the woods at Beaumont Scout Reservation. The trail follows a number of the other hiking trails located at Beaumont. It is all 10 percent or less in slope.
Shippey Color Trail System
There are four different short trails at Beaumont Scout Reservation. The Red Trail is 5.2 miles long, the Green Trail is 4.4 miles long, the Yellow Trail is 2.5 miles long and the Blue Trail is 9 miles long. Each color trail goes into a different part of Beaumont and offers a different view of what Beaumont has to offer.
Taum Sauk Trail
The Taum Sauk Trail is now part of the Ozark Trail. Please go to www.ozarktrail.com to get map and information about hiking the Taum Sauk Trail portion of the Ozark Trail. Scout camping is available at Taum Sauk Mountain State Park.
The Taum Sauk Trail was made possible through the efforts of the late J.L. “Pop” Connelly, and was formally dedicated on April 12, 1958. Many scouts and scouters have been able to experience the natural beauty of the Ozarks thanks to his efforts. Below is a link to a news article detailing some of the history of the trail and the dedication of a memorial to “Pop” Connelly. Also listed is a program from the trail dedication in 1958.
Three Notch Trail
This trail is a 21-mile, two 10-mile loops joined by a 1-mile connector, at the S bar F Scout Ranch. You will hike through many of the wilderness areas not normally seen by Scouts at summer camp. The hike can be done in separate loops and it is great for backpacking with the West Loop rated at moderate and the East Loop rated difficult.
The 12-mile circular forest trail lies entirely within Beaumont Scout Reservation. Much of this trail follows scenic ridge tops and up or down at 10 percent or less grade in most places. This trail qualifies as one of the five 10-mile trails required for the Hiking merit badge. There are several places to camp on the trail, which makes this a great backpacking hike also.
1904 World’s Fair Trail
This 10-mile trail goes all around Forest Park and part of the Washington University campus. This trail helps tell the story of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition held in St. Louis in 1904. There are many places to visit in addition to hiking the trail, such as the St. Louis Zoo, History Museum, Art Museum and the World’s Fair Pavilion.