The trails in Cape Girardeau are so great that even Lewis and Clark loved them. OK, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but they did stop in Cape Girardeau in 1803. You can visit a site where the Corps of Discovery camped overnight at Trail of Tears State Park. Even more, you can enjoy some amazing hiking and biking.
The Corps of Discovery was a specially-established unit of the United States Army sent by Thomas Jefferson to explore the Northwest Territory. Their route took them up the Mississippi River to the Missouri River, and then west. The Lewis and Clark Expedition took place between May 1804 and September 1806, and it was led jointly by Captain Meriwether Lewis and Second Lieutenant William Clark.
With so many delicious trails and parks in Cape County, you are totally set if you’re a hiker, biker, adventure seeker, or just looking for a peaceful time outdoors.
We asked BRENDA NEWBERN, Executive Director of Visit Cape, to show us the CAPE LA CROIX RECREATIONAL TRAIL. www.visitcape.com
You can enjoy an outing with the whole family while getting in exercise, fresh air, and a view of the great outdoors.
CAPE LA CROIX RECREATIONAL TRAIL — This 5.67 mile-long trail is paved to perfection for all trail-enthusiast activities. Whether you want to run, walk, jog, bike, or rollerblade, the Cape La Croix Trail is a place you can enjoy scenery right in the middle of Cape Girardeau. Did we mention that it’s family and pet friendly? You can enjoy an outing with the whole family while getting in exercise, fresh air, and a view of the great outdoors. Multiple access points let you tailor your mileage. If you need a rest, water fountains, benches, and restrooms are found at certain points along the trail. Trailheads are located at Kingsway and the Shawnee Soccer Fields.
Check out this video. The CAPE LA CROIX trail is amazing.
KLAUS PARK TRAIL — If you like to get a full-fledged outdoor hiking experience, make your way to the Klaus Park Trail. Perfect for mountain biking aficionados and trail runners, this 3.2-mile trail is full of hills, twists and turns, and the occasional fallen tree limb. This trail is certainly an adventure, and we think that you’ll be hooked the first time you try it out.
You’ll be surrounded by trees, rock features, and the occasional meandering stream.
MAPLE HOLLOW TRAIL — Need to get a quick dose of recreational activity and natural views? Take the Maple Hollow Trail. This 1-mile trail makes a perfect loop meaning you can complete this journey in a short span of time, but we highly doubt you’ll want to rush through this trail. You’ll be surrounded by trees, rock features, and the occasional meandering stream.
Perfect for all skill levels, bikers and trail runners will love the rugged terrain with challenging hills and turns.
KLAUS PARK TRAIL — Those that enjoy mountain biking need look no further. Perfect for all skill levels, bikers and trail runners will love the rugged terrain with challenging hills and turns. Upon entering Klaus Park, the easiest point to access this trail is located right behind Pavilion One.
The Lake Trail winds along the hilly shoreline of Lake Boutin and loops around one of the campgrounds at Trail of Tears State Park.
LAKE TRAIL AT TRAIL OF TEARS STATE PARK — The Lake Trail winds along the hilly shoreline of Lake Boutin and loops around one of the campgrounds at Trail of Tears State Park. See if you can spy remains of old homesteads through the trees.
MAPLE HOLLOW TRAIL — Tucked away in Cape County Park North, Maple Hollow Trail takes you through heavily wooded hills with interesting rock features and a meandering stream.
Visitors can also enjoy the valleys and high ridges that show a wide variety of plant life in each section.
PEEWAH TRAIL AT TRAIL OF TEARS STATE PARK — Ideal for a vigorous hike, horseback riding, or camping, the Peewah Trail weaves through the 1,300-acre Indian Creek Wild Area inside Trail of Tears State Park. With two different trail areas, East and West, visitors are sure to feel like they are in a new forest every few miles while hiking. Visitors can also enjoy the valleys and high ridges that show a wide variety of plant life in each section. Both East Trail and West Trail entrances are located along Overlook Road.
Stroll, bike, skate, and more along the banks of the Mighty Mississippi River on the Riverfront Trail!
RIVERFRONT TRAIL — Stroll, bike, skate, and more along the banks of the Mighty Mississippi River on the Riverfront Trail! This trail is located on the riverside of the floodwall and includes sweeping views of the Mississippi River. Recent improvements include a trail extension and enhanced lighting. You can access this trail behind the Greensferry Shelter on Moccasin Springs Road.
This bluff has wonderful views for photography.
SHEPPARD POINT TRAIL AT TRAIL OF TEARS STATE PARK — Hiking this trail leads visitors to Sheppard’s Point, a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. This bluff has wonderful views for photography. During the winter months, you can watch bald eagles soar above the treetops. This trail is located behind the Greensferry Shelter on Moccasin Springs Road.
White Oak Trace conveniently connects the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center with the LaCroix Recreation Trail.
WHITE OAK TRACE — Step onto this trail and be transported: trees soar overhead and provide a colorful canopy in the fall and a leafy green roof in the summer. In the winter and spring, the silhouettes of the tree trunks provide their own impressive backdrop. With several interconnected trails, every time you hike White Oak Trace you’ll discover something new. Ridgetop Trail is paved and 100% accessible from the trailhead at the Southeastern side of the Nature Center. White Oak Trace conveniently connects the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center with the LaCroix Recreation Trail.
The folks at the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau understand that during this time of social distancing you are looking for outdoor activities. Please keep in mind that a 6-feet apart recommendation still applies in the great outdoors. For more guidelines and tips, head to our #keepcapestrong website.
And from all of us at 573 Magazine, we’d like to say “Get Out There” and live it up while you can!