Cedar Gap Wilderness Area is a 431 acre forest area at the headwaters of the Bryant Creek in Wright County, Missouri. I drive past the turn-off for it on my way to work, and I’d always wondered about it, but then our local newspaper ran a story about it and I realized what a cool hike was only a few miles from my home. I recruited some friends and we went for a family hike on a warm weekend in January.
The hike starts in a heavily forested area, and you head downhill towards the creek. It was in the 50s that day, but it had been cold just a few days before, so the creek was frozen on top with running water underneath, and there were icicles everywhere. The trail is lined by limestone bluffs and I bet the area is absolutely gorgeous in the fall.
Scrambling across the creek was pretty tricky with the icy conditions, but we managed to do it without anyone falling in the water. (Even the kids – and some adults – who just had to play around on the rocks!) The hike back up to the parking lot was fairly steep, and at one point it opens into a glade that is the second highest point in Missouri. (Around 1700 ft) The conservation department says the loop is 1.6 miles, but we explored the creek quite a bit so I think we ended up hiking around 3 miles. I was really proud of my son for hiking the whole way without complaining.
We celebrated a successful first two-kid hike with donuts in the parking lot! (Sam stole mine.)
Stay tuned for the next installment of Postcards from the Ozarks!