Our family hike this past Saturday was a really enjoyable time.
This was our longest hike at 5.5 miles and on a new trail, the Opossum Hollow Trail at Knob Noster State Park. This state park is located about one hour east of Kansas City near small towns which is nice in that it put us that much farther in the woods near wildlife. We saw many birds including a Golden-crowned Kinglet, which was a first for us. I credit Jesse with keen eyes to see this cute creature and for even being able to identify it. It lingered so we were each be able to observe him near the end of our hike.
This single lane trail is also used for mountain biking so the trail has many inclines, twists, turns and is rocky also passing over creeks, which were dry on our hike. This made our hike interesting as we were consistently going up, down, around, seeing over new ridges and even coming upon two does just about 30 yards away. Since I was in the lead at this point it was fun for me to observe the does up close. However, they quickly bounded away so the observing was short lived. We did see two mountain bikers, one trail runner and two other hikers while we hiked - not many people were roaming the woods on this day.
Since it was below freezing for most of our hike we were bundled up appropriately, and by lunch time were actually getting hot enough to unzip our fleece jackets. For lunch I came prepared with hot tea and coffee, bean soup and oatmeal raisin cookies. Good food makes children happy and keeping the children in good spirits is essential if we're going to take them on these hikes and have fond memories of the adventure! Of course, good food keeps me and Jesse in good spirits, too.
This trail was well-marked with orange squares on the trees marking the way and maps were provided at each point where there were options on the trail. Without GPS we could have found our way comfortably. Three connector trails were provided to make the loop shorter, but we had planned on hiking the full loop and did so.
It was nice to end the hike at the pond pictured above. Since there was ice on top skipping rocks across water didn't happen, but having them skid across the ice provides the most wonderful acoustics which we first found out almost a year ago at Wallace State Park. The path right next to the pond was so beautiful too.
This was a great introduction to Knob Noster State Park and we hope return to hike the rugged McAdoo Trail System and fish in Clearfork Lake.