Take a Hike, St. Louis!

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Published on: Jun. 2, 1997

Last revision: Oct. 26, 2010

a visit to the Nature Center. It is an outstanding conservation interpretive center with displays, interactive learning centers and even a gift shop. One viewing window looks on feeding stations that attract all kinds of wildlife. Another gives two views of a woodland pond - one above and one below water level.

Powder Valley is in the northeast corner of the intersection of Interstates 270 and 44, on Cragwold Road just off of Geyer Road, in St. Louis County.

Hilda Young Conservation Area

There's something for every outdoor taste at the Hilda Young Conservation Area. The 3-mile Taconic Loop Trail passes through prairie, woodland and bottomland terrain.

The trail starts and ends at the parking lot. It begins by passing through a stretch of tallgrass prairie dotted with colorful wildflowers. After crossing the La Barque Creek, the trail splits, offering hikers the choice of a shorter or longer loop.

Be wary here because trail signs can sometimes get obscured by tall grass. Both loops pass through woods, a glade and several pine plantations. Consider wearing long pants for this trail.

The Young Conservation Area is on Highway FF about three miles west of Highway W in north central Jefferson County.

Weldon Spring Conservation Area

Hikers looking for lengthy and rigorous treks will enjoy the trails at Weldon Spring Conservation Area. In addition to more than five miles of the Katy Trail, there are three other trails at Weldon Spring.

Two of these, the Lewis Trail and the Clark Trail, actually share the same path for much of their distance. The Clark Trail is nearly 5.5 miles long. The Lewis Trail branches off from this one and covers more than eight miles total. Both trek through dense woods. At times the path will take you over, under and even through wind-fallen trees.

In the summer the bottomland that you'll also hike through is steamy, and undergrowth is so thick that it sometimes obscures the trail.

The Lewis and Clark Trails have some demanding hills, but the magnificent vistas on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River make the hike worthwhile.

The Lost Valley Trail is at the other end of the area. It covers 7.5 miles. Open to bicyclists as well as hikers, the Lost Valley Trail has grown increasingly popular.

Weldon Spring Conservation Area is just south of Highway 40 on the east side of Highway 94 in St. Charles County.

August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area

You can't beat the Busch Conservation Area for short

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