weston bend state park ~ west ridge trail

Saturday morning found us up early driving north to Weston Bend State Park. The weather was perfectly autumnal, cool and overcast for a hike. Jesse and I had walked the Weston Bluffs Trail a number of years ago and we had all ridden the Paved Bicycle Trail when the kids were little (rated as easy, but with very steep inclines, not conducive to happy, young riders).

This hike found us on the West Ridge Trail. Being near the Missouri River the trails vary in height ~ ridge or valley. The trail actually began on the Harpst Trail, in the valley, and then rose steadily to the ridge overlooking the river. Wanting to hike a loop, we actually returned to the Harpst Trail by the paved bicycle path, but if you wanted too you could just double back on the West Ridge Trail. Total miles was close to three. It was mostly an easy hike, with some incline and root-y paths. After completion we drove down to the Bear Creek Trail a .2 mile walk directly to the river. Along the way we saw a bald eagle, so even though the kids were ready to go I'm glad we did this short, extra walk. Overall, it was so nice to be out when it wasn't hot and humid and enjoy a quiet morning in the woods.

Weston is a great area about thirty miles north of the Kansas City metro area. In October it is bustling with its Apple Fest near the downtown shops and Weston Red Barn Farm activities just outside the city. We bypassed any of those extras in favor of just the hike this past weekend. The fall colors are not in their prime yet, but it was nice to find color in a few remaining wild flowers and even bright orange mushrooms, a new one for me. Our calendar is fairly open on the weekends in October, so I am optimistic that we'll be out for another activity or two (or three?) to get a view of the changing colors. We're fortunate that the tree in our frontyard is a Sugar Maple that provides a blanket of golds, reds, oranges on our lawn; but it's nice to go out of the city and be submersed in the color too.