Rounded by age, the Ozarks are the mountain equivalent of boxing champ George Foreman: tougher than they appear and capable of knocking you out. One pure expression of the Ozark Mountains' iron-fist-in-a-velvet-glove nature is the Berryman Trail. It's a challenging 24-mile loop with switchback descents and muscle-burning climbs.
Start your trip at the Berryman trailhead rather than the more popular Brazil Creek Campground. For the best walking, head east in a clockwise direction around the loop.
Well-spaced campsites are convenient for a three-day trip. If you're short on time, cutoff trails can reduce the trip to two days.
Where: 100 miles south of St. Louis and 400 miles southwest of Chicago. The Berryman trailhead is 15 miles west of Potosi on MO 8.
Maps: Free from the district ranger office (see below).
Trail Info: Mark Twain Nat'l Forest, (573) 438-5427.