With the ancient St. Francois Mountains, the unspoiled natural landscape and the cool waters of the St. Francois River and Big Creek, Sam A. Baker State Park has something for everyone. Whether getting away for a day of relaxation or spending considerably more time exploring the region, it's certainly worth the trip. A boat launch offers access to the river, and anglers hook bluegill, bass, crappie, sunfish, goggle eye and catfish in the river and creek. Canoeists float the Big Creek in spring and early summer, while the river is a good float year-round. Several miles of hiking, backpacking and equestrian trails provide glimpses of the area as the early settlers found it. To explore the natural and cultural history of the park, visit the park's visitor/nature center. Visitors can spend the night in either the rustic cabins or one of two large campgrounds featuring modern restrooms, hot showers, dumping station and laundry facilities. For horse lovers, a separate equestrian camp is provided. The shaded picnic area is equipped with a playground, covered shelters and picnic tables. If guests prefer to eat indoors, the dining lodge overlooking Big Creek features excellent country cooking. At Sam A. Baker State Park, the possibilities are endless and the choice is all yours.

just a gravel road. very steep. wanted to see the fire tower but didn't have the engery as, I backpacked the previous 2 days and just wanted to get back to the car.

backpacking
1 month ago

I did my first solo backpacking trip with my dog on this trail and loved it! I started at the middle trail head and went south past backpack camp # 2 then headed north to mudlick hallow. THere are alot of fallen trees which make getting to backpack camp #1 in mudlick hallow challenging, but doable. I didnt see a person on the trail all day until I got to the hallow where there were 8 other people plus 5 dogs that camped there in addition to myself. It was pretty crowded. I almost wish I had gone on to the hiking shelter (i'd recommend #1 as it has the best views) or had changed my route to camp at camp #2. In any case I hiked the rest the following day. It was a challenging, but fun hike.
The trail markers were good. There were a couple times I thought I might be lost, but a marker was usually just around the corner.

on Shut-in Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Enjoyed the hike very much and would love to go again in the warmer months to cool off in the Big Creek. The paths were well traveled, but we went long stretches without seeing markers to show that you are continuing on the right path. The waterfalls and grottos were a nice pit stop along the way. The markers going up to the first shelter were more frequent, but once the vegetation grows further into the season, they may also be tougher to see. The view is beautiful at the backpackers shelter. We met a group there that was going to camp there over night. The temps dipped into the low 20s! That’s dedication! It’s a must-do Trail if you’re camping at the park and want to get out further and enjoy a nature hike.

3 months ago

Great training trail

Needs better signage for hiking trails but overall the park was nice

hiking
6 months ago

Trail was ok - nothing too exciting - signage was terrible - sometimes it was very hard to figure out which way to go but it was nice being out in the woods with no one else around.

hiking
6 months ago

Hit this trail after taking the yellow blazed trail down from the shelters - would have been nice to have better signage to tell you which way to go when the trail forked on the Mudlick trail but there were just yellow arrow signs pointing in both directions - so based on information from a hiker I saw earlier I was able to choose correctly and headed left up to this area and was rewarded with this cool fire tower. Once completed I headed back down the Yellow Mudlick trail to the fork in the trail where I continued on. I could have continued in the fire tower trail but it was just a gravel road and I wanted to hike in the woods.

hiking
6 months ago

Trail starts behind the lodge and heads down near the water. It then heads up the hill in a pretty strenuous hike to the three shelters - it then connects up to the Mudlick trail. Signage is poor throughout the park - this is why I didn’t rate it a 5 star

Pretty decent trail. We did the Orange trail to the campsite by the creek and back. Some areas of the trail was overgrown, awesome views from the 1st shelter.

hiking
10 months ago

Greatly enjoyed hiking this trail. My dog and I both had a moderate workout, lots of rocky areas, and some downed trees after storm. Have come back 3 more times since.

hiking
Thursday, March 16, 2017

Very pretty after a rain. Several water falls.

hiking
Friday, February 17, 2017

Excellent trail! Lots of diverse scenery. Saw quite a few natural waterfalls before getting to the shut-ins. Would highly recommend!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

gorgeous area. be sure to go through Mudlick Hollow.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

gorgeous area. be sure to go down Mudlick Hollow on the orange trail

on Shut-in Trail

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Beautiful little hike !!!

I lived here for awhile and loved this trail. My kids really enjoyed the nature.

hiking
Monday, October 10, 2016

Great hike! This place has it all. Great trails for both hiking and horseback. Stayed in one of the hiking shelters that had a fireplace and offered amazing views of the valley and river. Well worth the trip and time. Trails definitely live up to their rating as "rugged" and there are many elevation changes which add that extra challenge for serious hikers. Will be going back to complete the entire 16 mile loop.

hiking
Monday, September 26, 2016

The view at the top was great. And the access to the creek at the bottom was fun. I don't think the claim to "shut-ins" is legit. They were a disappointment. Once we got to the shelter, we took the Mudlick Trail back to the lodge.

backpacking
Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Did the big loop, about 13 miles. Went counterclockwise and stayed at the last shelter making for a quick one mile out the next day. Moderate trail, a little rocky, well marked. Plenty of shortcuts on inner trails if you're with a group. River is very nice, as are shelters.

on Mudlick Trail

hiking
Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Tough! It was our first backpacking trip. A lot of steep inclines but overall was great. We stayed at Backpack camp 2 near the creek. The hike out of the camp was tough. Next time we will definitely stay in one of the shelters - shelter 1 has the best view.

hiking
Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Trail was disappointing as it only follows a gravel road to the tower and back. I came in the back way using the trail to make a loop from another trail. I would of routed otherwise had I realized it was only a gravel road.

hiking
Monday, December 01, 2014

Excellent trails, enough length to enjoy. Great park facilities. Backpack shelters. Great location, many other hikes in area.

hiking
Sunday, November 30, 2014

Trail is simple for the area. The shut in's is at the end of the trail as it climbs out of the valley to the first shelter. Most overlook it and end at the river. They miss the best part.

hiking
Sunday, November 30, 2014

Civilized park with trails that felt less civilized (good). Elevation shifts were unexpected, as I did not do my homework! Really enjoyed the meandering trail through the autumn leaves as well as the goat-track switchbacks that led to the river. The shelters are nicely kept, and on a chilly day, it was a nice surprise to stumble upon a small fire smoldering in the hearth. I will return to complete the other trails at this park!

hiking
Thursday, September 05, 2013

This is a very easy trail. The scenery is very nice, various flower types along the trail. There were no waterfalls as it has been pretty dry the past few weeks. Once u get back to the river it is gorgeous!! Plenty of room for fishing, swimming and relaxing.

hiking
Monday, April 22, 2013

Very nice State Park located in SE MO. State park facilities are well kept and park is very clean. There are many hiking trails with primitive camping shelters along the trail. Numerous spring fed waterfalls are located throughout the park and along the hiking trails. The main attraction is a water fall/pool located at the edge of the park with access from a the mudlick trail. Park also has equestrian trails, separate from the hiking and biking trails.

hiking
Sunday, October 24, 2010

Piedmont is a spectacular area for almost any outdoor activity. Yet, Baker Shut-ins Trail is lacking. It's beautiful in its own right, but it really comes alive during a rainy day when four small waterfalls emerge to give the trail a unique splendor. However, even then I would be less than impressed had I driven very far to the area.

hiking
16 days ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

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