Fall Colors · Geological Significance · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife
Need to Know
Beware that the elevation profile for this trail, as well as many trails in Shades and Turkey Run State Parks, are very inaccurate due to the small, deep ravines many of the trails pass through. These ravines typically do not show up well on terrain maps. Between 0.06 miles and 0.25 miles is all considerably lower than the rest of the trail, which is very high up.
Trail may be impassable during periods of high water.
Trail begins near an overlook of Devil's Punch Bowl. Follow the stairs down to the bottom of Red Fox Ravine. Turn left to see Devil's Punch Bowl from the inside. This landmark is typically dry in the summer. Try to go after a rain, but know that the ravine could be impassable after lots of rain. Turn right to follow the trail.
The trail will follow the creekbed of Red Fox Ravine for 0.25 miles. It feels as if you are stepping back into a prehistoric era. In the summer, ferns will be widespread and lots of fungi grow on the dead trees here. Be on the lookout for natural springs seeping out of the nearby cliffs and hillsides.
Once you reach Silver Cascade Falls, a short overlook will view the falls straight ahead. The trail will continue up a staircase to the left. Be careful when viewing this waterfall. It pops up unexpectedly as you travel downstream, and the area at the top of the falls is very slick. This is an extremely bizarre-looking waterfall and is a must-see at Shades State Park.
Following the stairs to the top of the bluff, you'll join Trail 1 Ridgetop Connector
. This is an easy, wide gravel connector above Red Fox Ravine. Turn left to access Hickory Parking lot, Trail 6
, and eventually Trails 4 and 5. To continue Trail 1, turn right.
The remainder of the trail is spent at the edge of the bluff and features two scenic overlooks of Sugar Creek and Canoe Island. The first you'll come across is Inspiration Point and the second is Prospect Point. Prospect Point is on a wooden overlook jutting over the cliff and is the far superior overlook.
Following the gravel path, you'll pass Hickory Shelter before joining Trail 1 Ridgetop Connector
for a little bit. Turn left at your first opportunity. You'll pass a series of staircases before rejoining Trail 6
Shared By: Michael Kontos
by Missouri Hiker