Don Robinson State Park

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9275 Byrnesville Rd, Cedar Hill, MO 63016, United States

Opening Hours

7:00 AM to 9:00 PM




Introduction of Don Robinson State Park

In Jefferson County, Missouri, Don Robinson State Park is a large public leisure area with more than 800 acres (320 ha).  The state park’s rough terrain includes sandstone box canyons, shelter caves, cliffs, glades, and upland and bottomland woods. It is situated in the upper LaBarque Creek watershed. Businessman Don Robinson left the property to the state in his will after passing away in 2012. Robinson began buying land in the 1960s and stopped when he achieved his goal of building a property the same size as Central Park in New York City.  In 2017, the park became a public space.  The stone home where Robinson first resided there in 1978 is present, along with two hiking routes and a picnic area.

It’s difficult to imagine that the busy metropolis of St. Louis is so close when you’re within the serene, shaded haven of Don Robinson State Park.

The park’s forested slopes absorb any sounds from the outside world, and its fascinating sandstone canyons make it simple to forget that the outside world exists. Don Robinson bought the land to use as his own personal residence and haven with that in mind.

The region has sandstone box canyons, shelter caves, cliffs, glades, and upland and bottomland woods and is part of the upper watershed of the LaBarque Creek. Robinson wanted his private retreat to become a part of the Missouri state park system once he passed away.

Located not far from St. Louis but still a world away, Don Robinson State Park now gives visitors the ability to discover and explore this incredible area. The park has a picnic shelter and hiking paths.

waterfall Don Robinson State Park
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Don Robinson State Park History

A self-made businessman from the St. Louis region named Don Robinson found success by creating and promoting the cleaning solution “Off.” He used the money from his gains to start purchasing the rocky, forested terrain in the Jefferson County region because, in his words, it was “wild and woolly with plenty of canyons.”

As he kept acquiring property, he established his own sanctuary, which was encircled by mainly wooded, steep, rough hills. His intention was to expand the area such that it would match Central Park in New York City in size. Robinson left Missouri State Parks his land and a trust money to assist administer the park after his passing.

His property, which is now Don Robinson State Park, is regarded as one of Missouri’s top locations for protecting native animals and habitat and serves as more than just a lovely getaway. Before it enters the Meramec River, the LaBarque Creek, a high-quality stream that supports 42 species of fish, has its upper watershed on the property. Its position is crucial to the LaBarque Creek Watershed Conservation Area because it provides chances to take part in alliances to preserve these assets within a robust local watershed. Sandstone outcrops, box canyons, shelter caves, glades, and both upland and bottomland woods are all present in great abundance throughout the park. The region has native shortleaf pine, which may be found there at Missouri’s furthest north.

There are over 650 kinds of natural plants in the park, including ferns, mosses, and vascular plants. The park has a number of endangered plant and animal species, including partridge berries and four-toed salamanders. Numerous migratory songbirds, such as the blue-gray gnatcatcher, summer tanager, Acadian flycatcher, wood thrush, Northern parula, and red-eyed vireos, are drawn to the region by its natural characteristics.

Don Robinson State Park Camping

You’ll appreciate catching your breath in Don Robinson State Park’s serene tranquilly. Thanks to the kind generosity of its namesake, this is one of Missouri’s newest state parks. Robinson acquired enough acres throughout his lifetime to own a piece of land the size of Central Park in New York. Then, after his passing, he donated some seed money to aid with repairs along with the land for a state park next to Cedar Hill. This was his way of giving his neighbours a little peace and ensuring that they had a place to go away from the busy city. With just a short trip from Eureka, St. Louis, and House Springs, travellers may now take advantage of woods, glades, caverns, and box canyons.

Trails in Don Robinson State Park

Want to know which Don Robinson State Park hiking routes are great for a challenging trek or a vacation with the family?

 Three excellent hiking, bicycling, jogging, and other paths are available. Enjoy personally chosen trail maps, along with comments and images from other outdoor enthusiasts like you.

Are you all set for your next bike or hike? 

Discover one of the 1 family-friendly simple hiking trails in Don Robinson State Park. 

Looking for a trek with greater difficulty?

 With paths that range in elevation increase from 81 to 152 metres, we’ve got you covered. Any activity you have planned for the day may be accomplished on the ideal trail at Don Robinson State Park.

Don Robinson State Park
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Don Robinson State Park LaBarque Hills Trail

Considering how close Don Robinson State Park is to St. Louis, it has rapidly become a well-liked hiking location. The LaBarque Hills Trail is a good alternative to Sandstone Canyon Trail, which is where most hikers like to go.

Although the LarBarque Hills Trail lacks the stunning gorges and waterfalls of the Sandstone Trail, it nonetheless exudes beauty as it winds around a picturesque creek and up and down hills.
The frost flowers that grow along the route may even be visible if you visit at the correct time of year. When the air falls below freezing but the ground is still warm, you can find these beautiful ice blooms. Some plants continue to produce sap from the warmer earth after their stems crack open owing to freezing weather. Once it enters the air, the sap freezes into complex forms.

hills trails Don Robinson State Park
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Don Robinson LaBarque Hills Trail

  • Length: Map says 2.4, our GPS clocked 2.9 miles.
  • Difficulty: 3/5. Some moderate ascents and creek crossings, but nothing too difficult.
  • Scenic Value: 4/5. Scenic creeks and canyons
  • Restrooms: Flush toilets at upper parking area
  • Hours: The park is open 7 a.m. – one half hour past sunset.
  • Parking: Both the upper paved lot or lower unpaved lot below the overlook are closest to the trailhead. Parking lots are small here, arrive early or a weekday. If the lots are full, try another time.

Rugged Canyons and Rushing Waterfalls at Missouri’s Don Robinson State Park Sandstone Canyon Trail

  • Length: 4 miles or about 2.5 if you use the connector plus an additional 0.6 miles of paved trail round trip from the trail head
  • Difficulty: 3 out of 5, some moderate up and down hills. Can be muddy and slick after a good rain.
  • Scenic Value: 4 out of 5


We’ve had Don Robinson State Park on our list of places to walk for the past few years. This more recent park is close to St. Louis and climbs through the LaBarque Creek watershed’s harsh terrain of streams and gorges.

This is not only a beautiful place to hike, but the history of the place is also fascinating. Don Robinson, a St. Louis businessman who gave the park its name, became well-known for creating and marketing “OFF” spot remover. Then, because the terrain in Jefferson County was “wild and woolly with plenty of canyons,” he started purchasing rough, forested acreage there. After his passing in 2012, the property was given to the Missouri State Park system with a trust fund for park construction.
Although many of the magnificent buildings constructed when Mr. Robinson resided here were destroyed (see them here), his house still survives. Robinson was recognised for his eclectic architecture style, which is visible from a distance yet is not accessible to tourists.

There used to be a swimming pool there that was enclosed by grand arches. Since these buildings were taken down, the location is now a picnic spot and viewpoint.
In the park, there are two trails. The loop of the 2.4-mile LaBarque Hills Trail. A link allows hikers to shorten the 4-mile Sandstone Canyon Trail. The first.6 miles of this route are paved before it transitions to a rock/dirt path. The paved portion is not included in the trail length, in my opinion. Since the kids have limitations on how long they will trek, we prefer to do the Sandstone path with the connection.

hike Don Robinson State Park
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Don Robinson State Park Photos

Don Robinson State Park Map