• 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,  Illinois,  Kids,  Missouri,  St. Louis,  Trips

    Best St. Louis Area Hiking Books

    Have you been wanting to take a hike but don’t know the best places to visit around St. Louis? Maybe you want to find a trail that is kid friendly or one that is not likely to be crowded. Maybe you have seen local pictures of a hiking trail with a beautiful waterfall or stunning overlook and want to know how to get there. The one hiking question I’m asked over and over is how exactly do I find all the great trails and hikes…

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

    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: 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 through a rugged terrain of…

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

    Explore Scenic Views and Lost History at Missouri’s Castlewood State Park’s River Scene Trail

    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 thousands to enjoy the outdoor…

  • Hikes,  Hiking,  Kids,  Uncategorized

    Exploring Pomona Natural Bridge & Quetil Trail near Alto Pass, Illinois

    What do you do when your are feeling like winter is dragging on and you get a sunny 50 degree day in February? If you are a Midwest Nomad, you go hike! We decided to head out Saturday morning to combine two short and easy trails near Alto Pass, Illinois into one morning adventure. These trails are both located in the scenic and diverse Shawnee National Forest boundaries. Both of these trails were new hikes for us which just adds to the level of adventure.…

  • Hikes,  Hiking,  Kids,  National Parks,  Trips,  Uncategorized,  Utah

    Our Favorite Family Hikes in Arches National Park

    Since we have been to Arches National Park three times now (2010, 2012, and 2019) I figured it would be great to condense all that info in to one post on our top picks of places to hike as a family. Since it is impossible to do everything, I’ve also tried to help you select a trail by adding my own personal rating from 1-5 for how easy the trail is (1 being super easy, 5 being more difficult) as well as a rating on…

  • Hikes,  Hiking,  Kids,  National Parks,  Off Road Trips,  Trips,  Utah

    COLORADO AND UTAH TRIP 2019 – DAY 10

    Day 10 started with a dramatic sunrise view and ended with enjoying our last Utah sunset of the trip. We began our day by leaving the hotel well before sunrise to head out to Dead Horse State Park for some sunrise photos. Dead Horse is well known as a great place to go for sunrise. The sun gradually rises to fill the canyon with golden red light. The wife grabbed some great photos while I entertained the kids on the overlook. There was a large…