Showing posts from June, 2012

LaBarque Creek Conservation Area

Distance: ~3 mi (4.8 km) round trip
Location: Pacific, Missouri
Date: June 24, 2012

LaBarque Creek Conservation Area is in northern Jefferson County, Missouri south of Pacific and southwest of Eureka. The area is in the LaBarque Creek watershed, which has a large variety of ecological communities and aquatic species. The Young Conservation Area is about two miles northeast of LaBarque Creek Conservation Area.

A three mile round trip loop hiking trail is in the eastern part of the conservation area. This trail begins at an elevation of just under 500 feet and rises to just over 800 feet at the southernmost point on the trail (see map here). There are some short climbs and descents in the middle portions of the trail. Much of the trail has gentle to moderate climbs and descents, but there are a few steeper sections.

Most of the the area is forested hills with interspersed glades. Some of the valleys have some interesting rock outcroppings along the streams, and there would probably be a…

Young Conservation Area

Distance: ~6.5 mi (10.5 km)
Location: Eureka, Missouri
Date: June 6, 2012

The Young Conservation Area is located in northern Jefferson County, Missouri and south of Eureka. The area is adjacent to LaBarque Creek and was acquired by the state in 1986. LaBarque Creek has about 44 species of fish, which makes it the most diverse tributary of the Meramec River, which itself is one of the most diverse rivers in North America.

Like many of the nearby areas, including the Rockwoods Range and Rockwoods Reservation, the Young CA contains forested Ozark foothills. The parking area is along Missouri Route FF, and the area near the road is maintained as a meadow with many wildflowers. There are also two ponds in the CA, one small one near the parking area and a another larger one across LaBarque Creek.

The Young CA contains about 6.5 miles of trails, all of which I hiked in less than two hours (again, I'm quite a fast hiker). From the parking area, the Taconic Loop Trail forms a two loops: on…

Lime Kiln Trail, Rockwoods Reservation

Distance: 3.2 mi (5.1 km)
Location: Wildwood, Missouri
Date: June 3, 2012

The Rockwoods Reservation is a Missouri Conservation Area in Wildwood, Missouri north of Eureka and west of the Rockwoods Range. There are 9.5 miles of hiking trails in the park, the longest of which is the 3.2 mile long Lime Kiln Loop Trail. The area has hilly terrain, but most of the trails are fairly flat and are still enjoyable.

I hiked the Lime Kiln Loop clockwise beginning at the Lime Kiln Trailhead. This trial is named after the 40 ft tall stone kiln at the trailhead that was built in 1856 and used to burn limestone to create powder for mortar. The trail begins by following a stream along the road and at one point goes by a spring flowing out from under a rock ledge. After turning uphill the trail enters a small valley where I saw several hawks before I reached the ridge above. The trail continues to follow the ridge with only small amounts of elevation gain back towards the trailhead. At the end of the r…

Green Rock/Round House Loop trails, Rockwoods Range

Distance: 5-6 mi (8-9.5 km)
Location: Eureka, Missouri
Date: June 2, 2012

The Rockwoods Range is a Missouri Conservation Area located southwest of St. Louis in Eureka. There are over 7 miles of hiking trails in its 1,388 acres, including a portion of the 14.5 mile Green Rock Trial. All trails in the park except for the Greenrock Trail are also open to horseback riding and mountain biking. The park is in the Ozark Foothills, so there are a lot of hills and a bit of up and down elevation change in the park.

For my hike I began at the Fox Creek Parking Lot and hiked the Green Rock Trail to the Roundhouse Memorial (see here for complete map). The memorial marks the location at the top of a hill of the home of A.P. Greensfelder, the man who donated this land to the state. This trail begins by following a streambed with some nice outcroppings before reaching the top of a hill. After this there is some going up and down on the trail, but overall it is not too steep.

From the Roundhouse Memor…