Cliff Cave Hike

We were blessed with amazing weather this past weekend. Low 70s!

I told the guys, earlier in the week, to prepare themselves for an outdoor adventure because we were absolutely going to be taking advantage of such unseasonable weather.

We went back to Cliff Cave Park and decided to do explore some of the trails we missed last time.
Cliff Cave Park in the Mississippi Greenway offers stunning views of the Mississippi atop rocky bluffs that tower 170 feet over the river. It lies within one of the most naturally diverse plant and animal communities in the region, offering rocky, droughty hillsides as well as woodlands and wetlands.

This unique park within the greenway gets its name from the cave tucked in the bluffs of south St. Louis County.  There is tremendous folklore surrounding the area, including stories from its past as a riverside tavern during the early exploration days of Missouri, a hideout for horse thieves as well a summer camping area for native Americans. It is known for its Karst topography – a region where the bedrock has been dissolved or collapsed, leading to caves or sinkholes.

First we walked along the bluff. It was a ton of fun with lots of steep climbing.

[caption id="attachment_3440" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Starting out near the river.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3444" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Taking in the view[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3445" align="aligncenter" width="200"] Now the workout begins.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3441" align="aligncenter" width="200"] Path along the ledge[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3442" align="aligncenter" width="300"] First buds of spring[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3443" align="aligncenter" width="200"] Leaving the woods[/caption]

We climbed up the cliff, found a path in the woods, and then wound our way down to the road.

We followed the road for just a bit then crossed over to another path. Luke and Ben were already ready to head back to the car, but Gabe was just getting started. We hiked up a hill and found a slow-moving stream.

[caption id="attachment_3446" align="aligncenter" width="200"] Erosion on the banks[/caption]

We sat for a bit and then moved on.

We found the remnants of an old car.

Finally, we happened upon the trail for the cave itself.

[caption id="attachment_3454" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The Cave[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3455" align="aligncenter" width="200"] From the cave looking out.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3453" align="aligncenter" width="200"] Trail alongside the cave creek.[/caption]

Following this trail lead us back to the road which we then followed back to our car. We'd stayed a bit longer than originally planned, but I'm so glad we did. I think this may be our new favorite local hiking trail!

[caption id="attachment_3458" align="aligncenter" width="200"] Tracks[/caption]


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