Our go-to when we can’t be in the backcountry? Exploring the trails at Weston Bend State Park in northwest Missouri and photographing wildlife at Squaw Creek Wildlife Refuge.
Weston Bend State Park
Weston Bend State Park is park relative to others, but it features eight trails ranging from .20 mile to 3.25 miles that cater to hikers of all abilities—from easy to rugged with ten percent grades. The views along the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River are breathtaking during the fall at the height of peak foliage (honestly, they’re pretty year-round). There is also a paved path where cyclists are in abundance and families, runners, and hikers of all levels can be found enjoying what the park has to offer. Some of the trails intersect allowing for longer or shorter hikes, so come prepared to enjoy a few minutes or several hours.
The trail map above was obtained from the Missouri State Park website. Be sure to check their website for more information!
We enjoy hiking the Harpst Trail along with the North Ridge trail, which allows us to maximize our time enjoying the tranquility and beauty of the woods and a great place to condition for long distance hikes on the horizon.
Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge
Following a vigorous hike we’ve been know to drive 70 miles north to Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, where a 12.50-mile loop offers unparalleled viewpoints to see migrating snow geese, bald eagles, and many other species of waterfowl and wildlife. The one-way auto route is an easy walk and the best way to enjoy the area’s beauty.
A million snow geese crowded into Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge this autumn on their way to their wintering grounds in Mexico. Photo: Daily Mail
If you get the chance and are in the Northwest part of Missouri, lace up your boots, pack your daypack and enjoy the area has to offer. And don’t forget to explore your own backyard, you never know what adventure awaits you.