Although most people prefer to hike in the warmer months, winter can be the best time to experience the tranquility of nature. The obvious benefits include the lack of bugs and the lack of crowds on the trails. But the starkness of the landscape makes for great wildlife viewing and birding. Also, many of the small streams, springs, and waterways have frozen into beautiful ice sculptures.
If that makes you want to hit the trails, trek over to the library first and pick up a guide for your adventure. Several guides are small, pocket size books that offer a wealth of information concerning trails near St. Louis. "Hiking St. Louis" by Evie Harris mainly focuses on the trails of St. Louis County, many of which are less than thirty minutes drive time. Another guide from our collection, "Best Easy Day Hikes St. Louis" by JD Tanner and Emily Ressler offers information on hikes from Forest Park to the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois. There are several others in the library collection as well. So, grab a guide and I'll see you on the trails this weekend!
--Keir H., Florissant Valley Branch