Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Boot Point Five Ways to Hook Up with the Natural, Not the Virtual, World

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Boot Point Five Ways to Hook Up with the Natural, Not the Virtual, World

Article excerpt

Why is it that a simple stroll through the woods, or maybe a power walk along scenic byways, carries such negative baggage?

Take a hike. Hit the trail, buddy. Get outta town: These phrases conjure images of ranting employers and disgruntled spouses, not Bambi or Woodsy Owl.

Is this a twisted, diabolical plot by residents of the concrete jungle, the couch potatoes who want to connect with nature only through The Discovery Channel?

Well, if it is a conspiracy, we say "Find that grassy knoll and hike it." Here are a just a few of the many prime nature trails in the area; some familiar, some hidden treasures.

Missouri Botanical Garden's Arboretum and Nature Reserve: Located on Highway 100 south of I-44 at Gray Summit. Seven miles of hiking trails are available in this area that includes an oak-hickory forest, glades, a flood plain, limestone bluffs and the Meramec River. Interesting historical footnote: established in '20s to preserve Garden's plantlife that city pollution was destroying. For information, call 742-3512.

Meramec State Park: Four miles east of Sullivan on State Route 185. Features the ten-mile Meramec Trail as well as an opportunity for cross-country hiking with map and compass. With proper equipment, and proper registration, hikers can take advantage of underground routes in the park's cave network. For more information, call 468-6072.

Sioux Passage County Park: Old Jamestown Road, West of Vaile Road, North St. Louis County. More than five miles of wooded trail, an ideal spot to see the changing colors this fall. If you are one of those that holds a disparaging (and unfair) view of North County, a walk through this park is sure to change that. For hours and more information, call 837-5557.

Powder Valley Nature Center: Located on Cragwold Road, Northeast corner of Highways 44 and 270. …

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