Explore the most popular birding trails in Cuivre River State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This was my third time hiking this trail over the past 3 years. This time I did the hike clockwise on a beautiful autumn-like Saturday in September.

One starts at the Stone Shelter as indicated in the driving directions. When facing the shelter from the parking lot, the trailhead is off to the left. However, there isn't any signage indicating the Cuivre River Short Loop.

So just follow the blue blazes of the Frenchman's Bluff trail to the crushed limestone of Cheatham Road. You cross the road and the trail then runs north and south, between the road and the bluff. Look for the red blazes for our trail which shares this part of the route along the bluff with the Frenchman's Bluff Trail.

Overall, the trail is mostly earthen without a lot of rocky patches. The entire route is shared by hikers and horseback riders. Today, I encountered four horseback riders, four hikers, two small herds of deer, and one wild turkey.

Generally, the trail is well blazed. But you will find there are quite a few overlapping trails and connector trails throughout the trail system. At two or three critical junctures, there weren't any Carbonite trail signs with arrows and I had to rely on the Alltrails GPS to make sure I was going in the correct direction.

I was super glad I brought trekking poles on this hike. I had read that the tick situation here was particularly bad this year so I did use Permethrin on my clothes and frankly didn't pick up any ticks nor attracted mosquitoes.

In my opinion, the trails in the park are at their best in the autumn when the numerous maples turn bright yellow. But the park has much to offer year round -- especially as it doesn't get big crowds from St. Louis even on a beautiful weekend (which makes it my favorite hiking park in the metro area). I might add that there are places for dispersed camping in the park's trail system.

My Alltrails GPS indicated a distance of 8.5 miles and a traveling time of 3 hours and 20 minutes. I would rate this trail moderate rather than easy, mostly due to the distance.

I enjoyed the hike, but ended up with poison ivy, 100’s of chiggers, ands tick borne illness. Would never hike this area ever again.

Just hiking through trees. Nothing special. The trail was a bit overgrown

4 months ago

My wife and i hiked this trail and has lunch at the backpacking campsite. we accidentally hiked it backwards. but this trail is absolutely gorgeous. one of the most beautiful trails I've ever been on. it feels like you're in a fantasy book somewhere! absolutely amazing creek bed and tall canopy trees with ferns and small undergrowth..
only con: the ticks are outrageous. 30+ in just a few hour hike.

5 months ago

Nice trail that's easy to follow. Gets a little confusing right before connector 5 so pay attention to the trail markers!

Lot of trees down but very nice hike.

this hike is not 6.6 miles more like 4 miles.

10 months ago

It was awesome until we came to a section where 3 trails met up. We followed the orange blaze because that’s what the map on here was showing but then the blazes disappeared. From there we ended up at a point with several different trails all unmarked and tried to use our best guess as to which one was the actual trail. It didn’t work and we ended up backtracking and then finally bushwhacking back to the road and taking that to the trailhead. Additionally, the trail needed some maintenance in terms of large trees across trails.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Nice long loop trail through forested hills and valleys and along some scenic bluffs. All saw from the time I left the trail head to the time I returned we're a couple horse back riders. It is marked as a bike trail, but it looks like it is popular with the equestrians, so watch your step.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

This trail was much longer than the sign says. It was nearly 6 miles. A lot of steep inclines Great workout!

Sunday, April 09, 2017


Sunday, April 09, 2017

If you don't have much time this is a real good short trail.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Very easy short trail - great for first timers

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Perfect first trail for anyone.

on Cuivre River Trail Loop

Monday, June 27, 2016

Great little hike for our first time. Not too strenuous, but there were definitely parts that you had to work a little harder for. Found a nice little creek that had water to hang out at and rest for a bit, but most of the waterways were dry.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Did the blue loop, distance was 3.8 miles. Nothing too difficult but the trail is steeper than the Mt. Bike trails I am used too.
Blue trail was for hikers/backpackers only.
Primitive camp ground at about half way through.
Beware creek crossings (1-2) could be wet.
Pretty country, heavily wooded.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

this is one of my favorite places to trailride. we live 30 minutes from Troy and we spend at least 2 weekends a month riding the trails at this park. there are a lot of interesting things to see throughout the park. and it's so peaceful. I really enjoy when we run into hikers with kids. The looks on those faces when they see the horses. It makes my heart happy and I really enjoy when they are interested enough to want to pet them.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

It was nice, a little muddy in places water was rolling in creek and fun to hike

Saturday, March 12, 2016

amazing trail. no cave.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Very simple, easy to follow trail.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Hiked this trail today, yesterday hiked the north loop of the cuivre river trail which is 4 miles. The south loop is 7.25 miles as listed in the updated maps at the park. All trails does not list Cuivre river trail at all. I like big sugar creek. The cuivre river trail allows horses so there was lots of chewed up ground where sugar creek does not allow horses so much more friendly for hikers. Regardless, they are both fun hikes and I plan on doing the north loop soon. Hopefully all trails can update there Cuivre river state park trail soon

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hiked this trail during Christmas break from work in 2013. Spent the night at backpack camp 2, heard some coyotes come in pretty close. Saw a few deer and some other animals on the trail. Very nice park overall. I highly recommend stopping at the park office a getting a trail map from them. It makes everything so much clearer than any online map I could find.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Hiked the north loop mid May with my dog, beautiful scenery, many wildflowers in bloom and wonderful view of Big Sugar Creek, I look forward to backpacking to the camp site for a night at some future date.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

This is a beautiful little trail. Easy to hike with nice views of cuivre river. The trail takes you above the river and to the river. Very good example of missouri forest...I hiked this trail in the winter but didnt see any of the invasive honeysuckle that taken over in so many of our woods.

2 months ago

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