• Day Trip,  Hikes,  Illinois,  Kids

    Explore an Illinois Bayou at Cache River Natural Area

    You may feel transported to a Louisiana bayou when you first visit Cache River State Natural Area. This unique landscape in southern Illinois preserves a rare remainder of the cypress swamps and bottomland hardwood forests that once existed in the Ohio River floodplain. Settlers attempted in the past to drain the wetlands and convert the land to farmland. Today, the Cache River Wetlands is one of the few remaining wetlands in the area and provides habitat for a diverse variety…

  • Day Trip,  Hikes,  Kids,  Missouri

    Rock Bridge Memorial State Park

    Rock Bridge Memorial State Park is a beautiful spot located near Columbia, Missouri. This park features a variety of unique terrain including caves, sinkholes, and a natural rock bridge. Clear spring fed streams run through the park and wildflowers are abundant. The park offers eight different trails to explore with the Devil’s Icebox Trail being the most popular. We hiked both the Icebox Trail and the Sinkhole Trail on our first visit. Devil’s Icebox Trail Distance: .50 mile trail Difficulty:ย 2/5.…

  • Hikes,  Kids,  Missouri,  St. Louis

    Find Caves and Waterfalls at Kress Farm Garden Preserve

    Kress Farm Garden Preserve is a hidden gem in Hillsboro, Missouri. The 142 acres preserve is dedicated to maintaining native plants and wildlife habitat under a conservation easement through Ozark Land Trust. The preserve features gardens, fields, forests, wildlife habitats, streams, and scenic bluffs. Volunteers work daily to maintain this scenic place for all to enjoy. The preserve features four different hiking trails plus a trail that combines several of the trails together. All are of easy to moderate difficulty.…

  • Hikes,  Illinois,  Kids

    Giant City State Park – Devil’s Standtable and Indian Creek Nature Trails

    Giant City State Park is one of the best state parks in all of Illinois. The park is filled with huge and rugged rock formations. All of the trails have something to offer, but two of the shortest and most kid-friendly trails at the park are the Devil’s Standtable Trail and the Indian Creek Shelter Nature Trail. Devil’s Standtable Trail Distance: 0.25 mile loop Difficulty: 2/5. Short and very mild inclines. Scenic Value: 4/5. While the standtable is interesting, the huge…

  • Hikes,  Illinois,  Kids

    Waterfalls and Wildflowers at Rocky Bluff Trail

    The Rocky Bluff Trail can be found at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge near Marion, Illinois. The refuge is a popular spot for fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing. A pass is required to visit, but it’s only $2. There are six different hiking trails within the refuge. The Rocky Bluff Trail passes the most spectacular spots a the refuge including wet weather waterfalls, cliffs, and stunning wildflowers. Rocky Bluff Trail Distance: 2.2 mile loop. You can also take…