• Hikes,  Kids,  Missouri,  St. Louis

    Explore a Box Canyon Waterfall at Hickory Canyons Natural Area

    Located near other spectacular hiking areas in Missouri such as Pickle Springs and Hawn State Park is a less well known hidden gem. Hickory Canyons Natural Area shares some of the the same scenery with dramatic box canyons, dripping waterfalls, and lush vegetation. This area is beautiful in all seasons. Spring and summer bring waterfalls and lots of green. A cold enough winter means dramatic ice formations are possible. A dusting of snow can turn…

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

    Explore an Ancient Civilization at Illinois’s Cahokia Mounds

    Long before Europeans arrived to America, the area just east St. Louis was home to an ancient culture. Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in southern Illinois preserves the central section of the largest prehistoric Native American city north of Mexico. The city grew to cover 4,000 acres with a population of between ten and twenty thousand at its peak around 1100.  Today the site preservesย 70 of the original 120 earthen mounds built by pre-historic Native Americans.…

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

    Discover a Hidden Treasure at Silver Mines Recreation Area

    Back in the 1800s the rush was on to discover precious metals. While most people think of Colorado or California as the place to hunt for gold or silver, silver ore could be found even in Missouri. In 1877, the Einstein Mining Company began operations along the scenic St. Francis River. Silver, Tungsten, and Lead were mined here until operations ceased in 1946. The mining operation was not widely successful, but a small company town…

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

    Marvel at the Wonder of Whitewater Rapids at Millstream Gardens

    You might not expect to find rapids and whitewater conditions in Missouri, but the stretch of St. Francis River through Millstream Gardens Conservation Area features just that. In fact, this section of the river is the home to the Missouri Whitewater Championship each spring. During the third weekend in March, racers and fans alike line the shut-insโ€™ rocky outcroppings to watch kayakers compete in a number of races. This rugged area gives visitors a feel…

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

    Fults Hill Prairie Preserve – Steep Hiking with Panoramic Views

    Bluff Road in southwestern Illinois is one of the most scenic drives in the area. Rugged bluffs rise high above the road on one side with farmland stretching toward the Mississippi River on the other. If you have ever wondered what the view is like from atop those rocky bluffs, check out the Fults Hill Prairie Nature Preserve. Located off Bluff Road near the tiny town of Fults, the hiking trail at this preserve will…