Des Moines River Ravines Natural Area, MO
Des Moines River Ravines Natural Area is a small 45-acre preserve in the northeastern corner of Missouri adjoining Battle of Athens State Historic Site (which you can explore in my 'History" album). After touring the historic battle site my family and I decided to enjoy a mid-winter hike sans snow shoes. The trail we followed, while not super-scenic, nevertheless did offer some interesting terrain to cross and some (to me) fascinating local flora to discover. Along the way we clamored down ravines, found some decidedly evil looking trees, spooked a Bald Eagle, and enjoyed some nice views across the Des Moines River into neighboring Iowa. All-in-all, not a disappointing "first hike in Missouri" for the family...
Trailhead GPS Coordinates: 40.584609, -91.695985
Route Type: Loop + spur
Mileage Hiked: 2.5 miles
Trailhead Temp: 40'F
Min. Elevation: 510'
Max Elevation: 660'
Trails Used (blaze color): Athens Mill Ruins (blue), Ravines Loop (red)