Bonne Terre Outdoor Recreation
The city of Bonne Terre in St. Francois, MO is well-known for the Bonne Terre Mine, made famous for the fact that it was once the leading producer of lead ore in the United States. The city's name itself is French for "Good Earth", for the vast mineral wealth found in the area by its early settlers. Now, it is a renowned dive site that offers walking and boating tours as well that showcase its mining history.
There are a variety of other attractions in Bonne Terre namely The Space Museum, The Old Rectory, Bonne Terre Family Fun Center, The Cave House and a number of golf courses and country clubs that draw in tourists and locals alike. However, there is also a vast wealth of outdoor recreation and natural beauty that add to Bonne Terre’s charms, and that of its surrounding areas.
St. Francois State Park
St. Francois State Park provides visitors with a peaceful and beautiful retreat from the stresses of daily life. It is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna such as Queen of the Prairie and its fen habitat, prairie grasses and wildflowers as well as the white-tailed deer and wild turkey and raccoons, owls, hawks, bobcat, coyote, et cetera.
The park offers numerous outdoor activities to young and old, such as hiking trails, equestrian activities, trekking trails, picnic shelters, playground equipment, horseshoe pits, and open ball fields. It offers easy access to the Big River that makes it an ideal place for canoeing and fishing. Additionally, a park naturalist offers nature walks and slide/audio/video presentations that are held in the outdoor amphitheater.
Overnight accommodations include basic and electric campsites and modern amenities such as restrooms, hot showers, laundry facilities and a dumping station.
St. Francois State Park
8920 US Highway 67 North
Telephone: (573) 358-2173
St. Joe State Park
St. Joe State Park consists of over 8,000 acres with 2,000 acres reserved for off-road vehicles (ORV). It is the largest and premiere ATV park in Missouri. Visitors will never want for anything to do: bicyclers can choose from four biking trails, hikers from four hiking trails and horseback riders from two equestrian trails. There are two swimming beaches available in Monsanto and Pim lakes to those who want to cool off, that offer a shelter with picnic benches, volleyball net, change house and a vault toilet. For those with the required certification, scuba diving is also permitted in Monsanto and Pim lakes.
Camping is also permitted in St. Joe Park, with designated campgrounds for those who camp with their ORVs and those who camp with their horses. Reservations must be made in advance due to the high demand for campsites at St. Joe Park.
St. Joe Park
2800 Pimville Road
Telephone: (573) 431-1069
Those who love the great outdoors will find pleasurable activities, no matter what their interest may be. From quiet walks, to the high-powered thrill of an ORV ride, Bonne Terre and its outdoor recreation areas will not disappoint.