Now that the dog days are upon us, one of the most popular recreational activities is floating down a river with friends on a tube, raft, or canoe. The 573 is loaded with crystal clear streams that tourists come from all over the country to visit. Places like Sam A. Baker State Park, St. Francois State Park, Pink Rock Recreational Area, and Johnson Shuts-Ins State Park are all wonderful—and just a few.
Sam A. Baker is in my opinion the most delicious park we have. It makes for a great family destination and a killer day trip. Nestled at the base of Mudlick Mountain with 200 campsites, 21 miles of hiking trails, park programs at the Visitor Center, 18 rustic cabins, a lodge restaurant, a fun park store, and a history museum. This park is loaded with adventures waiting to happen!
Sam A. Baker is loaded with adventures waiting to happen!
Big Creek at Sam A. Baker State Park is a beautiful clear stream that flows into the St. Francis River at the park. It’s a short walk up the shut-ins trail and a float on tubes brings you back down to the Visitor Center. It's a great way to spend a few hours. You can rent tubes at the Park Store. In addition to tube floating there are eight-and eleven-mile kayak floats with rock gardens that make the float a challenging Level II/Level III. I love the Big Creek float because it moves most of the way and it only takes 1 ½ to 3 hours. It’s a quiet, peaceful float with plenty of private gravel bars to stop and swim, BBQ and play.
Sam A. Baker is in my opinion the most delicious park we have. It makes for a great family destination and a killer day trip.
The water at Sam A. Baker is unbelievably cool and clear—and it has NO smell. The rock bottom keeps it from getting muddy like lakes and other streams. In the deeper areas, the water is a beautiful blue color and there’s great snorkeling, too! Remember your sunscreen, life jackets, plenty of snacks and water, and river shoes. Don’t learn the hard way—flip-flops are great for the beach but are not designed for rivers.
...a couple of hard-working young adults who love the outdoors...
So we gathered up a groovy young couple and put them to the test. Neither had been to Sam A Baker before—I love the looks on people's face the first time they see the water at Sam A Baker and the realization that they need to GET OUT THERE! more. Meet Briona Breig and Jack Buerck from Perryville, a couple of hard-working young adults who love the outdoors—hmmm, they sound like our kinda people.
My name is Briona Breig, I am the daughter of Stephani and John Breig. We live in Perryville and I go to Saxony Lutheran Highschool. My passion is competitive dance and on the weekends I enjoy spending time with my family jeep riding, playing in creeks, and I go on lots of hikes with friends and family.
I met Jack at school in 4th grade. We were close friends all through middle school and began dating in high school. We have made lots of fun memories together over the last few years. He always finds a way to make me smile and laugh, he is very adventurous and always wants to try new things. He has always encouraged me to live life to its fullest.
After high school, I want to continue my dance career professionally and then eventually own a dance studio of my own to continue to teach the art of dance to future generations.
This is definitely one of my new favorite spots!
I’ve been to many different swimming holes and creeks but this place was incredible with the crystal clear water, the perfect temperature for swimming, and the beautiful surroundings. This is definitely one of my new favorite spots!
Of course Ciapka, the 573 Motion Dog, has to get in on the action.
Meet Jack Buerck. We recently met Jack on set in our new film production we are shooting in Perryville. Jack has been working with our producers and has develpoled into a pretty good actor. Jack plays a starving confederate soldier in the film. You can learn more about the production at www.filmfriendlyperryville.com.
My name is Jack Buerck. I’m from Perryville where I live with my parents, Brent and Chrissy Buerck, and two younger brothers. I attend Saxony Lutheran High School and enjoy being busy. When I am not working you can find me fishing, swimming at the lake or the creek, golfing, disk golfing, or just hanging out with friends or Bri!
Briona and I met in 4th grade and have been close friends ever since. We started dating in the beginning of our sophomore year and it has been smooth sailing ever since. My favorite thing about Briona is that she can always cheer me up no matter how bad things seem.
Jack tries to impress Bri with his fancy dives.
I plan to become a physical therapist. I really enjoy helping people. I will for sure be continuing to live near the 573 area.
It is by far one of the cleanest and prettiest creeks I have been to! Briona and I will definitely be coming back!
Sam a baker is a beautiful park. The park itself is full of hiking trails and deep swimming holes. It is by far one of the cleanest and prettiest creeks I have been to! Briona and I will definitely be coming back!
The 573 is loaded with crystal clear streams that tourists come from all over the country to visit.
When visiting Sam A Baker State Park...
Bad ideas: Glass and styrofoam containers (against the law). Wearing
expensive jewelry. Tying tubes together. Tubing with your only set of car keys in your pocket. Too much alcohol. You can quickly get into a lot of trouble if you’re not thinking clearly, like getting caught on a snag or branch in a rapid. If you are planning alcohol, consider having a designated swimmer.
Good ideas: River shoes. Sunscreen. Hats and eyeglass holders. Life vests for kids under eight years old -required by law. DON’T DRINK on the river.
I don't know what they're putting in the water...
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Well, I don't know what they're putting in the water over there in Perryville, but Briona and Jack are something else. They are both polite, smart, and kind. I am sure they will be future leaders in the 573.
It's summer. It's time to get out of that sticky, sunken sofa and GET OUT THERE!
Pics and words t. smugala - da editor