A Little Time and a Keyboard: Hiking Up in the Clouds and Along Rambling Pickle Creek at Hawn State Park in Sainte Genevieve County, Missouri

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Hiking Up in the Clouds and Along Rambling Pickle Creek at Hawn State Park in Sainte Genevieve County, Missouri

 Hiking Up in the Clouds and Along Rambling Pickle Creek at Hawn State Park in Sainte Genevieve County, MissouriRambling Along Pickle Creek and Hiking Up on the Bluffs at Hawn State Park

Recent wanders brought us to the rocky, shortleaf pine covered landscape of Hawn State Park in Sainte Genevieve County, Missouri. We hiked along a couple of the trails within the preserve and immediately basked in the gifts of nature.

Trails along Pickle Creek wind through rocky outcrops.
Trails along Pickle Creek wind through rocky outcrops.

Hawn State Park Has Many Nature Adventures to Offer

With an astounding 4,956 acres, the preserve invites a wealth of adventures. Camping is available within the preserve offering a serene spot to enjoy for a nature getaway. Whether visiting for a hike, birding, camping or a picnic, Hawn State Park effortlessly delights!

Shortleaf Pines lifting to the sky at Hawn State Park in Sainte Genevieve, Missouri
Shortleaf Pines lifting to the sky at Hawn State Park.

Wandering the Pickle Creek Trail

We first embarked on the Pickle Creek Trail. Gazing toward the sky, we admired the bristle topped shortleaf pines that populate the sandy landscape. Quickly, our attention turned to the rush of Pickle Creek. As we hiked along the creek, the pulse seemed to get stronger and stronger as the creek encountered more and more boulders. 

Pickle Creek rushes over boulders creating a remarkable landscape.
Pickle Creek rushes over boulders creating a remarkable landscape.

Pickle Creek Trail does provide a little challenge in its rockiness. There are spots where you can spindle off onto blended rocky and sandy shores to enjoy other views of the creek.

Tip: Be on the lookout for bald eagles! We spotted one not too far from the preserve.

Chunky moss and lichen covered boulders add drama to the landscape at Missouri's Hawn State Park.
Chunky moss and lichen covered boulders add drama to the landscape.

Hiking Up Onto Sandstone Bluffs

After our hike tracing Pickle Creek, we hiked up upon one of the preserve's sandstone bluffs. Our hike took us over thick, rocky chunks in portions and over a bit of a softer, sand path in others. In portions, we forded small, trickling brooks. The environment at Hawn State Park is quite sensitive so staying on the trails is vital to the health of the system.


Staying on the trails also treats to spotting incredible and delicate nature scenes like the one above featuring reindeer moss and mini pines. How can you not pause in awe? Interestingly, reindeer moss is not a moss but rather a combo of a fungus and algae working together. 

Pausing to admire the view from the bluffs at Hawn State Park.
Pausing to admire the view from the bluffs at Hawn State Park.

At a variety of points, we basked in incredible views of the landscape from way up above! Incredible views like this really inspire awe at the gifts of nature.

We are very fortunate for the vision of school teacher Helen Coffer Hawn in creating this stunning preserve. She dreamt of preserving the area's landscape for future generations to enjoy and started purchasing tracts of land in 1932. Upon her death in 1952 she bequeathed 1,500 acres to the state. Today, thousands of visitors each year wander the rugged landscape of Hawn State Park admiring fantastic views. Our morning at Hawn State Park started our day off with the serenity of interesting nature tableaux with a bit of a challenge hiking over rocky terrain. We are very appreciative for Hawn's gift and would love to hike these trails again.

Hiking Up in the Clouds and Along Rambling Pickle Creek at Hawn State Park in Sainte Genevieve County, Missouri



No comments:

Post a Comment