Hiking The Whispering Pines Trail At Hawn State Park


Over Mother’s Day weekend I took my two sons on an overnight backpacking trip on the Whispering Pines Trail at Hawn State Park in South-Eastern Missouri near St. Genevieve.

My oldest son Jacob (14) and I are planning a multi-night pack and paddle trip in a few weeks on the Ozark Trail.  Since it will be too much for my youngest son Nathan (9) I wanted to plan a shorter overnight trip for all 3 of us too.  This also served as a good gear shakedown for the next hike.  I’ve been wanting to hike at Hawn State Park for a while and it seemed like a good opportunity.


The first quarter mile of the trail is near the picnic area and very well developed.



Water crossing
The boys crossing the creek.  Picture taken from the bridge.  SMH


Trail Map

To keep the hike a reasonable range for Nathan we used the cutoff connector trail which shortened the trip to a reasonable 3 miles with only one elevation of a few hundred feet which rewarded us with some really nice views.



hilltop view

great view





The southern loop provides some less traversed sections of the trail but well worth getting back there for some of the geological features and landscape.  It was also a relatively flat section of the trail.



Clear Stream

The creek and river near camp were pretty and provided good clean water to filter but neither were big enough for any fishing. 🙁




Evening brought in a new friend.  He circled for 20 minutes before giving up.


Evening Joe

A little cup of coffee by the campfire was a nice touch!



Night time brought me a chance to try out my new 1200 lumens Cree flashlight.  It lived up to the hype.

Cree FlashlightCree FlashlightCree Flashlight

When completely focused the beam from the CREE LED stays sharp and bright out several hundred feet.



All told it was a great trip.  We took the feature image and sent it to my wife for mother’s day morning and then hauled out in time to get steaks and potatoes to grill her up a great dinner!  Both boys are excited for more backpacking trips so I’ll probably be shopping for another pack to get all three of us properly equipped.

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