Shaw Nature Reserve is beautiful during any season. Being part of the Missouri Botanical Gardens, it is really really well cared for. The main road, Trail House Loop is closed off during peak hours to cars and there are no pets or bikes allowed. So it is pretty much only hiking.
I completely missed the first trail head for Brush Creek Trail and wandered onto the road. There was no traffic, or people. It was nice and kind of like walking through the country. I figured all the trails would spur off of the road, but I was wrong. Oh well. When I go to places I rarely bother with brining my books or maps. I haven’t been in a park big enough to get completely lost, and I can always backtrack with my garmin if I get really lost. Also, since I’m in pretty populated parks, there is always someone to ask directions. After a bit I ended up at the trail head house. These are the most clean bathrooms I have ever come across on a hike. They were brilliant. In fact, I took a picture. Yes, I’m a huge dork.
I was pretty excited about the bathrooms and took a self portrait. Then this is where I completely missed the trail I wanted to take, and got distracted by a tipi and I went back to the road. So I pretty much walked the road which is about 3 miles. I did turn off onto two short trails. I did the Wolf Run trail and the Little Acorn trail. They are closer to the visitors center, so at the end of my hike.
The Wolf Run trail is about a mile and just pretty. Everything is pretty darn easy at least on this end of the park. There are lots of pine trees, and there is a rest section with picnic tables and a little lake. Looks like a cute place for a picnic!
Little Acorn is a tiny trail that pretty much cuts through the Wolf Run trail. Maybe about .25 miles. In different places in the park you find fences and little pedestrian gates. I take it there is a huge deer problem, and this park is really well kept.
All in all, even though I missed the trails I planned, it was still a nice hike. I’m pretty excited to go back during the spring as this is when the wildflowers and blooms take over this park. It will be nothing but beautiful. And now I know how to get to the freaking trails 😉 Hah!