ST. JOE STATE PARK
The roar of engines breaks the stillness of the Old Lead Belt at St. Joe State Park, one of two off-road vehicle parks in the state system. The sand flats, hills, and 2,000 acres set aside for off-road vehicle use make this park the premier off-road vehicle area. The park also features four lakes, with two swimming beaches, an equestrian trail, a hiking and bicycling trail, and picnic sites, as well as two campgrounds capable of accommodating campers with ORV or horse trailers.
ST. FRANCOIS STATE PARK
The forested ridges and cool hollows of St. Francois State Park offer visitors a retreat from everyday life. Three hiking trails, including one that allows equestrian access, wind through the forested hills and glades of the Coonville Creek Wild Area. Easy access to the Big River makes St. Francois State Park ideal for canoeing and floating and the many shaded picnic sites and two covered shelters make the park perfect for family gatherings. Overnight guests can choose from more than 100 campsites, in campgrounds with modern restrooms, hot showers, and laundry facilities.
ELEPHANT ROCKS STATE PARK
The giant elephant-shaped granite boulders are the star at Elephant Rocks State Park. The coarsely crystalline red granite forms are popular with history buffs (who like to read the names of the 19th century miners who used to work in the area and who carved their names into rocks), children (who love to climb and scramble over and through the rocks) and parents (who revel in taking pictures of their children pretending to push the rocks). The park has a trail that winds through the rocks, which is an interpretative Braille trail. Abundant picnic areas and vibrant fall colors add to the park's appeal.
JOHNSON'S SHUT-INS STATE PARK
Play in the shallows of the East Fork of the Black River. Shoot through Mother Nature's hydraulics in the shut-ins. Hike a trail that will show you 1.4 billion years of geologic history. Take your horse on a pretty mountain trail. Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park is a jewel of the system, a place with something for everyone: pretty picnic areas, Ozark landscapes, natural places to swim, great campsites.