Rural Missouri - September 2012 - (Page 12)

O U T D O O R S Hit the trail I for every extra acre of land. Now ERTA has more opportunities to build trails than it can handle.” Besides Honey Run, his favorites include Crowder State Park near Trenton and Columbia’s Rock Bridge t starts with a deceptive flat section that rambles and Finger Lakes state parks, which he rode as a colthrough old-growth oaks and hickories. Sudlege student. denly, it makes a 90-degree bend, points straight Those who haven’t visited those two parks for a down and turns into a teeth-rattling rock garwhile would be pleasantly surprised at the changes. den. It’s not the latest roller coaster at a Missouri Rock Bridge has new trail added, and some of the amusement park — it’s the Honey Run Trail at Lake old trail has been rebuilt. Finger Lakes, better known of the Ozarks State Park near Camdenton. for its all-terrain vehicle trails, is now Honey Run, which is open to mounhome to a new bike trail. tain bikers and hikers, is one of 230 Mountain bike trails at Crowder, trails at Missouri’s state parks that Rock Bridge and Thousand Hills state range from handicap-accessible paved Join editor Kyle Spradley parks are challenging trails built on paths less than a mile long to rugged on the mountain bike trail backpacking trails suitable for multiat Finger Lakes State Park in natural surfaces. St. Joe State Park at Park Hills offers a different experience. day excursions. the online edition at A 12-mile paved loop follows the route More than 700 miles of trails can of a narrow-gauge railroad. get you up close and personal with all Not only is Missouri seeing more state park trails, that nature has to offer. And a new guidebook due but the quality is improving. Trail builders once folout soon will help you find the perfect destination lowed game paths that often led down steep hills for your favorite outdoor pursuits. or through sensitive soils. Modern “There are a lot of destinations in that trail book trail building lets the trail shed water that people may not know about,” says Bill Bryan, and follows the contour to reduce Missouri State Parks director. “It will help them find maintenance. out information about trails they love and maybe The new White River Valley Trail find some new trails that they want to check out.” at Branson’s Table Rock State Park is When it is released in 2013, the 400-page “Trails an example of sustainable trail design. of Missouri State Parks” will be filled with detailed A series of loops, it dries quickly even information for each trail. This includes number of after a heavy deluge. miles, trail descriptions, designated trailheads, speHorseback riders also can find access cial features, photos, GPS coordinates and maps. at some of the parks. Johnson’s Shut“I think it’s great to have a nice compiled ins State Park near Lesterville includes resource on trails, especially one that is put together the Goggins Mountain Equestrian by state parks,” says Todd Posson, a member of the Trail, which offers access to something Earth Riders Trails Association (ERTA), a mountain increasingly hard to find: wilderness. bike club based in Kansas City. “I’m always happy to Lake of the Ozarks State Park’s 12 find a trail I don’t know anything about.” trails include three that are open to equestrians. Todd, who helped build the Honey Run Trail, says Another unique trail at the central Missouri park is today’s outdoor enthusiast has much more access to the 9.75-mile Aquatic Trail, which takes boaters to trails. “I’ve been trail building for 10 years now,” he some of the park’s natural communities. says. “In the beginning, it was like we had to claw by Jim McCarty Mountain bikers consider the Honey Run Trail at Lake of the Ozarks State Park to be one of Missouri’s premier places to ride. A new book, shown below, features all 230 state park trails, including this one. New trail guide gets state park visitors in touch with nature Trail runners have discovered the state park trails, too. “Missouri state parks such as Castlewood, Cuivre River and Hawn are local treasures that are actively used for regular training as well as annual races,” says David Gibson of Webster Groves, a member of the St. Louis Ultrarunners Group, or SLUGs. “Options range from flat and fast to steep and technical with everything in between.” David says one of his favorite places to run is the 4.75-mile Lone Springs Trail at Cuivre River State Park near Troy. “Since it’s only used by hikers and runners, I’ve been on a number of early morning runs where my dog, Sadie, and I had the trail and its natural beauty all to ourselves.” Hawn State Park is another favorite with SLUG runners, who ring in the new year with a run here. Its Whispering Pines Trail offers some of the most beautiful views of any Missouri trail. Backpackers often use the state park trails to prepare for longer excursions on the Ozark Trail. Both Washington and Meramec state parks offer longer trails where overnight backpacking trips are allowed. While trails are part of most state parks, at least one park is built around a trail. Visitors to Morris State Park in Campbell can hike the interpretive Beech Tree Trail and learn how Crowley’s Ridge, the lone ridgeline in the otherwise flat Bootheel, was created. Whether you are an adrenaline junkie or a daytripper, there’s a trail waiting for you at one of Missouri’s state parks. “You can spend a lifetime and not hike all of the trails in our state parks, but it would be fun trying,” says Bill Bryan. “Trails of Missouri State Parks” costs $19.95. Visit, where you can sign up for an e-mail alert on the book’s release and also find more information about all of Missouri’s state parks. 12 WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - September 2012

Rural Missouri - September 2012
Table of Contents
Where the wild things are
Hit the trail
Plowing forward with a new tradition
Out of the Way Eats
Devastating drought
Hearth and Home
Closing the gateway
Around Missouri
A man & his monsters

Rural Missouri - September 2012