RIVER STATE PARK
Schulte. June 2020
acres Lincoln Co. DeLorme 40, A-2
owned; for more information call
The park is on The Great Missouri Birding Trail, and is an eBird “hotspot.”
From St. Louis, go
west on I-70 or I-64 to Wentzville, turn north onto US 61, then east on MO 47
to the park entrance via MO 147.
Warrenton on I-70, it is 23.5 miles via MO 47 north to Hawk Point, continuing
on MO 47 east to the park via MO 147.
Wentzville on I-70, go north on US 61, then east on MO 47 to MO 147.
visitor center, several shelters and other activity areas are accessible (see
park information on the state park website for details). Good birding can be
done from the 13.6 miles of roads and/or parking and picnic areas.
At more than 6400 acres, including the 1872-acre Lincoln Hills Natural Area, Big Sugar Creek NA (56 acres) and George A. Hamilton Forest NA (40 acres), Cuivre River is one of Missouri’s larger State Parks. The park is well known for its extensive woodlands. Within this woodland matrix are pockets of denser forest, limestone glades, savanna, native grasslands and old fields still recovering from clearing before establishment of the park in the 1930s. Cuivre River State Park is an IBA (Important Bird Area) that also includes three Missouri Natural Areas, two State Park Wild Areas (Big Sugar Creek and Northwoods) and thousands of acres of Special Ecological Stewardship Areas where prescribed burns and other management activities are restoring the natural communities.
to Visit/Species to Expect:
extensive woodlands and scattered grasslands of the park can produce
interesting characteristic birds throughout the year, though spring and summer
are the highlights with good numbers of transient and summer resident migrants,
interior, woodland, savanna, shrubland and riparian species are well
priority species of conservation importance are the Yellow-billed Cuckoo,
Eastern Whip-poor-will, Red-headed Woodpecker, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Blue-winged
Warbler, Brown Thrasher, Field Sparrow, Eastern Towhee, Yellow-breasted Chat,
Wood Thrush, Worm-eating Warbler, Kentucky Warbler and Cerulean Warbler.
of Interest to Birders:
miles of trails provide access to the full mix of park habitats. The best
suited for birding are:
Star Trail: The two-mile loop of the Blazing Star Trail traverses a mosaic of
open woodland, prairie and savanna. Species like Kentucky Warbler, Eastern
Towhee, Yellow-breasted Chat, White-eyed Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo,
Blue-winged Warbler, Indigo Bunting and Common Yellowthroat have been recorded
Spring Trail: This six-mile trail loops through the northern portion of the
park. It is good for forest interior and woodland species like the Ovenbird,
Red-eyed Vireo, Scarlet Tanager, Wood Thrush, Eastern Wood-Pewee and Acadian
Cuivre River Trail – North Loop (northern segment) to Connector 5: This one-mile portion of the trail is an old gravel road that goes from the trailhead to Big Sugar Creek. It can be very good with open woodland on the south, closed woodland to the north and the riparian border along the creek. Along the trail and by the creek warblers including the Cerulean, Yellow-throated, Northern Parula, Kentucky, Ovenbird and Louisiana Waterthrush are commonly found.
Lincoln is a 55-acre lake that is primarily used for fishing and boating and as
result gets very little use by waterfowl and other water birds. The 3.5 mile
long Lakeside Trail can be good though for woodland birds adjacent to the lake.
birders who cannot enjoy the trail system, driving the park roads will offer
good birding opportunities. Some locations that can make good stops with easy
walking include old stone picnic shelter area, the Big Sugar Creek Picnic Area
and along the creek, Turkey Hollow trailhead area and the area around the Camp
Sherwood Forest entrance. The campground can be pretty good, too.
Flush toilets are
in the Visitor Center (on Rt. 147). Seasonally open flush toilets are in one
picnic area and the campground. Five vault toilets are located around the park.
sites including basic, electric, and sew- er/electric/water and family and
platform tent sites; an equestrian campground, three organized group camps, and
a special use camping area.
Park visitation on
weekends and holidays can be very heavy. Avoid those days if you can;
otherwise, go early.
A number of
other good birding sites on public land are located nearby. The White Memorial
and William Logan Conservation Areas offer primarily upland habitats. Bordering
the Mississippi River, the B.K. Leach, Prairie Slough and Sandy Slough
Conservation Areas, Clarence Cannon National Wildlife Refuge and Winfield Lock
& Dam #25 provide river border and extensive wetland habitats.