Busiek State Forest is one of our favorite places for a great day hike near Springfield. It has about everything you could want in a day trip. Great views, beautiful streams, unique rock outcroppings and beautiful spring wildflowers are just a few of the things that make Busiek State Forest well worth the short drive. The trails at Busiek are well marked and offer a variety of terrain, from moderate smooth gravel to steep loose rock, you’ll find it all here. Busiek is also a great place to train for a backpacking trip. The varying terrain conditions and proximity to Springfield make it the perfect place to get a quick training session in with a weighted pack when you might only have a few hours to spare. The state park also has the benefit of being a great place to go at anytime of the year. My favorite time to visit Busiek is in the spring when the glade tops put on an amazing display of Missouri wildflowers. Summer offers the ability to explore the Woods Fork creek that runs through the state forest and other water features throughout the Busiek. Make sure to bask in the amazing autumn color change from on top of one of the glades. Don’t forget to visit in the winter as well, you’ll have the opportunity to see what you could not during the other seasons. Large rock outcropping that have been hidden by the dense vegetation now become visible and covered with ice sicles and other amazing features that you would never know existed. Busiek State Forest is frequented by hikers, bicyclists, and horseback riders.
Have a GPS device? If so, Busiek offers some fun geocaching locations throughout the park.
Camping at designated campsites is allowed ONLY with a permit – available through the Springfield Regional office. No amenities are provided.
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Trail Length: 18 miles of maintained trail.
Location: 18 miles south of Springfield off Hwy. 65
Amenities: None. Primitive campsites available.
Pet Friendly: Yes
Kid Friendly: Yes
Best time to visit