Cuivre River Trail South Loop is a 7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Troy, Missouri that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from May until September.

7.0 miles
649 feet



nature trips



1 month ago

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.