Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

State Conservation Areas Offer Variety of Hiking Trails

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

State Conservation Areas Offer Variety of Hiking Trails

Article excerpt

Missourians had the opportunity last week to celebrate National Trails Day (June 5) at a variety of hiking areas owned by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC).

"When people think of hiking trails, they usually think of the Mark Twain National Forest or state parks," said MDC publicist Jim Low. "It's easy to forget about the hiking opportunities at conservation areas (CAs) scattered all over the state. This is some of the most beautiful land in the state, and no one in Missouri is far from a conservation area. They are great places to see deer, watch birds and just relax."

He said city dwellers have day-hiking opportunities close to home, including:

Runge Conservation Nature Center (CNC) in Jefferson City has more two miles of trails.

Powder Valley CNC in Kirkwood provides three miles of hiking trails for St. Louis area residents.

Burr Oak Woods CNC in Blue Springs offers hiking opportunities in easy reach of Kansas City residents.

Springfield CNC has five trails totaling about 2.6 miles.

Outside of cities, Low suggested the following areas: NORTHWEST MISSOURI

Sunbridge Hills CA north of St. Joseph has 3.9 miles of trail with a variety of wildflowers and wildlife. Interpretive brochures are available at the trailhead or from MDC's office in St. Joseph.

Brickyard Hill CA east of Watson in Atchison County has about three miles of trail. Bottomland and upland hardwood forests support a wide variety of wildlife and endangered plants.

Star School Hill Prairie CA, also in Atchison County, is a favorite of wildflower lovers. A trail leads through a 12-acre prairie with native grasses and wildflowers. A high point provides a view across the Missouri River into Nebraska.

Bonanza CA east of Highway 13 in Caldwell County has 2.5 miles of trail. The area is managed for diverse plant and animal life, and opportunities for wildlife viewing and photography abound. CENTRAL MISSOURI

Three Creeks CA south of Columbia has three miles of trail. The area's unique blend of forests, limestone cliffs, caves, springs and streams harbors an equally unique array of life. The area is home to the rare cherrystone snail and the endangered gray bat. …

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