New Year's Day found us at a Missouri State Park just one hour north of the city called Wallace State Park. Since returning from the Buffalo River I've been researching trails near and far, and was eager to hike this one as a family soon. It just happened that over the holiday New Year's Day worked best for us.
It was cold, just under 40 degrees, but we were layered well and of course, moving which warms the body. When we first began I thought we'd be too cold, but by the end of the hike the kids were complaining of being hot, so too cold we were not.
There are trails of varying lengths at this park, from just under one mile to three miles. We opted for the three mile trail called Deer Run Trail which combines two smaller trails, Deer Run Loop and Deer Creek Loop. The length was perfect for a cold day and snow laden path. This trail is listed as rugged and I would agree. There were steep inclines and rocky portions, but it was all quite manageable for us.
The trail begins at Lake Allaman wanders through the woods, follows the creek and then brings you back out through the woods. This time of year lends itself heavily to a sedentary existence, so getting out and moving is always on the list and I'm so thankful we made it happen. As always after an excursion like this Ella and Roone ate a big dinner, went to bed early and slept well.
I'm also thankful that we all seem to find our personal ways to enjoy hiking. I, of course, love capturing the moments on camera. Jesse has a way of knowing what is going on in the forest, hearing creatures and identifying wildlife tracks. The woods were FULL of rabbit, mouse, squirrel and deer tracks so easy to see because of the snow. Jesse's knowledge really makes the woods come alive for me. The children right now seem to need to interact with the woods. They are continually scouting for hiking sticks, but on this hike there was so much snow, and the perfect texture for snowballs, that they made them most of the time and were throwing them.
At the end of our hiking, upon returning to Lake Allaman, Ella began throwing snowballs on the frozen lake which made pretty snow splashes. Then Jesse began throwing rocks and since the surface was such a thick layer of ice instead of breaking the contact of the rock hitting the ice made a really cool reverberating sound, which I can't describe in words. It was cool enough that it occupied the kids for some time, throwing rocks and making those sounds. As for me, I enjoyed my final few moments breathing the fresh air, enjoying Winter's stillness and capturing the moments before heading home.