Missouri’s Huckleberry Ridge offers ‘knock-the-cobs-out’ hiking

Huckleberry Ridge Conservation Area along Route K, 5 miles east of Pineville, Missouri, offers get-the-blood-pumping hiking up rocky ridges, down steep hollows, along dry creek beds and over fallen trees. It’s an area of dense forest with only vague trail markers, where you must keep your sense of direction and your wits. Occasionally, a compass comes in handy.

The 2,106-acre area — the first large forested tract purchased by the Missouri Department of Conservation in Southwest Missouri — has more than 17 miles of trails for hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikers and hunters. All-terrain vehicles are forbidden.

There are seven designated primitive camping areas, all alongside open wildlife food plots, with a few accessible from Route K. Some have hitching rails to accommodate groups of horseback riders, the most avid trekkers of Huckleberry.

This is hiking, horseback riding or mountain biking just for the sake of it with no scenic destination, no majestic overlook or a waterfall spilling over magnificent bluffs.

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