Monday, April 30

Hickory Canyons Natural Area

Continuing with our series,"Adventures with Uncle Bob-Guide to Self-Adventure",we feature hickory Canyons trails. This is a reprint of an article which fell off the former website.  This area is owned by the LAD foundation and managed by the Missouri Dept of Conservation.  Directions: From Chester,ill., take missouri 51 to County H,follow to St Mary, turn left, turn right on County Z,and go to I-55 north.  Take the exit for MO 32 west.  Follow it to county C, turn right and travel 3.2 miles to Sprott rd( if the sign is not visible, look for some big boulders near a homestead).  Take this gravel road 2 miles to the parking area. GPS coordinates are N37.872036 and W-90.302476. Two trails emanate from here: the one on the south is 0.3 mile out and back leading to a tall semi-circle box canyon.
The second one is to the north as a one mile rugged loop. At the junction, go either way.  It is easier to take the segment on the right.  As it descends, the Lamotte sandstone cliffs seem to get taller and some are 100 ft high.  Note the various fern species and other unusual ice-age plant relicts as we reach the canyon floor.  We view steep ravines,box canyons,cascades,a rock shelter,and a rock gladetop as we ascend the trail back to the parking lot. There are several good pictures at If this link does not go,write it into your browser.
While here, why not also visit nearby Pickle Springs loop trail( scroll down the index on this blog. There is a winery in a cave by taking county rd B when taking MO 32 back east. Any questions, contact Bob Tyson at 684-5643 or

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