Untouched American Soil
Come and enjoy the pristine, untouched wilderness of Bell Mountain Wilderness Area. This hike is best for experienced hikers as navigational tools are recommended and there are no sources for supplies or water in the area.
There are 12 miles of trail in Bell Mountain Wilderness, and it also includes a section of the Ozark Trail. These trails blaze through old growth forests of species like Oak, Elm, Hickory, and Pine. The granite, felsite, and rhyolite outcroppings and grasslands add a characteristic charm that highlights the beauty of this natural area.
Elevations range from 1,702 feet above sea level at the highest point to 907 feet above sea level at Bell Mountain’s lowest point, Joe’s Creek Drainage. A few creeks flow through the area including Shut-Ins Creek and Joe’s Creek, but they are not recommended for gathering drinking water.
Backpacking Bell Mountain
Because of the steep cliffs and difficult navigation of the trails, registration is required before embarking on your adventure. It is requested that group hikes are limited to a maximum of 10 people to preserve the pristine wilderness of the area.
Unique Area Wildlife
This unique habitat area lends itself to old-growth-forest species including pileated woodpeckers, wood thrush, and ovenbirds, among others. White-tailed deer, wild turkey, and squirrels can also be found in moderate populations.
Be Prepared for the Journey
Again, be prepared before beginning your journey. Pack your own shelter and please do not set up camp within 100 feet of a trail, campsite, or waterway. Bring a map and compass. Trails are
not well marked, and seasonal visibility of the markings is limited. Use of blazes, ribbons, or other self-supplied trail markers is strongly discouraged. Bring all of the water and food supplies you will need for your excursion. Please do not bring your own firewood as it can bring in pests that can devastate the old growth forest.
Tips for Your Trip
During your trip, please only build campfires when necessary and make sure that all fires are entirely extinguished before leaving the area. Keep all dogs on a leash or under control, and remember that saddled animals and stock have the right of way on all trails.
Ready for Your Adventure?
To get started, from Ironton, Missouri, head east on Russell Street toward S Knob Street for 0.2 miles. Turn Left on MO-21 N and follow it for 4.8 miles before turning left and continuing on MO-21 N for another 6.8 miles. Then, turn Left onto MO-32 W. After 7.2 miles, you will take a slight Left onto State Highway A and follow this road for 0.5 miles before turning Left onto CC Rd. After 1.9 miles, take a slight Right onto Co Rd 2936 and follow it for another 1.7 miles. Turn Right onto Co Rd 61A, and you will arrive at Bell Mountain Wilderness in 364 feet.