Hiking the Pinnacles in Mid-Missouri

Every year on April 5th, my little sister Emily and I make the trek around the main loop of the Pinnacles. We always have such a blast, that I wanted to share this hidden gem with ya’ll! While this trail is definitely not for the faint of heart – in some places you’re shuffling forward one foot in front of the other, hand on the rock wall to your right – it’s an enjoyable challenge with beautiful view. So if you find yourself in mid-Missouri and are up for a hiking challenge, I’d recommend checking this one out!

Located about 15 miles north of Columbia on Hwy 63, the Pinnacles are a 77 acre limestone cliff playground for adults and kids alike. There is ample parking, picnic benches and a shelter, as well as access to the creek and numerous hiking trails. The trail isn’t well marked, if at all, so getting to it can be kind of tricky. From the parking lot, follow the East Road, right after the foot bridge ends you’ll see a trail cut into the woods, that’s the starting point! The path meanders across a creek and along the base of the hill before climbing upwards for a quarter of a mile.

Once you’re to the top of the hill, the trail levels out and follows the ridgeline for another quarter-ish of a mile. 
At this point, the well marked trail turns and basically stops, but the hike continues along/behind the large rock formations. This is the tricky part, as the rocks are slippery, there aren’t any railings or marked paths, and falling is easy (4/5/21 I fell while transitioning from one rock to another, 10/10 wouldn’t recommend). However, the views are BEAUTIFUL. It’s so rewarding climbing to the top of a formation, and being greeted by a beautiful view. We always enjoy sitting down, having a snack, and stay for an hour soaking in the sunshine.

The trail finishes off by picking up at the base of the rock formations, crossing the creek, and leading up the embankment to get back to the parking lot area. While the creek is barely knee high, be sure to watch your step, as the rock bottom is very slippery and uneven.

While Missouri isn’t exactly ‘known’ for it’s hikes, there are plenty of hidden gems if you know where to look! Now to recap what I’ve learned the past two years hiking at the Pinnacles…


The Pinnacles is a solid 3/5 stars on the difficulty charts. And by ‘the’ I mean ‘mine.’ For an avid experienced hiker, this may be on the easier side. For someone who is new to hiking and outdoor exploring, the rocky formations might be a little difficult. The perfect moderate hike

What To Wear

Tennis shoes or hiking boots with good tread, footwear you don’t mind getting wet! I’d also recommend wearing long pants – you can see above how Emily and I prefer leggings. I’ve seen poison ivy growing alongside the trail, plus long pants protect your legs against scrapes and scratches. If hiking in the early spring/fall, make sure to wear layers up top, as the upper formations can be pretty breezy.

What To Bring

Emily and I are big fans of a hiking backpack with our waters and protein bars, but you can also make the trip without a pack!


The Pinnacles, Rocky Fork Township, MO 65255

If you’ve ever hiked out at the Pinnacles, or around central Missouri in general, be sure to leave a comment down below so we can share trails!

A Recap of March and April

Gooooooood morning!!

Whew. May 18th already?! Wowza. 

I have been absent from my blog duties, once again; I realized I have an obsession with taking on new hobbies, but never working past the beginning stages of excitement, but I’m hoping, needing, to continue with this. If anything, writing and documenting this journey helps ease my worries and fears and self doubts about this whole thing.

It’s a process. Anyways.

Last tiny home blog post, I discussed installing the metal sheeting and windows. Today, we’re covering all of the small adjustments and changes made to the house in March and April; updates that don’t necessarily deserve their own post, but need to be covered regardless.

Let’s start with March.

  • We didn’t start working outside until the middle of March, because even with a space heater going, the building was only 12 degrees
  • Purchased and installed a door – I went with a left inswing, full lite, pre-primed steel door, which will later be painted to match the windows
  • Also learned how to install a door knob – I purchased this one from Menards
  • We built a sliding platform (used four 2×6’s and 2 sheets of OSB) in-between the two lofts, which enabled us to place my can lights and finish the carriage bolting on my rafters
  • I cut down a sapling tree and stripped the bark off it – plan on using this as the railing on my storage stairs
  • We installed the lower level outlet and switch boxes

End of March, I placed an ad on Facebook Marketplace looking for an electrician to come do some work. The tiny home did have power, but the breaker box in the basement was 80 years old, and there was only one working outlet in the building. An entire overhaul was necessary not only for electrical home purposes, but for safety reasons as well. 


After hiring a local team of guys, one of whom was the county inspector back in 2005, and getting a quote from them, we realized it needed so much more than a trench and a few underground power lines.

Per the county, 

  • The internet, gas and electrical lines had to be flagged around the property, which involved contacting, scheduling, and having those technicians out
  • We needed to have the three telephone poles bringing power to the property replaced
  • Those new telephone poles needed new transmitters and all new cabling 
  • Then, the electricians had to come in and install 2 new electrical boxes to the main power pole
    • Box 1 is responsible for running 200 amps over to the big house, box 2 is running 200 amps over to the tiny house, and eventually, to dad’s workshop
  • Step 2 for the electricians involved digging a trench from the power pole to the tiny house, laying new ground wire, and installing the breaker box in the basement of the tiny home
  • Finally, the county inspector had to come out and and approve all the work that was done.

So began the process the first week of April, and although I was crazy stressed about the entire thing, I have to give it to my electricians, they were amazing! Not only did they coordinate with the electric, phone and gas technicians, but they were able to schedule the county electric and inspector (because this all had to be done the same day), they even HAND DUG the trench in the rain, as it was too wet to get a digger to the back of the property. 

The scheduling process took the first three weeks of April, and the entire property was fully updated and back to functioning by April 26th.  

This was the last bit of outdoor work that needed to be completed before work could start on the inside of my house, and I am SO GLAD IT’S OVER.

While I’ve learned so much about home construction, project managing and budgeting, I’ve also gained quite a few gray hairs and became pretty stressed, irritable and quite most of the time. Writing and sharing about my blog, or my tiny home Instagram, or just talking about this journey in general almost became a burden, because while I AM excited and happy about it, I never imagined how much of an emotional strain it would be.

By no means do I know what I am doing. There are no guides or rulebooks, there isn’t a local community of like-minded, DIY tiny home individuals I could meet and share and plan with. Every little aspect of this build, every hour of research, had to be done as I went along, and most of the time I didn’t even know what to google for. 

It is for those reasons, and many others, that make me more than ready to begin working on the inside of my home. Insulation I can do. Learning and helping dad hook up outlets and switches and can lights I can do. I can sheetrock and paint and decorate and build confidently. I am excited to “pull my weight” more and not rely so heavily on contractors or my dad to do majority of the work. The gray hairs were worth it, and I’ll wear them with pride, but I’m ready to start working and enjoying the process again. 

Speaking of working inside, I decided on a flooring! The tiny home before it was a tiny home, was an old storage shed on my parents property, you’ll remember it used to look like this. The current floor is the original white oak that was harvested and milled on property 80 years ago by the original farm owners, and though it is currently covered in dust and dirt, I was able to patch sand and test an area that will be covered up by my kitchen cabinets.

Clear sealant on the left, walnut stain on the right

The left swatch is the original floor using a clear sealant. You can see the old saw marks, and although it is still dirty (you see that floor, don’t come for me), I think the natural wood look is beautiful. Very rustic cabin-esque. That honey gold really brightens and warms up the space.

The swatch on the right is the patch test of a walnut gel stain when I was attempting to color match my future walnut exterior, which didn’t live up to expectations. Note to self, walnut stain on oak wood doesn’t match the old walnut wood. Duh. And while I do like the chocolate brown color of the walnut-stained-white-oak, I’ve decided to go with the left option. I feel better about leaving the nostalgic original, and think it will be a much cheaper option.

Also, I’m back to working full-time in office! This introverted homebody was pulled, almost regretfully, away from working at home, so that’ll be a whole nother set of gray hairs coming in. You know Covid was fun when you question if you  remember how to get dressed every morning in something other than leggings and a sweatshirt LOL

Well, that’s all for now. Later this week I’ll be discussing all things insulation and electric wiring – we’re so close to sheetrock and painting, eek!!