I had a chance to get out to Sullivan, Missouri, last Sunday to hike the Wilderness Trail at Meramec State Park. This is an easy 10-miler (as opposed to, say, Hawn State Park, which has a more difficult 10-mile trail). It is a backpacking trail with eight established camps. I day-hiked it in about 4 hours, though. It extends through glades, pine forests, bluffs, and (at least this early in the spring) numerous clear spring-fed creeks. It also passes through Copper Hollow and Copper Hollow Cave and spring (where I photographed the lush mats of watercress).

While I was out, I saw only one other hiker, who was mushroom hunting. It was early in the spring, and the weather turned cold and windy later in the day, but it was pretty cool to see green and flowers returning to the forest after a long winter.

If you ever hike it–be sure to take “The Long Way” as the sign phrases it. Otherwise, you’ll miss Copper Hollow and a view of the Meramec River, and you’ll only skip one relatively easy hill.

The ex-armadillo was right where the shortcut spur re-connected with the main trail. Missouri has a great many dead armadillos, but I’ve never seen a live one.

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