Showing posts from June, 2013

Mustang Trail, Greensfelder Park

Distance: 1.7 miles round trip
Location: Wildwood, Missouri
Date: June 30, 2013

The Mustang Trail is a 1.7-mile loop trail in Greensfelder Park, western St. Louis County, Missouri. The sign at the trailhead says it is a 1.3-mile loop, but my GPS says it was 1.7 miles.

I hiked the trail counterclockwise, and almost immediately the trail descended into the valley below. After about a half mile in the valley the trail then ascended to a ridge, where is mostly stays (with the exception of two smaller valleys) until it returns to the trailhead. The western half of the loop also closely follows Allenton-Six Flags Road for a while. The ascents and descents along the trail waste no time, going straight up and down the hills, unlike some other trails in the park that have been tailored for mountain biking.

This trail is primarily used by horses, so anywhere there is some moisture the trail has been completely torn up by the horses. There was nothing unique about this trail, and I probably won&…

LaBarque Creek Conservation Area

Distance: 2.9 miles round trip
Location: southeast of Pacific, Missouri
Date: June 29, 2013

LaBarque Creek Conservation Area is my favorite place to hike in the western St. Louis metro area. It has a nearly three mile long trail that passes across hills and through valleys with interesting rock formations, and there are rarely other people there. Much of the area that the trail passes through has been designated a natural area by the state of Missouri due to its biological uniqueness and undisturbed quality.

I hiked the trail in LaBarque Creek for the first time this year on June 29. I started out clockwise around the loop, and the area appeared much more vibrant than it did last year during the severe drought, but by the time I reached the ridge many of the trees on the south-facing slopes were dead, probably due to the drought.

Just when I reached the highest point on the trail, which is also about halfway, it began to rain. So I picked up the pace a bit, but it was futile because o…

Engelmann Woods Natural Area

Distance: 1.9 miles round trip
Location: St. Albans, Missouri
Date: June 23, 2013

Engelmann Woods is a 148-acre natural area rising above the south side of the Missouri River in St. Albans Missouri. The area is noted for its old-growth forest, where the trees have never been cut down. Some oldest and largest trees here are three feet in diameter, 100 feet tall, and nearly 200 years old.

There is a 1.9-mile partial loop trail in the area that begins at a trailhead on a ridge just off of state route T. The trail begins by traveling along the ridge and passing through a power line cut and another clearing. Once past the second clearing you enter the old-growth forest. Still on the ridge, the trail reaches a split for the loop, going counterclockwise around the loop, the trail stays on the ridge for a short distance before steeply descending into the valley below.

While there are old-growth trees throughout the area, some of the largest trees are found within the valley. The largest trees …

Dogwood Trail, Greensfelder County Park

Distance: 2.3 miles round trip
Location: Wildwood, Missouri
Date: June 19, 2013

The Dogwood Trail is a 2.3-mile loop trail in the southwestern corner of Greensfelder Park in western St. Louis County, Missouri. This is a well-maintained trail similar to many others in the area. It passes through forested hillsides and briefly across the valley bottom.

Like the nearby DeClue Trail, this trail appears to be designed for use as a mountain biking trail to maximize distance and is very inefficiently designed as hiking loop trail. There is a point where the trail closely parallels itself with four different levels very close together (see my track). If hiked counterclockwise, most of the trail is gently sloping across the first two miles, but the final ascent is rather steep compared to the rest of the trail. If you bike this trail, I would suggest doing it clockwise to go down the steep section first and then up the well-graded ascent portion.

See my track on AllTrails for more info.

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DeClue Trail, Greensfelder County Park

Distance: 6.25 miles round trip
Location: Wildwood, Missouri
Date: June 18, 2013

The DeClue Trail is one of the many trails in Greensfelder County Park in western St. Louis County, Missouri. This trail is in the southern portion of the park just north of Six Flags, and the screams and other noises from the park are very audible from parts of the trail.

The DeClue is a loop trail that begins at a parking lot on the west side of the Allenton-Six Flags road. It parallels part of this and the park road for some distance in both directions. Eventually the trail breaks from the road and turns into one of the most inefficiently routed trails I have been on. I think that much of the trail has been designed to maximize the trail's distance and suitability for mountain bikers, leading to unnecessary switchbacks.

The park's website lists the trail as a 6.7-mile loop, but my GPS shows it as a 6.25-mile loop according to my track. However, there were several unmarked intersections and misl…

St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival 2013

Location: Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri
Date: June 15, 2013

The St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival is the annual early summer beer festival in St. Louis. This year there were at least 23 St. Louis area breweries and 96 different beers at the event. Admission for one of the four-hour sessions was $40. A few local restaurants/caterers had food for sale at the event. I had a number of different beers, and two that stood out were a walnut oak (very good) and a watermelon (very bad) flavored beers.

I went to the Saturday 7-11 pm session, but at about 9 pm severe thunderstorms hit and forced the servers, who were lined up along the west side of the tents to take shelter because of the wind and heavy rain. After the rain stopped (about 30 minutes) serving resumed for perhaps only 10 minutes before the festival was shut down. This was very disappointing because beer was served for only two hours despite the fact that the festival was supposed to go on "rain or shine" and that al…

Hoosier Hill, Indiana

Location: Bethel, Indiana
Summit elevation: 1257 feet
Distance: 100 ft round trip
Class: 1
Date: June 9, 2013

Hoosier Hill, at an elevation of 1257 feet, is the highest point in Indiana. The hill is located at the eastern edge of Indiana about eight miles north of Richmond and Interstate 70. Hoosier Hill is not noticeably higher than the surrounding land, which is quite flat, although the drive on state route 227 between Richmond and Bethel is a road that is perhaps best described as wavy.

The final mile of the drive to the hill from the south passes through a farm until you see a sign for Hoosier Hill. There is a small parking area on the side of the road, and from the parking area it is a only about a 50-foot walk to the summit. The summit itself sits in a forested area at the edge of a farm field and has a picnic table, commemorative rock, and a mailbox with a register.

A very short loop trail goes through the forest around the summit. I took me only one minute to walk around the e…

Great American Ball Park

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Date: June 8, 2013

Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio is home to the MLB's Reds. The park is located along the banks of the Ohio River overlooking Kentucky with downtown behind the park. I went to a game on a dry, mid-70s evening that the Reds played (and won 4-2) against the St. Louis Cardinals.

My seat was in the upper deck behind home plate, the view from it was great, and it did not seem like the players were too far away. The only food I had at the park was a $5+ "Big Red" hot dog that had fried peppers and onions. There was nothing special about the food here that I noticed.

© Copyright 2017 Matthew Pintar. All rights reserved.

Rock Bottom Brewery, Cincinnati

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Date: June 8, 2013

Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery is a chain with locations in cities across the United States. The first (and so far only) one I have visited was in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio before a Reds game. This place stuck out because of the food I chose: the Laredo burger. This is one of the best burgers I have ever had (along with the murder burger at Oscar's in Springdale, Utah). This is a southwestern-style burger with guacamole and other ingredients that made it exceptional.

I also had the beer sampler, which included samples of six different beers, none of which stood out to me. However, I also had a sample of their specialty at the time, which was a chili-flavored beer. The taste and spiciness of it was unique, overwhelming, not to my liking, and took a while to get out of my mouth.

© Copyright 2017 Matthew Pintar. All rights reserved.