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Get Your Hike On

Spring is finally here! The birds are singing, flowers are blooming, and there's little green buds popping out all over the trees here in the 573. Winter is finally gone, and so is your excuse to be surfing that sunk-in sofa! The 573 area is blessed to be home to a great number of parks and natural areas perfect for stretching your legs and shaking off hibernation mode. What better way to do that and see the beauty of our area than with a nice hike?

This beautiful 2,735 acre state park located on Hwy. 67 north of Bonne Terre presents many opportunities if you love to walk or hike. The 11-mile trail includes a 6.7-mile southern loop and a 4.3-mile northern loop.  Mooner’s Hollow Trail is a 2.7-mile loop which begins and ends in the picnic area.  Missouri Trail is a relatively short hiking trail.

Petroglyphs, quaint hiking shelters and incredible Ozark overlooks define the Washington State Park experience. Easy access to the Big River makes the park great for swimming or fishing and the park’s three hiking trails address every type of hike, from easy strolls to power hikes. Buildings constructed by African-American Civilian Conservation Corps stonemasons complement the park and add to its sense of history. North of Potosi on State Hwy 104.

Missouri’s third largest park is comprised of a variety of recreational areas, covering 8,238 acres.  Red Trail is a 7.5-mile loop beginning and ending at Pimville Road, and includes facilities such as:  toilets, water, picnic tables, barbeque grills and hitching posts.  You may enjoy the 13.8 miles of paved trails that may be used by bicyclists, hikers, skateboarders... Park Hills exit, on Hwy. 32 west to Hwy. B

This state park remains a favorite of visitors everywhere, with its gigantic granite boulders which many say look like a train of circus elephants.  These huge rocks were formed by volcanic magma which nearly surfaced, and time and weather have shaped them into what we see today.   The 132-acre park also features a 1-mile long braille trail and is also wheelchair accessible.  At the junction of Hwy. 221 and Hwy. 21, go 2 miles north on Hwy. 21 in Iron County.

This rugged 1,740 acre area features a 5-mile hiking trail and a 2-mile hiking trail.  A great way to see the mighty Mississippi River, the trails include steep bluffs and scenic panoramas of the river.  Hwy. 61 north from Ste. Genevieve to Hwy. V, then east on V to White Sand Road.

Although not a state park, Engler Park has many wonderful amenities, especially the beautiful walking trail enveloped by a canopy of trees, where you can observe many different varieties of native flora and fauna, pause for a break by one of two lakes or time well spent at the bird blind.  Located off of 67 south of Farmington.

Located about 8 miles west of Fredericktown, this 684-acre area is home to Tiemann Shut-ins, which are igneous rocks that have been carved by the St. Francis River.  The hiking trail of the same name is paved and handicap accessible and covers about one mile.  Off hwy 72 between Fredericktown and Ironton.  

Hawn State Park is one of the loveliest parks in a system full of lovely parks. Clear, sand-bottomed streams, wild areas ripe with orchids and awe-inspiring views combine to make Hawn a place that Missourians treasure. Geology buffs love Pickle Creek for the number of exposed rock types. Hikers frequent the Whispering Pine Wild Area for its quiet trails with expansive views. Bird watchers flock to the park for its variety of birds. And there are plenty of quiet spaces for people to get away and enjoy the outdoors.

Off hwy 32 between Ste. Genevieve and Farmington.

Amidon is located on Castor River with1,630 acres of pure beauty. A 1-mile trail winds to the formations created by the granite shut-ins, the beauty of which is magnificent.  Hwy. 72 east from Fredericktown to Hwy. J, then right on Hwy. W to County Road 253. 

Few may realize that because of the geologic features and flora found here, Pickle Springs has been designated a national natural landmark.  It is truly a unique treasure with its cool, moist canyons and its unparalleled beauty of the various sandstone formations and bluffs.  There is a 2-mile long trail that winds through these beautiful monuments that time and nature have sculptured.  5 miles east of Farmington.  Take Hwy. 32 to Hwy. AA to Dorlac Road.  

The tallest point in Missouri at 1,772 feet above sea level, this 7,448- acre park also features the state’s highest waterfall, Mina Sauk Falls. Falls run strong after a new rain. South from Ironton on Hwy. 21, 5 miles on Hwy. CC. 

The Devil’s Honeycomb Trail explores a vast glade on the huge dome-like outcropping of Pre-Cambrian rock that caps Hughes Mountain. The pinkish, multi-sided rhyolite columns for which the trail is named formed when ancient lava flows cooled and contracted. Pleasant mountain breezes sweep the rocky expanse, and panoramic vistas stretch away in three directions, making Hughes Mountain an ideal place to admire the sunset. Hwy 21 north from Caledonia turn right on hwy M to the Big River.

Located in Patterson in Wayne County, Sam A. Baker offers an unspoiled, breathtaking landscape of the St. Francois Mountains, one of the oldest mountain regions of North America.  The views are spectacular. The stream is crystal clear. Off hwy 67 near Piedmont.

So knock the dust off those old tennies or boots and go take a hike!



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