Can I just say how much I love, love, love hiking? In fact, most of my favorite places in the world are hiking trails. When we landed in Mid-Missouri about 7 years ago, one of the things we fell in love with was the conservation areas and trails. So on this gorgeous Easter weekend, we headed off again to one of my favorite places.
At 2 and 4 (nearly 3 and 5), the boys are at a great age for exploring in the woods. While Eli was a little unsteady on his feet on the more treacherous terrain, both of them walked on their own the whole time. I can't tell you how nice it is to just let them go without saying "stay close," or "hold my hand." They were little free birds.
This particular trail starts at the top of the cliff and winds up in an old creek bed. Needless to say that after what seems like a "walk in the woods" type of trail, it turns into a steep drop of rocky trail. We love the creek bed part of this park, though and think the trek is well worth it. An added bonus is that few people know about this "secret" entrance to this area. Most enter on the north side and we rarely meet another soul while we're here.
After a steep climb down.
The rocky bottom creek bed makes the pools of water really clear. We saw a lot of animal tracks by the water so clearly it's a big hit with the animals in the wild.
We had fun finding "rock bridges" to cross from place to place.
Eli needed a little help, although he didn't want to admit it.
Can this be my backyard, please?
The boys favorite activity of the day was throwing rocks in the creek. Seriously, they would have done that for hours if we had let them.
Two happy campers.
Solving the world's problems.
It was in the mid 70's and sunny. How could you not put your feet in this cool water? It was pretty slippery since it's all rock, so both boys ended up taking a spill, but it was all good. When we go back later this summer, we'll take swim suits so the boys can just sit and slide around in the water.
He takes his climbing seriously.
Exploring they go.
We found a frog!
Even a grown man can't resist crossing a fallen tree bridge.
And the little boys will follow.
On their own little island.
So on our day of hiking, this is what we saw:
Rocks of all shapes, colors and sizes, minnows, tadpoles, frogs, raccoon and deer tracks at the water, a vulture circling us from above, and fossils. Not to mention that the boys learned more about habitats and the stages of a frog's life. All in all, a pretty good 2 hour hike for a Saturday morning.
This is a boy who is done hiking! Happy hiking and adventuring!