• Hikes,  Hiking,  Illinois,  Kids,  St. Louis,  Trips

    Pere Marquette -Illinois’s Largest State Park

    Pere Marquette is one of the very best parks in the state of Illinois. Over 8,000 acres of lush forests and rugged hills are waiting to be explored just an hour north of St. Louis along the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway. Fall brings a spectacular display of colorful foliage while winter is prime time for eagle watching. The expansive views and overlooks of the Illinois River and its backwaters can be viewed any time of year. Horseback riding, camping, boating, and…

  • Hikes,  Hiking,  Kids,  Missouri,  Popular,  St. Louis

    Explore Pink Rocks and Waterfalls at Castor River Shut-Ins

    Stunning pink granite boulders and rushing clear cascades create one of the most beautiful views in all of Missouri. The Castor River Shut-Ins area is part of the Amidon Memorial Conservation Area near Fredericktown, Missouri. This spot is one of our absolute favorite places in Missouri and well worth the almost two hour drive. Water from the Castor River rushes over and through Missouri’s only pink granite shut-ins. The massive stones and gushing waterfalls present a scene of dramatic beauty no matter the season. Shut-ins…

  • Glamping,  Kids,  Missouri,  St. Louis

    Glamping in a Blue Bus-Review of Lost Hill Lake Events

    Do you like the idea of staying out in nature but don’t have a tent and other camping gear? Or maybe you are looking for a fun outdoor getaway but want a real mattress and air conditioning? Well glamping or “glamorous camping” may be just the thing to satisfy all those requirements. Our family personally loves being outdoors and away from crowds but we aren’t as crazy about as sleeping in a tent for the reasons above and more. (I didn’t even get into bears,…

  • Hikes,  Hiking,  Illinois,  Kids,  St. Louis

    Exploring Caverns and Rock Art at Piney Creek Ravine in Illinois

    Piney Creek Ravine Nature Preserve is a bit of a secret hike. Visit this spot even on a summer weekend and you may still have the whole trail to yourself. So many don’t realize this dramatic and historic spot exists tucked deep in the farm fields of southern Illinois. Not only does the preserve feature dramatic canyons and trickling creeks, but the main claim to fame here is the biggest display of prehistoric petroglyphs and pictographs in Illinois. You can view these impressive vistas in…

  • Hikes,  Hiking,  Kids,  Missouri,  St. Louis

    Wildflower Wonder at Valley View Glades Natural Area in Missouri

    Less than an hour south of St. Louis lies one of our favorite and uncrowded spots to hike. Tucked away off the highway near Hillsboro, Valley View Glades is a 225 acre site with a mix of dolomite glades, woodlands, and trickling streams. This mostly undisturbed area looks very much like what would have greeted early French settlers to the area. Native wildflowers flourish in the open glades and put on an impressive display in spring and summer. In the fall, the forest comes alive…

  • Hikes,  Hiking,  Kids,  Missouri,  St. Louis

    Hiking Myron and Sonya Glassberg Conservation Area

    The Glassberg Family Conservation Area is one of the newest in Missouri. The park opened in 2012 thanks to a donation from the Glassberg family. Myron and Sonya were both active conservationists who promoted a healthy appreciation for the outdoors. Their legacy lives on in this beautiful spot of nature. This site along with LaBarque Creek and Young Conservation Areas preserve the quality of the ecologically diverse LaBarque Creek Watershed. Two trails have been developed with the main trail being a 3 mile loop. The…

  • Hikes,  Hiking,  Kids,  Missouri,  St. Louis

    Step into Adventure on the 1,000 Steps Trail at Washington State Park in Missouri

    Washington State Park is an area steeped in history. The park’s claim to fame is that is the site of the largest collection of petroglyphs in the entire state of Missouri. These ancient rock carvings were left behind by the American Indian culture that archaeologists call Mississippian. These people are believed to have inhabited the area around 1,000 A.D. Because of the number and exceptional quality of the carvings, these sites were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. Be sure to…

  • Hikes,  Hiking,  Kids,  Missouri,  Popular,  St. Louis

    Take a Hike at Hawn, One of Missouri’s Best State Parks

    Missouri has a lot of beautiful state parks, but Hawn is towards the top in scenic value. When I am missing the rushing streams and rugged mountains of hiking destinations out west, this is the spot I like to visit. The towering pine and oak trees combined with the sandy creek bottoms and sandstone rocks make a serene spot to wander. While many parks in the area only have streams or waterfalls during wet weather, the stunning cascades of Pickle Creek flow year round. Overall,…