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Piney Creek Wilderness

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Treetop view from Pineview Tower captures the dense population of trees in the Piney Creek Wilderness.
Library image #2507: Treetop view from Pineview Tower


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.

Planning to Visit the Piney Creek Wilderness?

Leave No Trace

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Piney Creek Wilderness.
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information on Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website.