SAM A BAKER STATE PARK
With the ancient St. Francois Mountains, the unspoiled natural landscape and the cool waters of the St. Francois River and Big Creek, Sam A. Baker State Park has something for everyone. Whether getting away for a day of relaxation or spending considerably more time exploring the region, it's certainly worth the trip.
A boat launch offers access to the river, and anglers hook bluegill, bass, crappie, sunfish, goggle eye and catfish in the river and creek. Canoeists float the Big Creek in spring and early summer, while the river is a good float year-round. Several miles of hiking, backpacking and equestrian trails provide glimpses of the area as the early settlers found it. To explore the natural and cultural history of the park, visit the park's visitor/nature center.
Visitors can spend the night in either the rustic cabins or one of two large campgrounds featuring modern restrooms, hot showers, dumping station and laundry facilities. For horse lovers, a separate equestrian camp is provided. The shaded picnic area is equipped with a playground, covered shelters and picnic tables. If guests prefer to eat indoors, the dining lodge overlooking Big Creek features excellent country cooking.
At Sam A. Baker State Park, the possibilities are endless and the choice is all yours.
Sam A. Baker State Park has 18 rustic cabins made of native stone and wood with modern conveniences. Most have fireplaces, kitchens, full baths, heating and air-conditioning, outside grills, firepits and picnic tables. They are equipped with bedding, towels and kitchen utensils.
Cabins are available for rent April through October. Reservations can be made by calling (573) 856-4223 or toll free at 1-800-334-6946. Reservations are not accepted by e-mail. Following are the rates for 2006.
Cabins 1, 2, 3, 4 and 14 -- $75 per night minimum (based on first four people)one-bedroom cabins with one queen bed; one hideaway bed or futon in the living room; fireplace and air-conditioner
Cabin 8 -- $75 per night minimum (based on first four people)handicap-accessible, one-bedroom cabin with one queen bed; one hideaway bed or futon in the living room; central air
Cabins 5, 6, 16 and 19 -- $80 per night minimum (based on first four people)one-bedroom cabins with two full beds; one hideaway bed in the living room; fireplace and central air
Cabins 9, 10, 11 and 12 -- $90 per night minimum (based on first four people)two-bedroom cabins with one queen bed in each bedroom; one futon in the living room; central air
Cabins 15 and 17 -- $90 per night minimum (based on first four people)two-bedroom cabins with one queen bed in each bedroom; one hideaway bed in the living room; central air; fireplace
Cabin 13 -- $50 per night minimum (based on two people)small stone sleeping cabin with one queen bed, shower and small refrigerator and fireplace
Cabin 18 -- $180 per night minimum (based on first ten people)five-bedroom cabin with four queen beds; one full bed; fireplace and central air
Add $5 for each additional person.
There is a two-night minimum stay for all reservations, three nights for holiday weekends, with a one-night deposit required. Deposits will be forfeited for early departure or for cancellation notice less than seven days. Deposit is refundable, less $10, if cancelled at least seven days prior to reservation date. There is a $10 fee for any cancellation.
Pets are not allowed in the cabins by state statute, however, a dog house can be placed outside the cabin for $5 per stay.
Swimming is available at multiple access points in both the St. Francis River and Big Creek. Day usage is from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
There is a concrete boat launch located at Campground 1 on the St. Francis River. It is open at all times except during heavy flooding. There are no launch fees or motor restrictions; however, the size of the river limits usage to smaller boats. Due to the river current shifting in recent years, the launch area is usually too shallow for anything but canoes and small boats.
The cabins, dining lodge, store and canoe rental are operated by your concession host, Michael Fleming. Raft, kayak and bicycle rentals are also available. Let Mike or a member of his staff make your visit to Sam A. Baker State Park more enjoyable. For more information about the concession facilities, visit the Web site at www.samabaker.com or call (573) 856-4223.
Rentals for float trips are available at the park store. Canoes, one-person sit-on-top kayaks and six-person rafts are available for rent on the scenic and secluded St. Francis River. Big Creek is floatable in high water with kayaks only.
Fishing is available at multiple access points in both the St. Francis River and Big Creek. Day usage is from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Primary fish are bass, blue gill, sunfish and catfish.