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).

Small bridge on the 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 connector trail at its midpoint, allowing hikers to loop back to the trailhead. The main trail continues on the ridge before it too turns down into the valley and returns to the trailhead.

See more of my photos here.

Upland section of the Dogwood Ridge Trail

Location of missing bridge across the stream

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