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Close to Cape: Giant City State Park

A few weeks ago, my sister and I checked something off our weekend to-do list that had been languishing there for way too long – we headed over to Giant City State Park for a hike.

Only 43 miles from Cape Girardeau, Giant City State Park is a pretty, 50-minute drive from downtown Cape.  We headed straight to the Visitors Center to get the low down on our best hiking options.  A very nice and enthusiastic park ranger (don’t you love it when it’s obvious how much people like their jobs?) quickly pulled out a map and directed us to their most popular trail, the Giant City Nature Trail and her personal favorite, Trillium Trail.

Giant City Nature Trail was our first pick.  A mile long, this trail is where you’ll find the famous “streets” and dramatic rock formations Giant City is known for.  The trail was well marked, and the trees were just starting to green out.  Many offshoot trails gave you lots of smaller paths to explore.  We hiked the whole trail twice in around 45 minutes and ran into several groups; the trail wasn’t crowded but it wasn’t empty, either.  

A short 5 minute drive later and we were at Trillium Trail, which the park ranger at the Visitor’s Center had mentioned was her favorite.  This 2-mile trek was billed as being the best place in the park to spot spring wildflowers, and I have never seen so many in one spot!  The first part of the trail follows the base of some amazing stone bluffs, then you head up a steep staircase and are right on top of the rocks.  The views were incredible, and we really loved this hike.

We swung by Giant City Lodge on our way out of the park, seriously considering partaking in the famous all-you-can-eat-fried chicken, but ultimately turning it down; we didn’t feel hungry enough to do it justice.  Maybe on our next visit after we traverse the 12-mile Red Cedar Hiking Trail?

It’s amazing what all is right at your fingertips when staying in Cape Girardeau!  We drove to Giant City, hiked for a few hours and were back by early afternoon.  Learn more about Giant City State Park here, and find out more about Cape Girardeau’s outdoor adventures here.  For Cape Girardeau lodging information, we’ve got you covered.  

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