As you probably know about me already, I love Nature. Although it doesn't happen every weekend, my wife and I regularly take trips to some park, conservation area, or other place of Nature. (Besides my own backyard that is.)
Although Missouri has many state parks, it has many more "Conservation Areas". Conservation Areas are to State Parks what National Monuments are to National Parks -- they're usually not as big, have fewer amenities, but can be just as impressive. This past weekend we visited for the first time a couple of the closest Conservation Areas to our house.
The first was Phantom Forest. Two minutes (at most) from Greenscape Gardens (my favorite local nursery) and literally across the street from Sherwood's Forest, Phantom Woods is only 13 acres in size, but considering where it's located that's quite impressive. The trail is well-mulched in the level areas, but you'll soon be rising in elevation so wear appropriate footwear.
(Just phone images today, with severe post-processing to make them interesting)
Mainly a visit here equates to a hike in the woods, but you'll pass the remnants of a long-abandoned home...
|They used a lot of aggregate (rock) in concrete whenever this was made!|
|Bathtub in the woods -- spooky!|
...and a dedication marker at the top of the hill that explains the name "Phantom Forest":
For more information about The Phantom comic strip and Ray Moore see this Wikipedia page.
It's quite a nice little woods, a great escape from surrounding suburbia.
We also visited nearby Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center. This one was larger, more popular (we were the only visitors at Phantom Forest), and had paved paths -- much more rugged terrain too.
I'll have to do a separate post about Powder Valley on a future visit when I bring my camera. The phone just can't do it justice.
Two great natural areas, just minutes from our house!