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    Matt T reviewed Gary L. Haller Trail and Mill Creek Trail

    about 1 month ago

    A good hike that is surprisingly rural for how close you are to the suburbs. The hike down the dam is somewhat steep, but then the main loop is lots of flat fields.

    On hot days, the sun could get rough. There are scattered groves of trees you go through (one has the crumbling remains of a stone building), but they are probably less than 30% of the trail.

    Tons of birds, and if you want to explore close to Mill Creek on the West side you'll probably spot turtles and frogs. The train goes right by the creek every 20 minutes or so.

    Matt T reviewed Pinnacle Mountain West Summit Trail

    about 1 month ago

    A fine, challenging hike very easy to get to and with great views and beautiful forests all the way up! I'm a 26 year old man in average shape, and I was able to summit from the trailhead in about 30 minutes at a moderate pace, but you could easily take an hour if you go slow and soak in all the scenery.

    Very popular trail. I was out on a Thursday evening, and there were kids as young as 10 up there with families, and dogs too. At the summit, don't expect peaceful silence; lots of teenagers hanging out and a few people on their phones. Still, the sights are amazing and the mountains roll on for miles from the top. If you're lucky you can easily spot rainbows!

    Matt T completed Pinnacle Mountain West Summit Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Matt T reviewed Sodalis Paved Trail

    about 1 month ago

    A fine, paved trail through beautiful woods and along rock faces. Lots of locals use it for biking, jogging, and dogs, and you'll see families of all ages out there in the evenings. The paved trail follows a creek, which follows a railroad, which is right on the edge of Hannibal, so you're never far from the sound of vehicles, and unfortunately there is some degree of debris at either end of the trail.

    The loop marked by Shannon Street on the map is actually a second walking path, no fear of motorized vehicles. If you take that route, you will pass by grand limestone caves, the very ones which inspired the cave scenes in Mark Twain's "Tom Sawyer"! These caves all have special gates to keep people out but let the native bats come and go freely.

    I went out on May 9th about 1 hour before sunset in hopes of seeing bats. But I was informed the big swarms are only in the Fall. So I didn't see any groups emerging from the caves, but I did spy a few flitting around the treetops.

    Matt T updated Sodalis Paved Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Matt T reviewed South Overlook Waterfowl Sanctuary Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Awesome trail through the middle of two lakes. Lots of bird life, and the E & SE portion of the loop is nicely elevated for larger views.

    Park at the Orninthology Center. A few parts of the lake portion are submerged, do be ready to walk on boards & rocks. Mostly the trail is comfortably wide and solid for walking.

    Matt T added Track - Aug 14, 07:46 PM

    10 months ago

    Matt T reviewed Prairie Ridge Loop

    11 months ago

    An easy stroll that takes you through forests and along the edges of tallgrass prairie. I encountered two other hikers on a Tuesday afternoon, one of whom had her dogs with her. The trail is wide enough to easily drive an ATV through (presumably how they maintain it) and never particularly steep. Birds, butterflies, and squirrels abound. The forested sections had mosquitoes swarms which forced you to keep moving.

    Unfortunately the trail does not take you to any scenic views of the river. But it is still pleasant.

    Matt T completed Prairie Ridge Loop

    11 months ago

    Matt T updated Prairie Ridge Loop

    11 months ago

    Matt T reviewed Julien Dubuque Monument Foot Trail

    11 months ago

    From the lower parking lot up to the monument is a fine climb through forest along the edge of steep hills. The trail is wide and easy to walk, so all the difficulty comes in the vertical climb. The worst parts have stairs.

    The view at the top is spectacular, but there is a parking lot at the top so don't expect an isolated pinnacle. Two large families were there when I hiked up, so the beautiful view had a commotion next to it.

    Matt T reviewed Horseshoe Bluff Nature Trail

    11 months ago

    The centerpiece of the Mines of Spain area, which altogether is a fantastic series of trails. They are all wide and easy to follow, alternating between forests and tallgrass prairies.

    The main bluff trail doesn't take you quite all the way to the top of the bluffs, but it takes you in between them and right along side for some great views of the rock faces. I recommend taking the loop counter-clockwise from the parking lot. You'll pass a small wetlands conservation areas before turning into the bluffs, then climbing up several tiers to reach the observation area. The walk to the parking lot is short after that.

    Matt T completed Horseshoe Bluff Nature Trail

    11 months ago

    Matt T reviewed Dogwood Trail

    11 months ago

    A meandering trail following the contours of the lakeside hills. Pleasant enough, and good wildlife to encounter, but nothing much for views or exciting finds beyond the old trees and rocky lakefront. I extended my hike by cutting over to the nearby Post Oak trail using the park roads.

    Hiked from 4:30 to 7:30 on August 1st, with sundown around 8:30. Encountered frogs, squirrels, lots of small birds; I spotted a deer near the lakeshore for a distance, as well as a blue heron standing watch. I heard some crows and an eagle having some kind of fight, and an owl as the day wore on.

    The old growth forest is on the North side of the park road. On the south side, the underbrush is thick and oppressive, so if you're looking to minimize bug bites stay on the North side.

    My biggest suggestion is quickly find a good stick (walking or just decently long) and keep your eyes open because you will be knocking down spider webs all the way! I ended up treating the trails as out-and-back rather than a loop. That way, after clearing the webs on the way out, my return march was almost entirely free of webs and much more relaxing.

    Matt T completed Dogwood Trail

    11 months ago

    Matt T saved Sac River Trail

    11 months ago

    Matt T saved Manley Uplands Trail

    11 months ago

    Matt T reviewed Meramec State Park Campground and Bluff View Trail

    about 1 year ago

    25 y/o male, casual hiker. I hiked this route in about 1.5 hours, but could have probably made it in around 50 minutes if I didn't stop anywhere.

    Fantastic microcosm of Missouri's hills! Great mix of loose and dense woods, tallgrass fields, rocky bluffs, river views, and even a gaping gave if you step a little off of the trail. There has clearly been some campfires along the trail, from the burnt logs and bleached rocks, but generally felt very isolated and peaceful, even so close to the roads.

    There were a few, small steep sections I was very glad to have a walking stick for, so scavenge one up for yourself.

    I hiked the trail between 7 and 8:30 pm, with sunset around 9, and the only downside of my trek was the sheer number of spider webs! I ended up holding my walking stick up as a web breaker for the last 1/4 mile, and even then I'm sure I brought one or two tiny arachnids home. A broad-brim hat would have been great.

    There is one point which goes all the way down to the river's edge, and you could get into the water and swim if you care. Fishermen travel up and down in their speedboats, so be watchful of the sound of approaching motors.

    Matt T reviewed Purple Heart Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Excellent hike among the woods!

    I'm not a frequent hiker, but I found this a great post-work escape. I completed the circuit in just about an hour, and for the most part it was easy going. What qualifies this as a "hard" route are the several particularly steep points, but I'd say over half of the route you are walking along fairly smoothly. I scavenged a fallen branch for a walking stick and was glad to have it on the hills.

    Dirt all the way, so I would not recommend hiking after rain. When navigating the inclines you are either among tangled tree roots or balancing over an erosion gully. Tennis shoes did fine, but I would have liked some slightly sturdier shoes.

    There are never any clearings nor points where you get much of a view (the only reason I give this 4 stars instead of 5), but the ridgetops are still sunny without being hot, and the wind in the trees is wonderful. The times you are in the bottom valley, you are in deep dark woods and the smell of the earth is rich and heavy.

    Lots of frogs jumping out of your way, butterflies and regular flies, birdsongs, distant motorcycle rumbles, the occasional planes flying overhead, coyote tracks in the mud, and spider webs which are easily cleared with the aforementioned walking stick.

    Matt T completed Purple Heart Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Matt T saved Mitchell Hill Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Matt T saved Purple Heart Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Matt T saved Iroquois Park Overlook

    about 1 year ago