A Trail With A View

The Bluff Trail offers a unique vantage point of the spring


A stay-at-home order can be stressful for anyone, but it seems like it’s even more fun (sarcasm) when you have a house full of kids. What’s a good cure for quarantine cabin fever? A nice walk in the great outdoors at Bennett Spring State Park.

Recently, my wife and I packed up our three boys (ages 10 to 14) and headed to the park in hopes of getting out some of their pent up energy - getting to see some beautiful scenery in the Ozarks was just an added bonus. We’ve walked several of the trails at the park, but we’ve yet to hit them all. There seven options at the park ranging in difficulty from a leisurely stroll in the woods to a strenuous hike up steep terrain. They even vary widely in lengths from a quarter mile to more than seven miles.

Although the allure of seeing Bennett’s famous Natural Tunnel was strong, we didn’t think our boys (or ourselves, if I’m being honest) would be up for a seven-mile trek.

We ended up settling on the Bluff Trail - a quarter mile trail that is a small section of the Whistle Trail. The trail winds along the side of Bennett Spring, offering you an up close view of the stream (at times you feel like you’re practically in the stream) before heading up a steep cliff side for an absolutely unique and beautiful view of the park. While the walk up and back down from the bluffs can be a little tricky with loose gravel in places, the small workout is definitely worth the experience. For those amateur photographers out there (I count myself in that group), this is a great place to snap some photos of not only nature but some fun family pics. 

The short distance and the view make Bluff Trail a perfect little hike along the spring. I would highly recommend checking it out the next time you are at Bennett Spring State Park. And, if you’re still wondering, while the hike didn’t get out all of their energy, it did slow our kids down a little - at least for a day.