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.

Go in the fall. In July I got covered by seed ticks even wearing deet.
Whole loop was tracked as 12 miles by our phones. It took about 5.5 hours, 7 with breaks. Beautiful cold, delicious fresh spring in the back of the long loop. We were able to refill water bottles and wade our tired feet.
Some steep ups and downs. Terrain changes often from crushed rock, dirt, grass and back again.

Went out there today. The temperature was perfect. Really nice quiet stretch of woods with quite a few streams/river crossings. Was pretty easy too. Took me 1 hr 15mins. Trail is clearly marked.

backpacking
1 month ago

The weather was amazing. Trail seems unkempt; we counted 20-30 downed trees across trail. Trails were narrow, in some areas less than a foot wide. Seed burrs were a real issue, our poodles, standard and toy had several hundred each. Poison ivy covers about 25% of trail contact area. Most of trail (75%) was difficult to hike, 3-4” stones, and roots presented continuous ankle challenges. With trekking polls it was safer. Maybe in late fall or winter leaf coverage might make it better? Blazings were exceptional; never had a doubt, lots of markings. And creek crossings, starts as at crossing; why not put bridge to start? There were at least 10 crossings, most slippery, and often challenging to keep boots dry.

hiking
1 month ago

‘Twas a tiring but good hike.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a decent trail that is probably better experienced in the spring (when the creaks are running with water) or the fall (when you can get a view overlooking the Big River without the trees blocking your way). We did this trail at the end of September and didn't have any trouble with bugs (aided with some off of course). The trail wasn't too crowded on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. We ran into probably 5 other groups during our hike. There are a couple of points that really make this trail moderate. One will be a decent climb up some rocks (or down depending on which way you decide to go). My personal recommendation is to start this trail on the left when you get to the fork. By going left I think the trail is a little easier but maybe not quire as well marked. Along the way you'll see a decent sized sinkhole that has unfortunately been covered. You can still kind of see down into it but the grate makes it difficult. I wish they would have left it uncovered but I'm sure someone probably fell into it at some point. There is also a small order shack just off the trail. I'd be curious to know the back story of it. This was a nice walk in the woods and I'd recommend it after you've done the parks other trail "Mooner's Hollow" (It's easily the better trail).

Nice trail! We took our small dog and had no troubles. the trails are marked well at the creek crossings. as I go along the trail you will creeks, a small water fall (that is a perfect place to take break.), and the trail goes along the bluffs at one point.

we really enjoyed this hike. we went on July 23. it's very pretty, lots of creeksnand streams both big and small. there is a pretty waterfall about halfway through. you do have to cross water multiple times, there is rocks at all the crossing to walk on but there's a good possibility of getting your feet wet. at the waterfall half way through there Is a trail following the creeks that you can take to get closer to it. can be a little steep but the terrain isn't bad. we had a fun time on this hike.

Nice trail. Should be fairly easy for everyone

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful trail. Climb or descent on river side

4 months ago

I love this park so much. If you do both trails, it leads you to a beautiful scenery. One downside about St. Francois this year is the mosquitos, and ticks. We discovered at least 30 ticks on my dog and 10 on us each. If you find a really strong repellent, I suggest checking it out or waiting for cooler weather!

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
6 months 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
7 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
8 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
8 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

9 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.

9 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
9 months ago

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

hiking
9 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
9 months ago

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

hiking
11 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!

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Beautiful trail. Saw a pretty deer too :)

hiking
Saturday, October 28, 2017

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
Saturday, October 21, 2017

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!

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