Matson Hill

4.68 out of 5
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↑ 1,000 ft
↓ 1,000 ft
elevation (ft)

Trail Description
About this trail
This trail, in the heart of Daniel Boone country, is a 2.75 mile loop of 100% singletrack designed for hike and bike use only. Weaving up and down several times in a large hollow, it is a constant challenge to novice and advanced riders alike. This is some unique terrain, heavily wooded, very dark and shady, with several rock-bottom creek crossings. Due to the steepness of the terrain, the area wasn't logged so it presents an uncommon setting with low volume mid-level growth, and tall old-growth trees forming a high, dark canopy. It almost has the feel of a natural amphitheater. The trail surface is mostly dirt, with several veins of rock, and rocky creek crossings/waterfalls. Stop and look around when you reach the bottom of the valley. The trail should be ridden both clockwise and counter-clockwise; each offers its own pleasures. GORC recently rerouted one of the fall-line climbs which had become unsustainable, but there are still plenty of opportunities to get your climbing in.(pasted from
added by stylo_joeGramcounter
Trail Features
Trail features
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
Directions to Trailhead
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Trail Q&A
Rider Questions
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System Trails (3)
System Trails (3)
Oxen Mill trail
Matson Hill Loop trail
Hayes trail
Local Info & Nearby Trails
Trail Check-ins
Trail Check-ins
what's this?
Recent Trail Check-ins     (60 total check-ins)
  Richard Lee   on Sep 14, 2019
  stlwalnut   on Aug 21, 2019
  Richard Lee   on Jul 9, 2019
  Richard Lee   on May 18, 2019
  Richard Lee   on Sep 30, 2018
Photo & Video Gallery (23)
Trail Photos & Videos (23)
Reviews (19)

Granny Gear

April 28, 2019
malcolm28 Granny Gear  
Review: First actual ride I loved it. There was some incline hills that hurt going up for a beginner but going down and crossing multiple creek beds was awesome. Definitely going to ride again!!

Granny Gear

August 9, 2018
Sanguia1 Granny Gear  
Review: When ur driving to the trail up n down hills u know ur in trouble. Sure enough u start out going down hill n fast and in the back of ur head u know ur gonna have to go back up which was brutal. This trail has everything. The terrain gets really hard n almost impossible to go over all the rocks. It's only 3 mile loop but this trail will wear u out n quick. Make sure ur bike is in tip top shape cause ur gonna need all the help u can get. I like the 3 ravines u cross which is a first for me. Some softball size rocks on trail that should removed as it's just n accident waiting to happen. Other then that...awesome trail.


August 30, 2017
Review: I was very impressed with this trail! I'm a little better than "beginner," but not quite intermediate there were definitely a couple of sections that challenged me; particularly the rock garden. This was fun!!


June 30, 2017
Midmoab Trailblazer  
Review: For fear of shining a light on a terrific secret...this trail is incredible! It really does have a bit of everything for the semi experienced rider. We were on the trail by 7 am and there were already plenty ahead of us. Experienced, friendly folks willing to give advice and direction to us first-time visitors. Loved the variety on matson... flow on oxen and speed on hays. I would ride this again any time.

Granny Gear

October 24, 2016
Review: A little bit of everything

Granny Gear

October 18, 2015
illini81 Granny Gear  
Review: Best mtb in STL area. Flow, technical, climbs, fun creek crossings, and some challenging rock sections.

Granny Gear

June 3, 2015
hechtman Granny Gear  
Review: Best ride in the st louis area. It has it all.

Granny Gear

May 6, 2015
Review: Its been 11 years since I have ridden this trail (Just got back into mountain biking). Before this trail was great but to some a bit short but was a good workout. Now with the addition of the Oxen Mill Trail and the Hayes loop, Matson Hill is even better! Yes you will be climbing on the Hayes loop but is well worth it! The Oxen Mill section can be quite technical at times with some real rocky sections that I had to clip out and walk ( I know my limits) but overall great additions to the whole trail. GORC has done a great job with St. Charles County Park system to use a piece of property that was going to be unused due to its terrain.

Bunny Hop

January 6, 2014
Review: awesome trail. a little over my head cardio-wise at the moment but that's not the trails fault. best trail in st. louis/st. charles area.

Similar Trail: bluff view, lost valley


November 6, 2013
CFM Epic  
Review: This was my first trip to Matson Hill. We rode the Matson Hill and Oxen Mill sections but not the Hayes trail because we somehow missed the turnoff. No matter, as we will definitely be back. The trails are very well laid out on the contours despite the steep terrain, a clear sign that the trail builders know how to design trail correctly and are willing to put in the work to do it right. I feel that the Matson Hill section is clearly a beginner's loop. Its a fantastic place to take a newby without worrying about getting them in over their head but challenging them just enough to leave them wanting for more. The Oxen Mill section is a bit more technical, a step up to intermediate level, and provides an interesting ride on rockier terrain. The Hayes segment is listed as advanced so I'm looking forward to riding it soon. The medium length of this trail is the only drawback. By missing the Hayes section we ended up with about five miles so we would have only had 7.5 to 8 with that addition. Hopefully there will be more available in the next couple of years.

Similar Trail: Cliff Cave

Matson Hill MTB Trail 4.68 out of 5 based on 19 ratings. 19 user reviews.
Trail Conditions
Trail Conditions          < / > embed
Feature Article
Five2Ride: The Best Bike Trails near St. Louis