Join the waiting list for:
Intro to Backpacking - Big Piney Trailhead
Registration is Closed   Waiting list available


Meeting on: Located at:
Start Time End Time
Big Piney Trailhead near Roby Lake
Lake Drive
Plato, MO 65552
Get Directions
Additional Information: Instructed by:
Join MDC Staff for our Introduction to Backpacking Program where we will hike in Paddy Creek Wilderness along the Big Piney north loop to the south loop (approx. 8 miles) with primitive overnight camping along the trail. Trail map can be found at: Please note that the full length of the Big Piney Trail is 17.5 miles. As this is an introductory program, we will hike the north section from Roby Lake and take the connector loop to the south trail - approx. 8 miles - and primitive camp along the southern section. Expect the Ozark Hills terrain of steeper climbs to beautiful overlooks as well as hikes along ridge tops and down into valleys. We will be camping along an overlook of the southern loop. Participants will need to filter water along the trail and hike their water supply to the campsite on the ridge. There will also be several creek crossings. Be prepared to bring a spare pair of sandals when crossing the creeks. Since this is an Introductory Backpacking Program, all gear and equipment can be provided for participants. We will conduct a mandatory virtual check-in on March 28 (6:00pm-8:00pm) which is around three weeks prior to the trip to introduce the group and discuss trip preparation and logistics. A supply list will be emailed to you if you need any backpacking equipment or gear. You will also be required to submit a survey of your past outdoor skills experience, as well as submit an emergency medical form in case of any emergency while on trail. All family or friend groupings will be responsible for carrying their own gear, including water filter, stove, tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad. You are responsible for packing your own food - this will be discussed in our virtual check-in - and you will be shown how to hang a bear-bag and filter water while on trail. We will be outside for the entirety of this program. If you have any questions or concerns, please email the instructor. Thank you and our hope and goal is for each of you to be more inspired to explore the trails around you - whether that is through practicing your backpacking skills during this trip or taking longer day hikes. We want you to know that you have access in many ways to our beautiful natural resources! Samuel A Stewart

Location Information

Entrance for Big Piney Trail near Roby Lake in the Paddy Creek Wilderness. Look for large gravel parking lot to your left as you head towards the lake. The trailhead will be marked with registration box and sign. No restrooms at trailhead.


From Roby, MO take Hwy 17 north 1 mile; turn right on gravel Forest Road 274, and go about .6 miles towards Roby Lake. Turn left into large gravel parking lot for Big Piney Trailhead.

Cancellation Policies:

You must cancel your registration before Saturday, April 22, 2023 - Sunday, April 23, 2023.

Age Policy:

All registrants for this event must be a minimum age of 16 years old by 4/22/2023.