In my opinion, two of the best seasons for hiking in the woods are spring and fall. It’s hard to say which is the better. They both score pretty high marks in my estimation.
However, my wife and I recently took advantage of a gorgeous fall day to go for a hike, so today I’m leaning towards the fall season. Probably come April or May I’ll be leaning the other direction.
We went to the Pickle Springs Natural Area in Ste. Genevieve County, Mo., and hiked the trail which is called the Trail Through Time. The trail is a two-mile loop that has been well worn by other hikers which makes it somewhat easy to follow.
A sign at the trailhead said it takes one hour to walk the trail, but it took us two hours. Also I suspect the trail might be a tad longer than two miles. The trail is meant to be hiked clockwise (go to the left at the start) so you are able to read signs naming the features along the way because the signs will be facing you.
The area consists of 180 acres and features numerous sandstone rock formations. Geologists tell us that 500 million years ago the area was covered by a sea and the sandstone was formed from the sandy beaches.
Over the years the wind, rain, ice and even plant roots have eaten away at the sandstone leaving some extremely interesting formations. Some of which are the Double Arches, the Keyhole, the Cauliflower Rocks and the Slot.