Valley View Glades

This hike really was out of the way, as the book promised. I haven't driven down to Hillsboro, Missouri before, and don't even bother trying to search for "Valley View Glades" on your GPS or mapquest or anything, because it doesn't come up. Since the book directions start out near Hillsboro itself, I had to do some searching on my own on exactly how to get to the intersection of Mo-21 and Rt. B, which actually wasn't too hard after all, and after that I made it just fine. There were a surprising number of cars parked there when I arrived, but as soon as I started in on the trail, I ran into the group that the cars belonged to... some sort of dog-walking trail group that were very nice and warned me that I needed rubber boots because of the mud on the trail. Aside from them, I only saw two other people on the trail the whole time.

I accidentally went through the trail the opposite way that the trail is marked, heading counter-clockwise when I hit the fork as I first passed out of the immediate woods to the valley overlook. The sign to the left marking the trail was kind of worn, so I didn't see it, but luckily the trail was marked for both directions throughout the whole thing. There were a few times at the top of the trail circle where I got a little confused because the trail leaves and joins an old road a few times that looks like a trail, but I never got lost and for the most part the trail was wonderfully marked with posts and two different kinds of signs, even with the leaves all over the ground the trail was hard to lose sight of.

The terrain of the trail was really neat. Glades are a really unique kind of area that I'm not overly familiar with, really rocky surface and almost giving a feeling like you're in a dried out desert. The trail itself was mostly dirt (mud) and rocks, and there were a few steep descents/inclines along the way that could get kind of slippery thanks to all the rain we've been having... I don't know if I'd try this trail in winter, because of all the water. But the water is what made the trail great. You kind of pass over the same streams throughout your hike, but then at the end (or at he very beginning if you took the trail clockwise like you're supposed to) you get to little waterfalls and streams and rocky pools that are absolutely beautiful. I think some of the streams I had to cross on the trail were possibly a little fuller than usual, because I actually had to find rocks to step across a few times to keep my shoes from getting wet (not that they were particularly deep, just wet). I  liked it though, made me feel more adventurous! The little waterfall hollows were peaceful, and I loved being able to hear the sound of water as I hiked... talk about babbling brooks! One of the things about this trail that bothered me a little was the traffic sounds that could be heard from time to time, but the water totally made up for it, not to mention all the different bird calls I heard too.

The trail switches between forested bits with the streams, and big grassy plains. Because it is mid-November (albeit a warm mid-November day, and not good for pictures because it was either cloudy or hazy), there was very little green on the trip-- all the trees except for some firs had lost their leaves, and the grasses over the hills were lovely brown and golden colors that actually I thought were quite pretty. But the book mentioned what a pretty hike this was in the spring with the wildflowers, so I think I'll definitely be making a trip back in 2010! It's too bad that spring is my worst season due to my allergies-- though a few years of shots have made my life manageable and less miserable, the spring season can still be hit and miss for me. It was nice to switch between the more calm wood walks and then pass out onto the hill and look out over the grass and hills and rocks, and then back down into the valley to cross the springs. I could have stayed and explored the streams for a long time. Over all it was a very peaceful hike, a great length of 3 miles with mostly calm, easy paths and a few places to make you work your lungs. I really enjoyed myself!






Adam said...

I don't know if you still maintain this blog, but I just want to say thanks for posting about Valley View Glades. I grew up right on the eastern edge of this glade, and parts of it were purchased by the state from my grandparents, so it has a very special meaning to my family. I got to know the area very well as a kid, and we even found an arrowhead in a wooded area nearby. Thanks for the pictures, the waterfall images make me want to revisit!

Aaron said...

This post was great! The glades are such a fun little off the beaten path hike. We drove past them for the first time recently and knew we had to take a hike. I'd love to learn some history of the area.

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