Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
30.00 ft (9.14 m)
Trail type
1.40 mi (2.25 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The St. John's Creek Trail is an easy, flat walking path along Shoal Creek near the Audubon Nature Center park area near Joplin, Missouri.

This section of Shoal Creek is popular for its numerous hiking paths, swimming holes, picnic benches and natural features. At 1.4 miles out-and-back, another option is to work the St. John's Creek Trail into a larger 4 mile loop that follows the Low Bridge Trail and Bluff Trail as they form a larger circlular path throughout Wildcat Glades Conservation Area.

Sharing a trailhead with the Bluff Trail at a parking area beside Old Redings Mill Bridge, the St. John's Creek Trail traces the bank of Shoal Creek west as it passes through forested pass, heading between the stream and interesting natural features such as a limestone cave entrance (it is locked to keep visitors out). The path is an easy walk, and you can typically expect to see others along the path. 

As the trail approaches the Audubon Park area, it forks with the Woodland Loop, which creates a short loop path before meeting back up with the St. John's Creek Trail near the western trailhead. Beyond the west trailhead is the Audubon park area, which has picnic benches, spacious lawns, a nature center, swimming holes in Shoal Creek, and a stone path to the source of a natural spring.

The St. John's Creek Trail is an easy walk and a good access point to the recreation areas along the creek. There are no bathrooms or water along the trail or at the parking area. Both are located at the Audubon Nature Center building which is open limited hours.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Access to other trails. Easy access to Audubon Center park area.


No amenities at trailhead or along trail.

Trailhead Elevation

910.00 ft (277.37 m)

Highest point

910.00 ft (277.37 m)


Near lake or river
Family friendly
Bird watching
Potable water

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Adventures

Wildcat Glades Conservation Area, Missouri
Wildcat Glades Conservation Area, Missouri


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