St Francois State Park

Bonne Terre, Missouri

4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
7 Reviews
4 out of 5
Legend has it that Civil War outlaws took cover in the hills and hollows of St. Francois State Park, which is known as “Yesterday’s Hideout, Today’s Retreat.” Later, moonshiners concealed stills along the banks of Coonville Creek in Mooner’s Hollow and secretively worked their trade. Today, you can explore the park on 17 miles of trail.
60 Hikes within 60 Miles: St. Louis

DESCRIPTION FROM:

60 Hikes within 60 Miles: St. Louis

by Steve Henry (Menasha Ridge Press)

Legend has it that Civil War outlaws took cover in the hills and hollows of St. Francois State Park, which is known as “Yesterday’s Hideout, Today’s Retreat.” Later, moonshiners concealed stills along the banks of Coonville Creek in Mooner’s Hollow and secretively worked their trade. Today, you can explore the park on 17 miles of trail.

© 2010 Steve Henry/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Bonne Terre
Distance: 17
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate to Difficult
Duration: 3–7 hours
Season: Year-round
Local Contacts: St. Francois State Park
Local Maps: Bonne Terre USGS topo
Driving Directions: Directions to St. Francois State Park

Recent Trail Reviews

2/28/2010
0

This is a great 3 mile loop trail. The falls are at the 1.2 mile mark. The trail is pretty steep and rocky. It is strenuous when compared to the other paved trails in the area. If you are used to hiking in the Ozarks this trail is about average in difficulty. The waterfall was mostly frozen but still had a pretty good flow. Parking was easy to find and the road goes right past the campground and the highpoint viewpoint.


6/19/2007
0

Enjoyable though very strenuous. Waterfall pretty well dried up though easy to imagine it in flood.


2/10/2007
1

I went to view the falls, specifically hoping to find them frozen, and was not disappointed. The temps were just above freezing and it was a sunny day, so there was a lot of water flowing under the ice, making kind of a hypnotic visual and auditory experience; and the ice makes for its own nice pictures. However, I found four things of note for the hiking experience. First, while the hike isn't technically challenging, there is a lot of walking on non-level ground like boulders, so hiking boots are a good idea for ankle support. Second, as noted by others, this is a wet weather waterfall, so I'd recommend wearing a different pair of shoes and changing into the hiking boots just for the hike as they are quite likely to get muddy if the falls are running. Third, during the winter (as I experienced), there can be sloped ice patches leaning toward ledges overlooking 20-30 foot drops, so extra caution is recommended. Fourth, the trail markers point hikers looking for Mina Sauk falls toward the upper falls, which I estimate are about 25 feet tall...very pretty, but not particularly high; if you hike further down toward Devil's Tollgate (not particularly impressive itself for anyone other than a geologist), there is a much larger waterfall about 1/4 mile below the noted falls.


9/9/2005
0

We hiked the Mina Sauk Trail expecting to see a magnificent waterfall. However, not until we arrived did we learn that the waterfall only runs in wet weather! When we made it to the "waterfall", there was nary a drop of water to be seen. Nonetheless, the hike is an excellent day hike, and easily extended by continuing on the Ozark Trail.


5/6/2004
0


Activity Feed

Apr 2018