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Cuivre River State Park
The rugged, forested hills cut by deep valleys and sprinkled with caves, sinkholes, and springs, make the Lincoln Hills-a limestone uplift 60 miles long-an anomaly amid the plains of northern Missouri. In spring, the wildflowers bloom; in fall, the grasses grow taller than 6 feet. Several trails crisscross the park, the longest of them the 8-mile Cuivre River and 6-mile Lone Spring Trails. Reach the park via US 61 north from I-70.
drive time: St. Louis, 1 hour
guides: Hiking Missouri, by Kevin M. Lohraff ($20). A free trail map is available at the visitor center.
contact: Cuivre River State Park, (800) 334-6946; www.mostateparks.com/cuivre.htm.