What to do in St Francois State Park

**This information provided by www.mostateparks.com**

Just as outlaws sought refuge from the law during the Civil War, visitors today can seek refuge from everyday life in the beauty of the Pike Run Hills at St. Francois State Park. The forested ridges and hollows of these hills offer visitors a chance for unconfined solitude in a wilderness setting.

Three hiking trails, one allowing equestrians, wind through the forested hills and glades of Coonville Creek Wild Area. Mooner's Hollow Trail leads visitors to Coonville Creek Natural Area, highlighted by the clear waters of Coonville Creek, which were once used to make moonshine.

The Big River, which forms the southern boundary of the park, is ideal for canoeing. The park's many shaded picnic sites or two covered shelters provide the perfect place for a quiet picnic lunch or large family gathering.

Overnight guests can choose from more than 100 campsites, both basic and electric. The campground features modern restrooms, hot showers and laundry facilities.

Whether coming to enjoy a day on the Big River, or to seek refuge in the peaceful, natural setting of the park, St. Francois State Park offers the perfect hideout from everyday life.

St. Francois State Park Campground InformationSt. Francois State Park offers basic and electric campsites. Services available include a dump station, showers, water and laundry. There is also a backpack camp for hikers on the Pike Run Trail. Water is not available in the park during the off-season.

For reservations, there is a required two-night minimum stay for weekends and major holidays from May 15 through Sept. 15.

Park Gate InformationPark gates close at 10 p.m. during the on-season and 9 p.m. during the off-season. Campers need to be sure to arrive prior to gate closure time.

Fishing Fishing is available on the over three miles of Big River that flows through St. Francois State Park. Visitors should call the park office at (573) 358-2173 in advance for updated river conditions. Small-mouth bass and catfish are most commonly caught. Many stretches of both Big River and Coonville Creek are shallow and easily waded, and both streams have easily-accessed banks within the park.

Two river access points in the picnic areas of the park provide convenient canoe launch points along Big River for fishing or floating. Motorized boats are not recommended due to the shallow nature of much of the river.

Other Amenities St. Francois State Park is located in the heart of Missouri's Parkland. Within an easy (one hour or less) drive, there are six Missouri state parks, six Missouri state historic sites and an abundance of other public lands and facilities. One prominent local attraction is the world-renowned scuba diving facility at Bonne Terre Mines, and the St. Louis metropolitan area lies within approximately one hour's drive of the park.

Picnic Area/Playground St. Francois State Park has two large picnic shelters available for family reunions, company picnics and other special occasions. The shelters may be reserved for $35 by calling the park office at (573) 358-2173 well ahead of time. If not reserved, they are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Dozens of individual picnic sites are located throughout the park. Most are situated along the shaded banks of Big River or Coonville Creek, and most are located near restroom and drinking water facilities. Ample parking is provided, and several sites are accessible to persons with disabilities.

Five large playgrounds are located in the picnic areas and campgrounds. Swings, slides and sandy play areas are sure to please the youngest visitors.

TrailsThere are four different trails in St. Francois State Park, ranging in length from one-half mile to over 11 miles. Color-coded signs mark each trail, and a trail map is available at all brochure stations throughout the park. All trails traverse moderate terrain with rolling hills and some rocky stretches. Bicycles and motorized vehicles are not permitted on any trails.

Overnight backpacking is available on the 11-mile Pike Run Trail. Backpackers must fill out a trail registration card at the trail head. Backpackers may camp anywhere along the trail, at least 100 feet off the path and at least one-fourth mile from the trail head. Campfires are prohibited, and no water is available along the trail. Backpackers should plan to bring a cooking stove and drinking water.

Pike Run Trail is also available to equestrian users. The trail parking area will accommodate several large trailers, and hitching posts are provided.

8920 U.S. Hwy. 67 NorthBonne Terre, MO 63628

Missouri experiences four distinct seasons with an average yearly temperature of 54 degrees F. Summer temperatures reach 90 degrees F often and are plagued with high humidity levels. Nighttime lows during the summer dip slightly near 70 degrees. September brings cooler fall weather with less humidity. By October nights begin to cool significantly and the fall foliage changes to brilliant hues of orange, red and yellow. Winter months bring an average of 24 inches of snow and normal temperatures average between 20 and 45 degrees F. Spring is characterized by wet weather with temperatures reaching between 32 and 60 degrees F.

8920 U.S. Hwy. 67 North
Bonne Terre, MO 63628

Phone: 573-358-2173

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