Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park

Long name... nice park.  With temperatures approaching the mid-30's this past Sunday I figured I'd take a late morning walk in the woods.  I checked my trusty copy of Hiking Missouri and settled on Babler State Park.  I've been here numerous times before for some day hiking as well as just a picnic on the grass.  Even though the park gets a fair amount of use in the spring and summer, there are enough miles of trail to spread out the hikers so it doesn't feel crowded.  But, this being January I wouldn't have to worry about crowds.  I saw a few folks running on the roads through the park and a few cars parked at various parking areas, but didn't encounter another person on the trails.

I started with the Virginia Day Memorial Nature Trail that starts just across the road from the visitor center.  The ground was soggy and extremely muddy through about 80% of the trail.  I was surprised to find a good coating of ice still covering the small trickles and even the larger stream.  I took the "Long Loop" making this about a 2 mile hike.

Next up I drove to the Alta Shelter and headed across the road to the Hawthorn Trail.  This is another nice loop trail of about 1.125 miles.  There are nice views of the houses and barns in the valley below from the southwest side of the trail.

Just a short jaunt, but 3 miles was all I had time for before heading home to watch some playoff football.

Check the gallery for more pics.  I still wasn't up to taking the SLR, but I did at least bring the Sony DSC-T7.