Enjoy nature on one of these trails in the Heartland

The Heartland is full of beautiful nature trails, from family-friendly paths to hardcore hiking spots. Keep checking back as we explore more paths!

Little Grand Canyon

If you’re looking for a scenic hike, the Little Grand Canyon is for you. This hidden hiking gem is located in the Shawnee National Forest. It takes several hours to get through, so you’ll want to bring plenty of water and snacks. Don’t forget the camera! You’ll definitely want to snap some photos of the scenery.

Difficulty level: Hard

RELATED: What to pack for a day hike

Lake Boutin

This trail will definitely get you in touch with nature. Located in the Trail of Tears State Park, you can also check out the Mississippi River lookout point while you’re there, and take a dip in the lake when you’re done. You’ll definitely need the bug spray for this one.

Difficulty level: Moderate

Cape Woods

A paved, well-maintained, family-friendly trail with nearby restrooms and a view of nature? Yes, please! The Cape Woods Walking Trail is the best-kept secret in Cape Girardeau for those who love the outdoors, but can’t drive out to state parks every day. With several entry points near parking lots, this path is stroller, kid, family, and elderly friendly. And you’ll get home in time for dinner.

Difficulty level: Easy

RELATED: Conservation Nature Center tops list of spots to visit in Cape Girardeau

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Inspiration Point in the Shawnee National Forest

Tucked away in the rolling hills of the Shawnee National Forest you’ll find a remote, isolated spot that is positively breathtaking. A short hike through the LaRue Pine Hills area will lead you to Inspiration Point. The hike to get to that view is about a mile long. CLICK HERE to check out Heartland Weekend’s recent hike!

Difficulty level: Moderate

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Mina Sauk Falls Trail

We recommend a trip to Taum Sauk Mountain State Park to check out Missouri’s highest point and its tallest waterfall! Just hop on the Mina Sauk Falls Trail to see the waterfall. The 3-mile loop is worth every step!

Difficulty: Moderate

RELATED: Missouri’s highest point and tallest waterfall are at this park

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Big Rocky Hollow Trail at Ferne Clyffe State Park

There are 18 different trails within Ferne Clyffe State Park, and we encourage you to visit them all! Our favorite is Waterfall Trail because it’s a moderately difficult hike that leads to a waterfall. CLICK HERE to see pictures from our trip and to check out the other trails within the park.

Difficulty: Moderate

You should always research a trail before going for the first time. We highly recommend going with a buddy. If you do go alone, let someone know when you're going, where you'll be, and when you should get back. You'll also want to make sure you have the proper supplies for the trail you're embarking on.