Wednesday, March 23

Hughes Mountain Natural Area

Continuing with our series, "Adventures With Uncle Bob-Guide to Self-Adventure," we feature this Missouri Dept of Conservation area. Directions: Cross bridge at Chester, IL, then Mo 51, then Co H, then Co Z, and enter I-55 north. Take Rt 32 exit to Farmington. Proceed north to Rt 8 and then a left turn on Co M. Follow several miles until you see the brown sign for this place.

This is an easy gradual ascent of 0.75 mile along the Devil's Honeycomb trail. Upon arrival, you have a 270 degree panoramic view over distant mountaintops. At this unusual glade-top, roam around among the polygonal rock formations. The pre-Cambrian and Rhyolite rock outcroppings are among the oldest exposed rocks in the US. It looks like a giant used a cookie cutter on this huge glade-top. Retrace the trail back to the parking area.

This area was featured in the February,2005, Shawnee Sierra newsletter but never got posted on the website, so a home for it is created on this blog. While this trail is further away from our normal postings, the motive here is to afford those with more limited hiking abilities to have an outdoor experience. On Mo 21, approx 10 miles away, take the trail at Elephant Rocks State Park ( This is a one mile PAVED loop around gigantic formations. If you plan a trip to Branson, continue south from there on to Rt 86 for Dogwood Canyon Nature Park. This commercial site enables the hiker to walk along a paved, flat trail along waterfalls, cliff lines, rock formations, and caves. A tram car comes by every hour for those who are weary. More info on the above areas from Bob Tyson at 618-684-5643 or More pictures at and this place on search line. Coordinates here are N 37.801994 and W -90.70985.