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Tag: Hiking with Kids

Trail of the Week: Valley View Glades Natural Area: Hillsboro, Missouri

Trail of the Week: Valley View Glades Natural Area: Hillsboro, 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…

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Ferne Clyffe State Park – A Secret Oasis in Southern Illinois

Ferne Clyffe State Park – A Secret Oasis in Southern Illinois

Many people think of Illinois as “flyover country.” They believe the state is nothing but flat and boring farm fields as far as the eye can see. While much of the state is geographically monotonous, far southern Illinois is drastically different. This rugged area is known as the Illinois Ozarks. Rising bluffs, trickling waterfalls, and jagged rocks create a lush and varied landscape worthy of exploration. Tucked away near the bottom of the state, Ferne Clyffe State Park has been…

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Trail of the Week – 1,000 Steps Trail at Washington State Park: DeSoto, MO

Trail of the Week – 1,000 Steps Trail at Washington State Park: DeSoto, MO

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…

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Trail of the Week – Pickle Creek Trail at Hawn State Park: Ste. Genevieve, MO

Trail of the Week – Pickle Creek Trail at Hawn State Park: Ste. Genevieve, MO

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…

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Trail of the Week – St. Francois State Park: Bonne Terre, MO

Trail of the Week – St. Francois State Park: Bonne Terre, MO

Mooner’s Hollow and Swimming Deer Trails St. Francois State Park is a hidden gem tucked in the forested Pike Run Hills. Less than an hour drive from St. Louis will bring you to this delightful park which boasts several trails, a crystal clear stream, a campground, and the Big River for boating activities. This quiet oasis contrasts with a colorful past history of outlaws ranging from Civil War guerrilla fighters who hid in caves to moonshiners operating illegal stills. This…

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Trail of the Week – Don Robinson State Park Sandstone Canyon Trail: Cedar Hill, MO

Trail of the Week – Don Robinson State Park Sandstone Canyon Trail: Cedar Hill, MO

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: 3.5 out of 5 Don Robinson State Park is a site that has been on our bucket list to hike for the past couple years. This newer park located near St. Louis climbs…

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Trail of the Week-Castlewood State Park’s River Scene Trail: Ballwin, MO

Trail of the Week-Castlewood State Park’s River Scene Trail: Ballwin, MO

Length: 3.4 miles or about 2.5 if you use the connector Difficulty: 3 out of 5, some moderate climbing up to bluffs Scenic Value: 4 out of 5 The area around Castlewood State Park has been a popular escape for St. Louisans for decades. Amid the quiet beauty and wildlife here now, it’s hard to imagine that the park was once the site of a bustling resort that peaked in popularity after World War I. Trains delivered visitors by the…

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Trail of the Week – Mississippi Rivers Greenway at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis

Trail of the Week – Mississippi Rivers Greenway at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis

Length: 1.6 miles each way Difficulty: 1 out of 5, Paved whole length Scenic Value: 3 out of 5, Nice river views Great Rivers Greenway is a public agency in St. Louis with a mission to make the St. Louis region a more vibrant place to live, work and play by developing a regional network of greenways. So far the agency has developed over 125 miles of beautiful greenways and amenities throughout the St. Louis area. I posted here about…

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