Dogwood Ridge Trail, Forest 44 Conservation Area

Distance: 2.8 mi (4.5 km) round trip
Location: Valley Park, Missouri
Date: July 22, 2012

The stream as it disappears into the ground

Forest 44 Conservation Area is located along Interstate 44 near state highway 141 in Valley Park. The area has 11.8 miles of multi-use trails open to hiking and horseback riding (see map here). Additionally, the Dogwood Ridge Trail is a 2.2 mile loop trail that is for foot traffic only. I hiked this entire trail twice the morning of my visit for a total distance of over 5 miles. 

The prairie between the hills

To reach the Dogwood Ridge Trail begin by taking the 0.4 mile long paved and disabled-accessible Losing Stream Trail. This trail crosses a bridge over a permanent stream to a pond that was dry during my visit. It then continues to its end where it connects to the Dogwood Ridge Trail. At this point you can see where the stream disappears as it goes underground. 

The stream above where it disappears

The Dogwood Ridge Trail can be done as either a short or a long loop. The short loop is slightly less than half the length of the long loop. If you hike this trail counterclockwise the first half of the trail follows the treeline along  a small section of prairie through a valley. The trail then turns up the hill and gains about 80 feet in elevation before reaching the top of the ridge. The trail follows the top of the ridge for most of the return trip only dipping slightly below the top during the final descent. 

The dry pond

As the trail goes through the valley it is very flat, and it is also fairly level on the ridge. The only major changes in elevation are the single ascent and descent of the ridge, and both of these are about 100 feet or less. After I finished hiking I went across the highway to the World Bird Sanctuary and Lone Elk County Park.

I also hiked this trail in June 2018.

© Copyright 2017 Matthew Pintar. All rights reserved.


  1. Wow! I love it! I can't wait to go there!

  2. Hey! There is this little place in Sunset Hills, Missouri called Davidson Memorial Wildlife Area. It is relatively small, but there is a 1/5 of a mile hike. It has a cool little fishless pond, and is owned by Missouri Department of Conservation.


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