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Trail Guide: Three Creeks Conservation Area

Area Name: Three Creeks CA

Trails: Separate trails for foot, horse and bicycle traffic

Unique features: limestone bluffs, sinkholes, caves

For more information: Call (573) 882-8388, ext. 227, or visit our online atlas, keywords "Three Creeks".

Looking for a hiking/biking/horseback riding destination to beat the summer heat? Try Three Creeks CA in Boone County. Steep valleys delay the arrival of scorching sun and provide welcome shade by mid-afternoon. The 3-mile loop Turkey Creek Interpretive Trail is for hikers only. The 8-mile Three Creeks Horse and Bicycle Trail is open to hikers, bikers and riders. Primitive camping is allowed. The area has no facilities other than five parking lots. At this time of year, expect the area’s namesake creeks, Bass, Bonne Femme and Turkey, to be dry except after a rain. This is because Three Creeks is a “karst” landscape with caves, sinkholes and losing streams. Details about this and other conservation areas with trails are listed in Conservation Trails, a 91-page book that is available for $5 plus shipping and handling (and sales tax, where applicable), online at www.mdcnatureshop.com or by calling toll-free (877) 521-8632.

Powder Valley CNC

Take a rest at this natural oasis in Kirkwood.

St. Louis area residents needing a cool outdoor escape near home can visit Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center in Kirkwood. Three miles of shady, wooded trails (one wheelchair accessible) are perfect for morning or evening hikes. Through the heat of the day, sign up for nature programs and wander through exhibits, or relax in the wildlife-viewing area in air-conditioned comfort. Be sure to see the living beehive with plexiglass walls, the alligator snapping turtle and the indoor tree house with hidden plant and animal exhibits. Visit our online atlas for details.

Missouri River 340

This water event is fun for racers and spectators.

If you are fascinated by events like the Tour de France and the Indianapolis 500, you probably would enjoy watching the Missouri River 340, the world’s longest nonstop river race. Contestants have 100 hours to paddle from Kansas City to St. Charles. Stories of heartbreak and redemption abound as fierce competitors of all ages and walks of life push bodies and minds beyond the ordinary limits of endurance. Dehydration, bleeding hands, hallucinations and dodging barges in the dark all are part of the “fun.” The start and finish lines, checkpoints, river accesses and bridges along the way offer convenient places to witness the spectacle. Historic river hamlets along the way are filled with antique shops, pubs, restaurants, bed and breakfasts and other diversions for spectators. This year’s event runs July 15 through 19. Divisions include men’s and women’s solo, tandem, mixed tandem and teams of three or more. The race draws top paddle-sport competitors from across the nation and is beginning to attract world attention. Full details are available online.

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