St. Francois State Park

  This weekend I visited St. Francois State Park (or "St. Francis" as it is pronounced in Missouri, as all French names are butchered) with my friend Tanya. I was excited to go here because it was new, and the drive wasn't all that bad, about an hour or a little more. We chose the Mooner's Hollow trail, which runs about 2.7 miles. This is an absolutely beautiful little trail that we drove right past when we entered the park, but eventually found our way back.

   I really liked this trail. The woods were cool and you follow water for a great deal of it. While not overly difficult, there were a couple climbs here and there that at least kept your heart working, and it was nice to watch the stream following the trail, dipping in and out of sight as the trail works its way through the woods. My favorite spot on the whole thing is where the trail crosses the water. It's a beautiful crossing, with a pool just upstream where people were swimming and wading, and the water flows down over the smoothed rock bottom creating a small waterfall effect. It was incredibly peaceful, and I wish that I had spent more time there.  The rest of the trail is a little more meandering, going up and down through the woods, and even a few glades. A lot of the trail was very rocky because of the creek it follows, but with good shoes it wasn't too much of a problem. There were even wildflowers to still enjoy even this late in the summer. This was a gorgeous short hike, and I would definitely visit the park again to try out the other trails.

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