• Hikes,  Illinois,  Kids

    Beaver Dam State Park

    Beaver Dam is a small state park in west-central Illinois. Located in a more rural area, this state park is less well known but worth exploring. Situated in an oak/hickory woodland, Beaver Dam State Park offers a variety of recreational opportunities including fishing, picnicking, hiking, and both tent and trailer camping. There is also a restaurant and store open daily with paddle boat and canoe rentals available. History Beavers first built several dams along a stream in the valley here…

  • 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,  Missouri

    Rugged Adventure Awaits at Pinnacles Youth Park

    Pinnacles Youth Park is a special place just north of Columbia, Missouri. The features of this park give you a taste of the more rugged terrain in states further west. You can admire the towering rock pillars from below or be more daring and explore them from above. No matter which way you explore this park, the scenery is outstanding. The park is privately owned, but open to the public. There are no trail maps or well marked paths here,…

  • 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.…