Happy Independence Day, America! While most of the country was at parades, we went hiking! (How else should we spend a day off work?!)
After looking at the weather, we decided it would be safe to try a short hike. The temperatures this week are MUCH cooler than last week. We didn't think we would get rained on too much and not for long if it did rain. We did prepare for the rain with our rain gear and water-proof hiking boots.
We got to Babler State Park mid-morning. We had checked out the trails online first and knew that the longest one we would tackle would be 2 miles, so the late start was not a problem.
We stopped by the visitors' center and got recommendation of the Dogwood Trail. It has a spring on a short spur trail, so that sounded right up our alley. By the time we got out of the visitors' center, it was drizzling. By the time we got to the trail head, it was RAINING. We put on our gear, grabbed our packs and headed out anyway. We enjoy hiking in the rain! It is usually quiet and we rarely see other people when it rains. This proved true of the Dogwood Trail today.
I didn't get to take a ton of pictures because of the rain, but the ones I did take were pretty good. The trail itself was very easy and very well marked. The rain made things shiny (and slippery).
We had a good time getting some mud on our boots. Ha!
The spring on the spur trail is really beautiful. The rain made it more so, I think.
The hike was over before we knew it. Even though we were wet, this hike didn't disappoint. I would recommend it for an easy day hike.
To see more pictures and video of the Dogwood Trail, check out our YouTube video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?edit=vd&v=AqnTFGBuQeY
June 26 might not have been the BEST day to pick to hike in Missouri. Especially since we were starting our 8+ mile hike in the late morning. It was already 90 degrees when we started at 11:00 am. But, this was the hike I chose to start this adventure in publishing our hiking adventures. It has a gorgeous spring half-way through that I wanted to show off. I just knew it was going to be GREAT!
We had treated our clothes for bugs the night before and have packed our backpacks with plenty water and food. We didn't really have a time schedule, so we could take as many breaks as was necessary. We were ready for whatever the trail would throw at us.
The hike started out joyfully enough. The shade of the trees was nice and the bugs weren't bad at all.
The first quarter of the trail travels along a creek or storm run off path. It was mostly dry, but we haven't had much rain all June long. It was quite enjoyable. Once we crossed the highway, we left the creek bed behind us and were walking in bottom lands with tall trees, but more sunlight filtering through (very pretty). The bugs, however, were a bit of pesky.
At the 4.5 mile point, we got to Copper Hallow Spring. It was lovely here. We were in the shade of the bluff and the temperature dropped considerably. Of course, the water coming out of the spring was very cool and that helped as well. We enjoyed a bite to eat and dropping our packs for a few minutes there. The creek crossing at the mouth of the spring helped to cool off our feet (even through our boots). It was great! If we could have teleported back to the car from there, the day would have been perfect!
The rest of the trail was much of the same as the first part only the bugs were horrible. I LOVE walking in the woods! We saw deer, chipmunks, lots of butterflies, and a box turtle. We also got swarmed by gnats and mosquitoes. There are some beautiful parts to the back half of the wilderness trail. We didn't take much time to take it all in on this trek. We walked to beat the bugs. Next time, I will plan to hit this trail in the cooler months of the year. This trail is a definite one to keep on the list of favorites. I took a few pictures and some video. To see the full version, please check it out on YouTube.
Until next time, keep on trekking!