Sandstone Canyon Trail in Don Robinson State Park

Don Robinson State Park is one of Missouri's newest state parks. It was donated by its namesake and former landowner to the state in 2012 following his death and opened to the public in 2017. The park is situated in the southern end of the Labarque Creek watershed, which features some of the area's other conservation areas I've also visited, including Labarque Creek Conservation Area, Young Conservation Area, and Glassberg Family Conservation Area.

The paved start of the trail

The park contains two loop hiking trails, the Sandstone Canyon Trail (4 miles) and Labarque Hills Trail (2.4) miles. I hiked the Sandstone Canyon Trail, the first 0.6 miles of which are paved. It also has a connector trail, enabling you to make shorter loops out of it.

If you hike the trail clockwise, you first walk the paved section along a ridge before it turns downhill, and the remaining part of the trail is unpaved. After a short descent into the valley, you enter the sandstone canyon itself. This isn't much of a canyon, rather than a stream with some small but steep sandstone rocks along it.

The sandstone canyon

The trail continues through the canyon before turning uphill and reaching the connector trail. If you continue on the main trail, it mostly follows hillsides along the trail's eastern loop before reaching the connector trail's opposite end and continuing back to the paved trail.

The trail through the upland forest

I thought this was the most scenic and interesting trail of those in the Labarque Creek watershed, with perhaps a section of the trail in Labarque Creek Conservation Area. Back at the trailhead, you can explore around Robinson's home and the overlook across the forest from the parking lot.

See more of my photos here.

View from the overlook

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