Time of year
mari w wrote a review Aug 2020
Fujisawa, Japan65 contributions100 helpful votes
It's 60 miles, roughly 60 minutes from St. Louis. We chose this park because we wanted to go somewhere with a creek to splash in, like Johnson Shut-Ins, in the hot weather. Mooner's Hollow Trail sounded promising. The trailhead is the one closest to the entrance of the park. The name of the trail was not signed, so you have to drive off the main road left into the parking area to confirm you've got the correct trail. There's a footbridge over the creek by the parking lot. The trail follows the creek for the first half, then peels away from the creek on the return half (counterclockwise route). The sign says the trail is 2.8 miles long, and takes 2 hours. We only did the half that follows the creek, and retraced our steps. We never made it to the halfway point that supposedly crosses the creek and has a waterfall. The trail is shaded for almost all of the half we did walk, and never became particularly steep. I never ran out of breath. It was quite easy. The trail, although it follows the creek, never touches the creek except at one point. This is where we skipped stones across the surface of the water. We saw a fishing spider, a crayfish, and some small fish in the water. I tried going barefoot in the creek, but the stones are sharp and the large flat ones are slimy. You definitely need water shoes if you want to wade. There isn't anywhere to sit and rest, if you want to let your children play while you stay on dry land. The creek at that point is quite shallow, at most 6 inches? so you can't, say, sit down in the cool water, and let it run over your legs. The trail was muddy at points from the rain of the past few days, but there was always an alternate non-muddy path. There was a lot of poison ivy along the trail, so I recommend knee high socks or long pants if you're very sensitive. None of it protruded onto the trail and one of our party who is sensitive was not affected despite only wearing shorts. We saw deer in another part of the park, so you may need to be wary of ticks, although the Mooner's Hollow trail doesn't go through any grass. There are some interesting moss covered boulders with horizontal crevices and ledges, some large enough to look like a small cave, along the trail. They looked too wet to climb, but during other season when the moss is dead, that might be a fun thing to do. The parking lot by the trailhead has a large covered picnic table pavilion, a playground (no covid police tape), and a large dumpster for your trash. I didn't see any restroom near the parking lot, but the park does have outhouses. Combined with a trip to Bonne Terre Mine which is only a 5 minute drive further south from St. Francois State Park, and a visit to the coffee shop across the street from the mine, we had the perfect day out from St. Louis.…
Date of experience: August 2020
Juliann B wrote a review Jul 2020
Wilmington, Illinois119 contributions10 helpful votes
Our experience was limited to the Mooner's Hollow Trail, nice enough trail with some rock features, a little waterfall, beautiful wildflowers, and rich red dirt. Saw a lovely Western rat snake near the creek.
Date of experience: June 2020
1 Helpful vote
Jennifer W wrote a review Jul 2020
83 contributions19 helpful votes
We went with our 21 year old son hoping to kill some time and hike while waiting to go to Bonne Terre mines. We only found roads to walk on and grass grown up so if there were hiking paths we certainly couldn't find them. Lots of places to access the river.
Date of experience: July 2020
1 Helpful vote
slourash wrote a review Apr 2020
Decatur, Illinois52 contributions19 helpful votes
Beautiful place! Well marked trails, easy to find the park and trail heads. Definitely recommend! Nice path along the creek.
Date of experience: March 2020
Jocelyn O wrote a review Dec 2019
Farmington, Missouri62 contributions10 helpful votes
For our first hike there we took Mooner's Hollow trail. Nice trail, it curved along the creek for a while before crossing the water a bit down from a short, lovely falls. Trail did cross water a few times. I'm curious what it would be like in higher water levels. We felt blue trail markers were ample for us, as trail was well trod. Sound of the highway over the hill took away a bit from the peacefulness of the area. We look forward to exploring more of the park.…
Date of experience: December 2019