The United States Congress designated the Piney Creek Wilderness (map
) in 1980 and it now has a total of 8,184 acres
All of this wilderness is located in Missouri
and is managed by the Forest Service.
Railroad companies were the principal loggers in this area circa the late 1800s, followed by settlers on the ridges who happily discovered that tomatoes and strawberries grew large and juicy here. Nonetheless, in the early 1950s residents abandoned the last permanent household in the vicinity of Piney Creek. The ridgetops rise 400 or more feet above hollows and drainages that dissect the area. Numerous small springs feed several waterways, but the main stream is Piney Creek which drains to scenic Table Rock Lake in the heart of the wilderness. All five miles of the Piney Creek watershed lie within the Wilderness. Shortleaf pine, oak, and hickory dominate the ridges today, and along the drainages you'll find hardwoods such as sycamore, ash, elm, buckeye, and walnut. Wildlife species are typical of the Ozarks, and armadillos also live here. Copperheads, eastern timber rattlers, and western pygmy rattlers are common. Great blue herons and pileated woodpeckers add to the local color. The major east-west trail follows Piney Creek for approximately four miles. From Pineview Tower Trailhead on the north, two paths of approximately 1.5 miles each lead south to Piney Creek. Two other maintained foot and horse trails leave the main trail to head south for a grand total of 13.1 Wilderness miles. Portions of the trail system utilize old roads.