Don Robinson State Park – Missouri


Don Robinson was a St. Louis business man who made his fortune by selling the cleaning product “Off”. Upon his death in 2012, he donated 843 acres of rugged land to the State of Missouri in order to create a State Park in his honor.

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This park is a hidden gem as it is so close to St. Louis, but it feels like you are miles away. The area is full of glades, canyons, cliffs and creeks. Last year, we hiked the Sandstone Canyon Trail and it did not disappoint. The first .6 miles of the trail is paved.

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We hiked the trail in a clockwise direction where we first crossed a creek a few times. The namesake of the trail soon comes into view. From high above, you can see the huge sandstone canyon. A trail then crosses the creek and leads down to the base of the box canyon. You feel so small standing beneath the formation. To the left, a series of small waterfalls will be running if we have had a good rain.

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A bit farther up the trail is the Connector Trail. In total, the Sandstone Canyon Trail is 4 miles long. The connector splits the trail in half. Last year, we did the full 4 miles and just recently we took the connector trail. I would really like to hike the Connector Trail after a good rain as there were a lot of neat areas which I think might create little waterfalls.

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The other weekend, we also hiked the LaBarque Hills Trail. This trail is 2.4 miles long. This time of year the trees were starting to change colors and it was beautiful!

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There were some good rock formations on this trail too! We hiked the trail counterclockwise and came up on a neat box canyon with a small waterfall.

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There is a short trail to an overlook. It’s not quite the overlook I was expecting, but there are two benches to take a short break and give the pups a snack 🙂

The trail gives you a good workout as there are some steep climbs and then it flattened out over a few glades.

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This trail is less busy than the Sandstone Canyon Trail, but it is not to be missed!

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Back at the parking lot, there is a great overlook and even a few rocking chairs. Don Robinson’s rustic home still stands, but there are fences around it prohibiting access. I can almost picture him looking out over his forested land and feeling a sense of peace and tranquility.

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Have you been to Don Robinson State Park? What did you think? If you haven’t been, be sure to check it out!

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