Park Trails

at Cuivre River State Park

Big Sugar Creek Trail

  • Backpacking
  • Hiking

Length: 3.75 Miles View map

This trail traverses the northern part of the Big Sugar Creek Wild Area and the Lincoln Hills Natural Area, crossing two small tributary valleys of Big Sugar Creek. From “keyhole bluff’ along the southwest portion of the trail, you can look down on a section of the Ozark-like Big Sugar Creek. The northern part of the trail goes through open woodland, which is being restored to its original character by the use of prescribed burns. White connector 6 is available to provide access to Lone Spring Trail. This is a moderately strenuous trail.

You may experience:

  • Rocks, roots and/or downed vegetation on trail           
  • Natural surface, dirt, mud, gravel, shifting rocks, slippery surface, etc.
  • Steep grades and inclines more than 10 percent
  • Water/stream crossings without bridges
Find the trailhead on the park map
Missouri State Parks Trail Rules and Etiquette
Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
3.75 Miles 2 hours, 50 minutes Loop Blue

West side of the park road, midway between Camp Derricotte and Camp Sherwood Forest

Cuivre River Trail

  • Backpacking
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding

Length: 11.25 Miles View map

This trail is divided into the north and south loops. The north loop consists of a portion of the formerly named Big Sugar Creek Trail that was open to horseback riding. This section has been renamed, but is still open for equestrian use. This loop traverses much of the Big Sugar Creek Wild Area, where you will encounter Sugar Bluff, bottomland forests and a large wet weather spring.

The south loop follows Frenchman’s Bluff for several miles, offering great views of the Cuivre River valley. The trail heads back into the Big Sugar Creek valley, eventually leading you back to your starting point. Keep an eye out for evidence of the Civilian Conservation Corps, several examples of its stone work exist along the trail as well as the quarries where stone was collected.

White connectors 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 offer more than four miles of additional trail. With these, the entire system offers 15.5 miles of multi-use trail.

You may experience:

  • Natural surface, dirt, mud, gravel, shifting rocks, slippery surface, etc.
  • Rocks, roots and/or downed vegetation on trail           
  • Steep grades and inclines more than 10 percent
  • Bluffs or drop-offs next to trail
  • Water/stream crossings without bridges
  • Road/highway crossing
Find the trailhead on the park map
Missouri State Parks Trail Rules and Etiquette
North Loop
Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
4 Miles 4 hours Loop Orange

Equestrians generally access from connectors 4 and 5 from the south loop; Hikers access from across Park Road, midway between Camp Sherwood Forest and Camp Derricotte

South Loop
Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
7.25 Miles 7 hours, 15 minutes Loop Red Equestrian camping and day-use area (equestrians)

Lone Spring Trail

  • Backpacking
  • Hiking

Length: 4.75 Miles View map

This trail consists of sections on the north and the south side of Highway KK. It is named for a perennially flowing spring that emerges in the valley at the base of a ridge. The northern park of the trail loops through Northwood’s Wild Area and crosses Big Sugar Creek, a designated state natural area. The southwestern part of the trail goes through an open woodland that is being restored to its original condition by the use of prescribed burns. This somewhat strenuous trail is marked in a clockwise direction. White connector 7 is available to shorten your trip. A connecting spur to the north allows the option to hike to Shady 80 Lake, and white connector 6 to the south provides access to Big Sugar Creek Trail. 

You may experience:

  • Natural surface, dirt, mud, gravel, shifting rocks, slippery surface, etc.
  • Rocks, roots and/or downed vegetation on trail
  • Water/stream crossings without bridges
  • Road/highway crossing
  • Steep grades and inclines more than 10 percent
Find the trailhead on the park map
Missouri State Parks Trail Rules and Etiquette
Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
4.75 Miles 3 hours, 30 minutes Loop Yellow

At Lincoln Hills Drive and Hwy. KK intersection