St. Francois State Park
Just as outlaws sought refuge from the law during the Civil War, visitors today can seek refuge from everyday life in the beauty of the Pike Run Hills at St. Francois State Park.
Three hiking trails, one allowing equestrians, wind through the forested hills and glades of Coonville Creek Wild Area.
Mooner’s Hollow Trail leads visitors to Coonville Creek Natural Area, highlighted by the clear waters of Coonville Creek, which were once used to make moonshine.
The Big River, which forms the southern boundary of the park, is ideal for canoeing. The park’s many shaded picnic sites or two covered shelters provide the perfect place for a quiet picnic lunch or large family gathering.
Overnight guests can choose from more than 100 campsites, both basic and electric. The campground features modern restrooms, hot showers and laundry facilities.
Fishing is available on the over three miles of Big River that flows through St. Francois State Park. Visitors should call the park office at 573-358-2173 in advance for updated river conditions. Small-mouth bass and catfish are most commonly caught. Many stretches of both Big River and Coonville Creek are shallow and easily waded, and both streams have easily-accessed banks within the park.
Two river access points in the picnic areas of the park provide convenient canoe launch points along Big River for fishing or floating. Motorized boats are not recommended due to the shallow nature of much of the river
St. Francois State Park is located in the heart of Missouri’s Parkland. Within an easy (one hour or less) drive, there are six Missouri state parks, six Missouri state historic sites and an abundance of other public lands and facilities. One prominent local attraction is the world-renowned scuba diving facility at Bonne Terre Mines, and the St. Louis metropolitan area lies within approximately one hour’s drive of the park.
St. Francois State Park has two large picnic shelters available for family reunions, company picnics and other special occasions. The shelters may be reserved for $40 by calling the park office at 573-358-2173 well ahead of time. If not reserved, they are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Dozens of individual picnic sites are located throughout the park. Most are situated along the shaded banks of Big River or Coonville Creek, and most are located near restroom and drinking water facilities. Ample parking is provided, and several sites are accessible to persons with disabilities.
Five large playgrounds are located in the picnic areas and campgrounds. Swings, slides and sandy play areas are sure to please the youngest visitors.
Whether coming to enjoy a day on the Big River, or to seek refuge in the peaceful, natural setting of the park, St. Francois State Park offers the perfect hideout from everyday life.
8920 U.S. Hwy. 67 North
Bonne Terre, MO 63628