Woolly Hollow State Park is tucked into the foothills of the Ozarks. The park offers many fun outdoor activities, including fishing, kayaking, mountain biking, and, of course, hiking. Hiking the Huckleberry Trail is a great way to see and explore the entire park. This 3.6-mile loop showcases the hardwoods and landscape of the area as it circles Lake Bennett, a 40-acre lake built in the 1930s.
The Huckleberry Trail isn’t a complete loop. The trail begins and ends near the same point, but can easily be connected by walking the road for a short way. This not only gives you more views of the lake, but it also takes you by the Woolly Cabin, a one-room family homestead built in 1882. 1882.
Finding the Huckleberry Trail trailhead
To find the trailhead for the Huckleberry Trail from the visitor center, drive toward the campground and past the pavilion. After roughly 0.2 miles, the trailhead is on your left with a small parking area.
You could also park at the visitor center and hike it in reverse. However, I chose to hike it from this trailhead. There is another trailhead, just past the entrance of the park as well. But I chose my route so I could save the easy road walking for the end.
Trailhead to Springfield Road
As you begin your hike, you pass several trail intersections. The Gold Creek Trail is a short 0.13 spur that exits and returns back into the Huckleberry Trail. The Cabin Trail also leaves from the Huckleberry Trail and ends at the historic Woolly Cabin. It is 0.6 miles in total.
The trail begins with a gradual climb. After you pass the trail intersections, it drops down a little into the valley and crosses the creek. The trail then slowly climbs out of the valley and you begin to get glimpses of the campground and lake below. It then hugs the contours of the hillside and heads west into the wilderness.
The trail takes you through a hardwood forest with a few cedar trees. It crosses several small streams, where the park has provided footbridges. Right around mile 0.95, the Enders Fault Mountain Bike Trail crosses the Huckleberry Trail. Here you want to go straight. You can catch glimpses of the mountain biking trail through the trees as you hike along, but it’s not confusing to stay on the Huckleberry Trail.
At mile 1.15 the trail crosses Historic Springfield Road Trail. There are two fences you walk through to separate the hiking trail from the mountain biking trail.
Springfield Road to Woolly Hollow Road Crossing
After you cross the Historic Springfield Road the trail takes you across a beautiful creek. Then it climbs a little along the hill. This portion of the trail gives you gorgeous views of the creek below. You can watch it as it gets larger the closer it flows into Lake Bennett.
Around mile 1.5, the creek turns into Lake Bennett, and you begin to get beautiful views of the lake. For the next 0.4 miles, the trail follows the lake high above the shore. At mile 1.85, there is a lovely bench for you to take a rest and enjoy the wonderful views of the lake and park.
Just a little farther at mile 1.95, there is a short spur trail to another bench and the lakeshore below. This is a great place to take a break. From there, the trail follows along the ridge for just a short way. Here you get views of the earthen dam of Lake Bennett.
The trail then drops down into the valley below the dam. And then it continues to the trailhead near the entrance of the park at mile 2.5
Road crossing to Huckleberry Trail end
The Huckleberry Trail crosses the road and climbs to the top of a ridge. Don’t let the elevation gain fool you; it’s not steep at all. There are numerous switchbacks, which help ease the steepness. In this part, the trail continues through the hardwood forest. The trail gets close to the park boundary, and you get views through the trees of meadows from private land, which is really pretty.
The woods are nice and open, and toward the top of the ridge, you get more glimpses of the lake. Around mile 3, the trail begins to drop back down into the valley and to the road below.
Walking the road back
The Huckleberry Trail officially ends at mile 3.3, where it intersects with the road. From here you walk along the road toward the visitor center.
At mile 3.45 you can see the history of Woolly Cabin. Take the short spur trail for an up close and personal look at it. It’s really neat to be able to see how people lived 150 years ago.
After you’ve explored the cabin, continue along the road – past the pavilion – and back to the trailhead.
Huckleberry Trail at Woolly Hollow State Park
The Huckleberry Trail is a great way to explore Woolly Hollow State Park and the foothills of the Ozarks. It’s not a difficult or strenuous trail and showcases some beautiful hardwood and Bennett Lake.
- 3.7 mile lollipop loop
- Elevation gain and loss 307 feet
- Dogs allowed
- Backcountry camping not allowed