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.

6/2/18. Used Deep Woods Off for mosquitos and ticks. Still spent 4 hours waving away mosquitos, and my wife and I had literally about 2 dozen ticks on us at the end.

Scenic views overlooking the Big River from the bluff overhangs, well beaten path, beautiful vegetation.

Absolutely beautiful scenery, the creek has many mini waterfalls, the water is crystal clear. Rocks on the path are slippery but have small paths to navigate around them.

This is a good trail, not too long for an afternoon hike. A bit rocky in places, but well maintained and well marked. Definitely worth the drive to St. Francois State Park.

hiking
1 month ago

Very pretty! It's spring so everything is bright green and bushy. The river is up due to recent rains, so we couldn't take a dip, but it was still great. We took the route that goes to the left of the fork, which takes your through most of the inclines first and brings you around by the river the second half, if seemed to work out well bc we got thw tiring part out of the way early.
The huge sinkhole was pretty cool, I was able to toss a rock in to hear how deep it was.

The trail is beautiful and well maintained. Not too crowded (Sunday afternoon on sunny 66 degree day). Hilly, rocky, and certain parts require you to cross the stream to continue the trail (not a lot of rocks/shallow points so expect to get your feet wet!), making it an active walk.

trail running
3 months ago

Great short trail run loop. Definitely some rocky parts, but the trail is really beautiful with moderate elevation changes, creek crossings, and gorgeous views of the park. I met only one couple hiking on the trail, around sunset time. Can’t wait to run it again!

This was a great trail for my dog and I! You will have to cross the creek multiple times so wear a good pair of waterproof hiking shoes. This is a clearly marked trail so you shouldn’t have to worry about getting lost. The trail can get rather rocky in some places and there are also areas with a lot of roots across the trail so take some time in those areas.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike! A little over 10 miles, completed it in 4 hours. Had some pretty decent inclines. Lots of creek access for the dogs. Will come back in cool weather.

hiking
4 months ago

We started counterclockwise on the South Loop. Not very scenic, no overlooks. Continued onto the North Loop and there were some more scenic areas there around the little creeks and some small waterfalls after it rained. Several steep, butt kicking hills but good if you are looking for a bit of a workout.

Nice relaxing trail. Not the most scenic, but still enjoyable. My GPS read 10.75 mile with 1635 ft of elevation gain. The trail was rutted in places due to horse traffic.

on Swimming Deer Trail

4 months ago

Enjoyed the variety this trail offered in terms of terrain. The moss covered rock formations were interesting. I would enjoy hiking this trail again.

4 months ago

The day I hiked this trail, it was very muddy which resulted in difficult navigating of ruts and puddles. If there was leaf coverings, one still needed to be careful of the slipperiness of wet leaves and mud beneath. I would not hike it again knowing how muddy and slippery it can be.

hiking
5 months ago

Excellent trail. Hard to follow in places, but lots of rocky pools and low waterfalls.

hiking
5 months ago

Trail was sneaky muddy...surface looked dry but it was slippery in many areas. Trail is covered with leaves, but wasn't hard to follow. Rock outcroppings throughout and some nice river views.
Trailhead is at the campground area, next to the bathhouse.

hiking
5 months ago

Excellent trail. Well marked path, not highly trafficked. Several small creek crossings add variety to the terrain.

hiking
6 months ago

Very enjoyable for both me and the dog. This trail seems to have it all; creek crossings, a small water fall, ridge lines, rolling hills, a few small fields. The path is made up of dirt, rock, tree roots, gravel. There is a lil bit of elevation change, but not too much that it feels like “exercise”. We’ll be back, maybe try it in reverse to change things up!

Beautiful trail. Saw a pretty deer too :)

hiking
7 months ago

Fun trail with the dogs. Beautiful mossy rock formations along the way. Be advised, the actual trail is over 3 miles as we traveled it.

hiking
8 months ago

Well marked trail with nice rolling hills that paralleled the stream. Lots of visually pleasing rock formations along the ridge line. The fall colors made the hike even more enjoyable. We went early, so did not have a lot of traffic. Trail marked as 2 hours to finish, but we hiked at a steady pace and it didn’t take nearly that long. Enjoyed by all of us. We will be back!

Great trail. Marked very well and follows a creek for about half of the trail.

I have done this trail a few times but today decided to try it backwards. I think it was little easier this way because the climb was at the beginning. There are plenty of wildflowers along the way. Crossing the creek is the best part of this hike.
Criticism is the sign in the park has a distance listed but it is shorter than what is mapped on here. #lagomadventures.

hiking
9 months ago

Trail is marked well. There are some nice points overlooking the river. Pretty wild flowers along the way. Only criticism is distance marked on the signs in the park aren't correct. It is marked at 2.5 but maps out at a little over 3. #lagomadventures

Trail was marked very well and the overlooks were awesome as well

hiking
9 months ago

Surprisingly difficult hike at times. Saw deer, snakes and turtles. No lookout points; a little redundant at times.

hiking
9 months ago

The spiders are inconsiderate on this trail. They decided to spin their webs right in the middle of the trail. I had a long talk with them and I don't think they will be doing that anytime soon.

Trail was awesome! Really appreciated the marker signs. Creek was beautiful. Wonderful family outing.

hiking
9 months ago

Well marked, variable terrain, not heavily used and decent scenery. Hiked it on a beautiful, cool August day - it's not often you can say that in Missouri!

Loved it! Loved the little creek in the middle. We were able to cool off and hang out there a bit

backpacking
10 months ago

Might be bias due to the fact I saw a Total Eclipse on this trail. The trail is very narrow and challenging in spots. I went off trail a few times to venture the water and minor water falls.

The biggest bummer of the trail is the lack of cliffs or high rise spots. I will definitely be returning at some point with the CPHs and checking out other trails as well. There did seem to be a lot of bugs but I am sure the 90s temps and eclipse played some role in the wild environment.

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