For our long holiday weekend, we took a trip to Cuivre River State Park near St. Louis, Missouri; north of I-70. We enjoyed some canoeing on Lincoln Lake and took a day hike on the Cuivre River Trail. We camped in one of the tent sites.
I really am a firm believer of state parks and getting people out to them; but there is not much I can say nice about this park. My overall advice for the state of Missouri would be stay south of I-70 and south of I-44 if possible if you want to see beautiful areas.
The shower house was in disrepair to say it nicely. While the park wasn’t overly crowded, it was run down. The main road leading you into the park/campgrounds from the visitor center was closed due to “damage” thus making you drive out of the park on a private road and taking a back road into the campground.
The canoe was $20 for the day and we enjoyed it; however that was the primary reason for selecting this spark and after being there, I wish we would’ve just stayed with camping and went south. There has been a lot of rain in this region as of late and all water levels are up but I cannot imagine that the Cuivre River is any prettier when the levels are low. I grew up near the Grand River here in Missouri and the Cuivre (pronounced Quiver) is very similar. Big, dirty, and brown.
The trail we went on was nothing spectacular. Very typical for this region of Missouri, which is why we always like to head to the Ozarks for pretty scenery unlike at Cuivre where you will find mostly trees and a lot of scrub brush.
This park was not near as bad as our trip to Pershing State Park but it is next in line. If you have young children and maybe perhaps some riding bikes on the park roads or swimming in an easy lake is what you are looking for, this might be a good choice but if you want a pretty river and some nice hiking, avoid Cuivre River State Park!
On one positive note, they do have a lot of trails and unlike a lot of state parks, they are good in distance. On the northern side of the park, there are hiking-only trails and some with ability to backpack. I will have to visit the park again and focus on those trails and backpack rather than stay at the campground and perhaps it will be a different outcome. If you’ve hiked the norther trails at Cuivre, please let us know and share some pictures!