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Sunbridge Hills Conservation Area



3.1 mile 5.0 kilometer loop


Ascent: 299' 91 m
Descent: -302' -92 m
High: 1,153' 352 m
Low: 975' 297 m


Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 20% (11°)


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Trail shared by Lee Clark


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Incredible views and lots of exposure are the highlights of this trail.

Lee Clark

Features River/Creek · Views

Be aware of deer hunting season dates in the fall.


There are abundant urban legends surround this trail, including a haunted 19th-century graveyard, unmarked Native American burial grounds, a witch buried under a tree, and caves used by devil worshippers. In the past, locals would bring the curious out to the area, but now it is becoming a popular destination in Saint Joseph.

This is the core trail for this developing system. It is easily reached from I-229. Take the Highland Ave. exit. Turn east, on Highland, and at the first road (Huntoon Rd.) turn left. Follow this twisty road to the Sunbridge Hills parking lot. It is also a short hike from the western tip of Krug Park MTB trail, as well.

The trail can be done in both directions.

Heading counterclockwise, you'll pass an old cemetery and a steel observation deck. After the steepest section, you'll turn off the main trail, heading south. There are two ways down. The first left is the easier benched way down. The second left is a steep downhill before a left turn that has a bit of exposure. You decide which is best for you. The views past the turn-offs are worth your time to check out before heading down the hill.

The "lower" section of the trail has some rock, but is not necessarily technical. There is a substantial drop-off beside the trail in places. A few places are narrow and the exposure is quite high.

Use the Hiking Project mobile app to remind yourself to turn back up the hill. Trails continue to the south and the turnoff can be easily missed. The climb out isn't as steep as the data suggests. It is an easy, although somewhat rocky, climb on a VERY old roadbed with a pleasant grade. Don't forget to take the left turn at the top. If you come out at the road, then you just passed it a few yards back.

After passing the big white water tanks, and passing under power lines, the original trail keeps straight and is very obvious. However, for the best experience (and some more hills), the newer extended trail branches off to the right into the trees eventually emerging at the parking lot.

Most of the trail provides incredible views of the river valley. Trying to mark them all on the map would fill the map with "view" symbols.

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Jul 30, 2019
Lizzy Mouron
Jan 15, 2019
Katie Andrews

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 3 votes


  4.7 from 3 votes
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in Missouri


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459 Since Sep 26, 2017



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