LaBarque Creek Conservation Area

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

LaBarque Creek as you enter the conservation area

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.

Dead trees on the left (south-facing) side of the hill

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 once I descended to where the most interesting rock formations in the area are located, it began to rain very heavily along with the thunder and lightning. I kept on hiking out, but the rain did not let up until I was nearly at the trailhead, and by that time I was completely soaked. Hopefully I'll be go back again this year when it is drier. See my post from last year for more about the area.

For more info see my track on AllTrails.

This would have been a waterfall if I had hiked counterclockwise

Trail during the first quarter of the hike

LaBarque Creek at the end of the hike

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