When Sylvester Paddy first logged this region in the early 1800s, many trees floated from here to Saint Louis, Missouri, providing an important supply of building materials for that city. The area was then homesteaded and used as grazing land into the 1930s. Big Paddy and Little Paddy Creeks drain the area, flowing into the Big Piney River near the eastern Wilderness boundary. With a mixed hardwood forest lining their banks and steep cliffs and rocky outcroppings hanging over the drainages, the creeks run most of the year. Caves and distinctive rock formations are common in this wilderness underscoring the unique karst topography of the Ozark Highlands region. Above the drainages is a forest of black, white, and post oaks, along with hickories and shortleaf pines. Wildlife common to the Ozarks prevail in this area: white-tailed deer, wild turkey, squirrel, rabbit, fox, coyote, and bobcat. The Big Piney Trail starts at the Roby Lake Recreation Area, just outside the southwestern corner, and loops for 17 miles through the heart of the Wilderness along some of the area's finest overlooks. You can leave the Wilderness at the Paddy Creek Campground on the northeastern corner or loop back to where you started.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Paddy Creek Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
Paddy Creek Wilderness Act of 1981 - Public law 97-407 (1/3/1983) To designate certain lands in the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri, which comprise approximately six-thousand eight hundred and eighty-eight acres, and which are generally depicted on a map entitled "Paddy Creek Wilderness Area", as a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System