Morning Walk Cuivre River State Park Dec 2018

No hockey games today, so I went for a quick 8 mile walk on the south loop of Cuivre River State Park. The South Loop is a bit longer and has a nice overlook. I have not been to the Park in a few years. I remembered it as being really chewed up by horses and that is exactly what I found. the horses have almost completely destroyed this trail for hikers. The bluff section is a bit better, but not enough to make it enjoyable except when frozen as it was for most of the early morning today. I started out at 31 F, but it warmed up to about 48 F by the time I was done.

No one in the parking lot but me at 8:30 am. Everyone is at Walmart or Target!

The South Loop is 8 miles. It is in Red and Red/Yellow on the map. My parking area is at the lower center of the map. 

Pretty much what you will encounter on this trail is mud from many horses, but it was a pretty day with sunshine so off I went into the woods

The upper sections of the trail where there is good drainage are ok, and with it being 32 F most of the mud was frozen when I started.

Spring with some man made improvements to channel the water. I think this goes back to the 30's or 40's when there was homesteads in this area. 

Interesting formations in the downed and burned trees.

Nice view with the leaves gone into the Cuivre River gorge
A rare selfie

Some nice fungus growing on a downed log (Turkey Tail I believe)
Two of the nine white tail deer I saw along the trail (can you spot them?)

A nice place to stop and take a drink 

When you top out on the bluff after 3.5 miles you get the best views into the farm fields in the River valley

Valley below the bluffs 

Winter Forsythia berries
Example of most of the trail torn up by horse traffic

And just as I was ending my walk, a horseman using the trail 
After the walk a trip to my favorite local brewery Friendship Brewing in Wentzville for a few beers and a pizza. 

Founders 2018 Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS) 12.6% ABV.... 

8 miles in 3 hours
9 deer
many squirrels,
1 horse person.

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