Apr 15, 2011 at 2:53 pm #1272297
I'll be over in KC in early July and thought I'd see if I could squeeze in a 2-night loop on the way back home. My son will be with me so it needs to be not too far. 3-5 miles first day, no more than 7 on 2nd day and no more than 5 on 3rd day. I'd prefer it to be fairly close to I-70. Creeks, waterfalls, etc are a plus. Any loops that might fit that or must we go further south? Thank you!Apr 15, 2011 at 8:20 pm #1725116
Michael, there aren't many really decent hikes in central or western Missouri, especially the closer to KC you are. One area close to me (near Columbia, about two hours east of KC) is the Cedar Creek trail in the Cedar Creek District of Mark Twain National Forest. The easiest-to-reach trailhead is the Pine Ridge picnic/campground east of Ashland on Route Y. Ashland is about 15 miles south of I-70 on US 63, and the TH is about 8 or 9 miles east of Ashland. You can make any number of loops with country roads. The nicest section of the trail is accessible by taking the exit for Columbia Regional Airport (before you get to Ashland) and following that road east to its terminus at Rutherford bridge. Go through the settlement of Englewood and continue straight east. The road will eventually turn to gravel and ends at Rutherford bridge. Cross Cedar Creek there and follow the trail to some nice overlooks of the creek. You can camp along Smith Creek, a trib of Cedar Creek. It's all USFS.
Be aware, central Missouri in July can be miserable, with high temps, high humidity, numerous ticks, chiggers, and mozzies, as well as the occasional timber rattler. There will probably be water available, but it may be muddy and/or stagnant.
Southern Missouri, and especially SE Missouri has MUCH better prospects for hiking. There are numerous trails in USFS, state parks and conservation areas, including the Ozark Trail. It is not as easily accessible from KC, however.
PM me if you like, and I can help direct you to some trails, maps, Web sites, etc. jyancey(at)ktis(dot)comApr 15, 2011 at 8:29 pm #1725120
There's also the KATY Trail near Mokane.
I always thought of Missouri as better caving country than backpacking country.
–B.G.–Apr 15, 2011 at 8:49 pm #1725130
I agree, to a point. Missouri is, after all, the "Cave State!" Unfortunately, White Nose Syndrome, or WNS, has been identified in two locations, and virtually all publicly-owned caves are closed. I am a long-time caver, but I have been focusing more on UL backpacking, kayaking and packrafting lately. Fall, winter and spring are great for all those. Summer, not so much.
Southern MO is lovely, especially the St. Francois Mountains (one of the oldest mountain ranges on Earth, albeit weathered to the nubs), the big springs area of the Current, Jacks Fork and Eleven Point rivers and the Ozark Trail. SW MO is nice as well, but not as many longer trails.Apr 15, 2011 at 9:03 pm #1725137
Yes, Missouri is quite popular for its caves. I was a caver there in the 1960's and 1970's, including the Columbia area.
I agree, those areas of southern Missouri are the best, but the chiggers are terrible if you hit the season. Summer humidity is no fun.
–B.G.–Apr 15, 2011 at 9:21 pm #1725144
We get the humidity here in IN also so I'm used to it. Cedar Creek sounds like a possibility. It would likely be less crowded and more water availability than Cuivre River SP.
Looks like the KATY wouldn't be simple to do loops on. Is there any place you haven't been, Bob? It'd sure be fun to sit down with you for a few hours (or days).Apr 15, 2011 at 9:29 pm #1725146
Yes, the KATY Trail is more of a one-way thru-hike.
As a kid growing up in Missouri, I had to be content learning the outdoors right there. Indiana was someplace far out-east. In Missouri, and outdoors person is more likely to be a hunter, fisherman, caver, or river rat.
–B.G.–Apr 16, 2011 at 6:12 am #1725187
Email gave a relaying error for some reason. You don't have PMs set up.
Seems like you're always referring to a place you've been in the US or world on some type of outdoor adventure from the 50s till now. Glad you're still going strong.Apr 16, 2011 at 9:29 am #1725229
I couldn't get much outdoor stuff done during the Truman Administration, and I don't think that I ever went on Mount Whitney until the Carter Administration.
Now, Teddy Roosevelt was a real character.
Edit: I misspoke. It was not during Carter. It was Ford.
–B.G.–Apr 16, 2011 at 10:38 pm #1725467
Michael, my apologies. I should be set up for PMs now. Drop me a message and I can give you details on directions, maps, trail advice, etc.
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