Exploring this Missouri gem should be on your list

The Missouri State Park system has so much to offer that it may seem impossible to have a favorite state park, but I do. Hawn State Park is located between Sainte Genevieve and Farmington off of Highway 32. 

I’ve been camping and hiking there for nearly two decades. Being there gives me an opportunity to slow down and enjoy life.

Since this area is so special to me, I have shared it with friends and family. Most people who have come on an adventure with me to Hawn seem to appreciate it just as much as I do.

My most recent trip with my daughter, Karlene, was yet another peaceful and restorative experience. Thanks to summer break, we were able to leave our home on a Monday afternoon to avoid the weekend crowds.

Once in the area, we started our trip with a visit to Hickory Canyons Natural Area. It is approximately 10 miles from Hawn State Park. Take Highway 32 to C, and then go down Sprott Road. 

I quickly learned that my GPS was not to be trusted. It wanted me to stop and park near a farmer’s field, but I continued driving and found a parking area nearby.

This was our first visit to this unique natural area. We hiked the shortest trail, but plan to go back and hike the longer trail on another day. The area is quite impressive.

Once we arrived at Hawn State Park, it felt like coming home. Luckily, our campsite was adjacent to another mother/daughter duo. My daughter and her new camping friend discovered they were the same age.

The girls enjoyed quite a bit of splashing in Pickle Creek and a few walks together before it was time to make dinner and settle in for the night.

After sleeping to a symphony comprised of whippoorwills and tree frogs, we woke up on Tuesday ready to explore places we know and love.

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