Hiking with Kids in the Ozarks

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Our sponsor Caribou Coffee cold steeps their new Crafted Press for 12 hours. They asked us to take Caribou Coffee Crafted Press along for a 12-hour adventure. What adventure can you have while the coffee is being perfectly crafted? Come along with us as we go hiking with kids in the Ozarks.

Hiking with Kids in the Ozarks

Hiking with Kids in the Ozarks

My husband and I have always loved hiking. We’ve been taking the kids hiking since they were babies. There are a lot of great trails in our area so we usually don’t have to travel far. Recently, we decided to visit state parks that are a little farther away. Our goal is to visit at least one each month. It makes a wonderful day trip or weekend adventure and allows us to explore new places. Our first trip took us to Tauk Sauk Mountain State Park and Elephant Rocks State Park both in the Ozarks of Missouri.

Preparing for the Trip

packing for the hike

There are a few essentials I like to take with us for the trip.

For the Drive

  • Caribou Coffee Crafted Press – I chose the original. It’s cold and refreshing, but not too sweet. You can also add in flavors – chocolate, caramel, or vanilla.
  • Motion sickness bands (the roads are really curvy and hilly)
  • Cooler for water and milk.

For the Hike

  • Baby carrier – the only way I can hike with an infant or toddler.
  • Water – We usually carry a water bottle for each person unless it’s a short hike then we share. I attach my water bottle to the baby carrier with a carabiner.
  • Sunscreen – put on before we start hiking.
  • Bug spray – We use a plant-based spray if there are mosquitoes in the area.
  • A hat – I used to hike with sunglasses but then I was constantly taking them on and off. Using a hat solves the problem of sun in my eyes and I don’t have to take it off in the shade.
  • A camera – I like my little point and shoot and/or my cell phone.
  • Snacks – If the hike will take a while, we like to bring snacks for the kids especially.

The first stop was to grab the new Caribou Coffee Crafted Press.

Caribou Coffee Crafted Press

The cup says “Life is big. Dream Accordingly.” I thought that was appropriate for a 12-hour adventure.

Caribou CoffeeHere we stopped at a scenic overlook to check out the view. It was a sweet spot to enjoy my coffee.

Taum Sauk Mountain State Park

view from Taum Sauk
View from Taum Sauk on the Mina Sauk Falls Trail

We drove to the top of the mountain and hiked the Mina Saulk Falls Trail. The trail is a 3 mile loop. The trailhead sign said the estimated hiking time was 3 hours – we were hiking on the side of a mountain after all. One side of the loop follows the Ozark Trail. This side of the trail was a much easier hike. The first half of the trail was very rocky with lots of steps down. My knees got a little tired. My sister and her daughter came with us on the hike, so we had two 5 year olds and a one year old. The trail was a little challenging for the kids but they made it. Unless your children are used to hiking rugged terrain, I wouldn’t recommend this trail for kids under 5. Take it slow and bring plenty of water.

hiking Taum Sauk

Lily fell asleep at some point along the way. We stopped every once in a while and let her stretch her legs and explore while everyone else took a break.

Mina Sauk Falls

We made it to the waterfall. It only flows during wet times. It has rained a lot this summer so we figured it would still be flowing. My husband climbed down to get this shot. The trail is actually at the top of the waterfall. There is another trail that leads even farther below the waterfall. It is very steep so we didn’t attempt it.

creek at Mina Sauk Falls

While my husband was exploring the waterfall, my sister took the kids up the trail to the creek above the waterfall. They had fun playing in the water.

After resting for a bit, we made the return trek up the mountain. The second half of the hike was easier than the first. The terrain was not as rocky nor as steep. It was also more tree-covered than the first half of the hike.

hiking Taum Sauk2
Aiden is showing off one of his treasures.

We made it back to the top of the mountain and took a short little trail over to the peak. I had to take a selfie at the highest place in Missouri. Technically, the rock Aiden is sitting on would be higher.

Taum Sauk Peak

Elephant Rocks State Park

We explored Elephant Rocks State Park in the late afternoon. I grew up coming here as a kid. It’s such a fun place. There are giant granite boulders that people say are shaped like elephants. Paved trails weave around the park. You can also go on top of the granite to get a closer look at the rocks and check out the view of the area.

Elephant Rocks
A family came around the boulder just as I was taking this shot. It’s such a cool view. Too bad it was photobombed.

Do the rocks look like elephants to you?

Elephant Rocks

The trails at Elephant Rocks are mostly shaded but many of the rocks are in the sun. There are plenty of rocks to climb on. My husband and the kids enjoyed scrambling surfaces such as these below. Since I was carrying Lily, I took the easier routes.bouldering Elephant Rocks

Lily got down and had fun climbing, too. Since the trail was wide and paved, she was able to walk around a bit on her own.

Elephant Rocks

Unlike the Mina Sauk Falls Trail, the one mile trail at Elephant Rocks State Park is manageable for more people. You can decide how much you want to climb on the rocks and how difficult to make your hike.

We will definitely be heading back to the Ozarks. We want to explore more of the Ozark Trail, and Elephant Rocks is always a loved destination.

Where would you go on your 12-hour adventure?

A Special Offer Just for You

Would you like to try the new Crafted Press from Caribou Coffee? Sign up for Caribou Perks from the mobile app and fill out out the optional survey. You’ll receive one complimentary medium beverage. If you try it, let me know how you like it!


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Caribou Coffee.

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