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. Mooners 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 parks 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.
We just did the south loop and it was beautiful! A couple stream crossings and a few decent elevation changes. We did the loop counterclockwise but I think I'd do the reverse the next time around as I felt there were quite a few descents with loose gravel.
Most of the trail was well cleared but there were a few areas of heavier growth so I'd wear long pants or make sure to spray down with bug spray.
I went with three 4 year old kids and three adults. It was a really nice trail. There are a few places where the kids needed help, and a few spots where they have to be kept close because of some drop off but wasn't a hassle. We saw several deer despite the kids. Also the trail is just off the river so you can swim or explore the water. We will definitely be back. The name fits this trail!
This was a fun, moderate trail. it's great for hiking with the dogs as the creek runs next to the trail throughout. It took us an hour with some jogging. there were several water crossings, and the trail was covered with grass and debris in several places. It's July 4, and it's been raining.
Did the north and south loops and checked out the backpack camp, which is a spur off the south loop. Overlooked the backpack camp and kept going down the dead end trail, following old blazes. Camp is only marked by a pack out your trash sign and two small clearings on each side of the trail, no firepits or anything.
The loop trails are showing signs of horse wear in areas, but for the most part are pleasant to hike. The western ridges are nice with the leaves off. Water was flowing in several creeks when I was there in April. Elevation gain on this trail is just as great as any of the mountain loops around the OT, it's not a walk in the park. I'd say it's moderate.
Decently blazed except for the backpack spur.
Amy L. on Saint Francois State Park Campgroun...
Short but great hike!