Showing posts from June, 2018

Forest 44 Conservation Area

Forest 44 Conservation Area is located along Interstate 44 in Valley Park, Missouri, just outside of St. Louis. There are over 11 miles of multi-use trails (which seem to be predominantly used by horses), a 0.4-mile paved accessible trail (Losing Stream Trail), and a 2.2 mile hiking only trail (Dogwood Ridge Trail).

The Losing Stream Trail goes from the parking lot to the stream, where you are able to see where the stream disappears into the ground due to the porous bedrock. This trail used to have a bridge across the stream a short distance upstream, but on this visit the bridge was no longer there. It was reasonably easy for me to cross the stream without the bridge, so I continued to the other side where I was able to hike the Dogwood Ridge Trail.

I hiked the Dogwood Ridge Trail back in 2012 and hiked it again on a summer morning in 2018, as I was staying at a nearby hotel. I began by first climbing up the section onto the ridge itself, which is about half of the trail. There is a …

Sandstone Canyon Trail in Don Robinson State Park

Don Robinson State Park is one of Missouri's newest state parks. It was donated by its namesake and former landowner to the state in 2012 following his death and opened to the public in 2017. The park is situated in the southern end of the Labarque Creek watershed, which features some of the area's other conservation areas I've also visited, including Labarque Creek Conservation Area, Young Conservation Area, and Glassberg Family Conservation Area.

The park contains two loop hiking trails, the Sandstone Canyon Trail (4 miles) and Labarque Hills Trail (2.4) miles. I hiked the Sandstone Canyon Trail, the first 0.6 miles of which are paved. It also has a connector trail, enabling you to make shorter loops out of it.

If you hike the trail clockwise, you first walk the paved section along a ridge before it turns downhill, and the remaining part of the trail is unpaved. After a short descent into the valley, you enter the sandstone canyon itself. This isn't much of a canyon,…