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

    10 Amazing Winter Hikes near St. Louis

    Don’t let the cold weather scare you away from hitting one of the great trails around St. Louis. Winter can be a perfect time for venturing outdoors. Not only are the ticks and oppressive heat absent, but so are the crowds. Some of the outstanding views that are normally blocked by vegetation are now wide open. Just spending time outside can also be a wonderful way to beat the winter blues. Here are 10 great…

  • 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…

  • History,  Illinois,  Kids,  St. Louis

    French Colonial History Comes Alive at Illinois’s Fort de Chartres

    Rising from the farm fields in southern Illinois is an impressive stone fortress celebrating 300 years of history. Long before the United States was established, the French ruled over southern Illinois. The proximity to the Mississippi River, the hunt for precious metals, and the rich farm ground established this area as of strategic importance. Fort de Chartres is one of the best historic sites in the state and recreates this era of Illinois’s history under…