River ‘Round has helped families get through the COVID-19 crisis

March and April certainly brought about a new reality for many of us. 

To curb the massive spread of COVID-19, people all around the world were strongly encouraged to practice “social distancing” and “social isolation.”

About mid-March, I was getting that familiar itch to get out into the woods, but wanted to avoid crowded areas. 

As someone who has family members who are highly susceptible to COVID-19, I have been pretty cautious since the virus hit the Midwestern states. 

On a whim, I took a drive on country roads in southern Franklin County I had not explored yet. That drive led my daughter, Karlene, and I to River ‘Round Conservation Area. 

Since that initial visit, Karlene and I have sought refuge, exercise, morel mushrooms, and peace on several occasions at this beautiful location. 

Nearly every time we have gone, we hardly see a soul. The few people that we have ran into have been respectful of our space. 

They, too, seem to be seeking the peace that only nature can bring during a time like this. 

River ‘Round is 330 acres of beautiful land that includes riverside bluffs, cliffs, and sandbars, as well as both upland and bottomland forest. 

The Meramec River borders the area for a little over 3 miles. There is a large unpaved parking area and a concrete boat ramp.
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Personally, we enjoyed taking the footpath that doubles as a MDC service road to an area where we could walk along the bluffs beside the river. 

Each time we went, we noticed new wildflowers in bloom, and we even found a morel mushroom on a beautiful Thursday afternoon in April! 

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