Traveling Mid-Missouri, even for a day, can bring a lot of pleasant surprises. My day (Saturday, June 4) started at Fox Hollow, just west of Ashland. It went from there to festivities at Cooper’s Landing, then to the Rocheport trailhead for a bike ride on the Katy to McBaine and back.
Fox Hollow – was the site of the Rural Land Stewardship Field Day. In addition to viewing on-site land preservation projects, visitors enjoyed exhibits, professional advice and takeaway information at five staffed, clustered resource stations on forest issues, wildlife preservation and organic food.
In addition to viewing on-site, in-progress land stewardship projects, I experienced nature exhibits; took in some professional nature advice; and gathered takeaway information at five staffed, clustered resource stations.
I most enjoyed the wildlife at Fox Hollow and the animals’ ability to get along when human beings seem to be having a hard time with peaceful co-existence in these times. I also enjoyed a long conversation with state Rep. Bruce Sassman and his efforts on behalf of the proposed Rock Island Trail and in advocating for his Legends of Conservation. The legends exhibit honors American leaders in the conservation movement.
Finally, I loved seeing the dozens of goats at Fox Hollow. They were busy eating massive quantities of invasive species. Also, it was interesting to learn all about them from the good folks with GOATS ON THE GO.
Cooper’s Landing – Next stop was Cooper’s Landing sandwiched between the Missouri River and the Katy Trail. Several hundred people were enjoying the BBQ, the drinks and the music of some kind of new wave Ozark music.
Campers were there to enjoy a new kind of camping offered at Cooper’s Landing known as “Glamping.” Forget sleeping bags on the cold, hard ground. Why not sleep in a warm, wide bed in your tent when not hiking the trail or fording the river.
I enjoyed my BBQ with some folks from Hermann and other river towns. The Hermann contingent was touting their retrohaus Air B|B located on the near south side of Hermann. Check out their website at https://www.retro-haus.com
Katfish Katy’s At Huntsdale – The next stop for me was Rocheport on the Missouri River for a bike ride down the Katy Trail to McBaine and back. The highway department is rebuilding the I-70 bridge, so you need to be careful.
The highway department warns of falling stone and materials on the trail. An improvised tunnel has been set up so you can ride under the bridge and be shielded from any rock or construction material that may fall from above.
The next stop of interest, after the bridge construction below the Les Bourgeois winery area at Rochport, was some miles down the trail at Huntsdale. It’s near where the old Katfish Katy’s general store used to be.
Here at Huntsdale, a stretch of land that reaches out over a cliff, overlooking the Missouri River, now constitutes a 160-acre donation to The Nature Conservancy from Larry and Brenda Potterfield.
The Katy Trail cuts close to the land that is intended to become a haven for the public. The land will connect them to more Missouri’s landscapes. It also will serve as a managed location for research and conservation.
The Nature Conservancy plans to conduct high-quality restoration of natural habitats across the property. It also hopes to stabilize the riverbank with natural materials and plantings, to rejuvenate the on-site wetlands and to plant native vegetation.
Congratulations to The Nature Conservancy! I look forward to monitoring their progress on future escapes from St. Louis to Mid-Missouri. That stretch of Katy Trail, along the bluffs that Lewis and Clark one enjoyed, is among my favorite bike rides on weekend getaways.
Of course, a bottle of wine with a Missouri sausage and cheese plate, atop the bluffs of Les Bourgeois Vineyards. adds to the grand finalé of any Missouri daytrip.