You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment. In that insight of inter-being, it is possible to have real communication with the Earth, which is the highest form of prayer.
Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.
“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.” – John Lubbock
I headed to Millstream Gardens in Madison County about half way between Fredericktown and Arcadia, Missouri. It is connected to Silver Mines Conservation Area via a trail that runs along the St. Francis River. It’s part of the Mark Twain National Forest. I was to meet a friend and his daughter. We met up around noon. They have a paved trail accessible by wheelchair that goes a mile down the trail to a scenic overlook.
We had a perfect day for a hike. We headed out down the trail. It is an easy hike to the overlook named Cats Paw. Not sure how it got its name but it didn’t disappoint as you an see by the photo below.
We decided to take a trail down to the river. Now this part would be considered hard. Steep and rocky and we had to climb over rocks but it was certainly worth the effort. The scenery was breathtaking. Mother Nature’s beauty at her finest. When they have the kayak races here in the spring the water is usually up quite a bit from the spring rains. I stood there trying to envision the kayakers trying to maneuver their yaks through this swift water around the big boulders that littered the river bed. I think I will lave that up to the professionals.
We didn’t want to leave. It was so peaceful sitting there on the rocks listening to the water rushing past the boulders. We reluctantly started our way back to the parking lot and our vehicles. It is a damn good day when you can share an experience like this with friends. It was a grand day.
Following are a few of the 127 pictures I took. I hope you enjoy them and can feel what we felt being there beside the river. We will definitely be going back for sure. Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a leash.
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.” – John Muir Our National Parks
I would like to share with you an area in Madison County Missouri located along the St. Francis River. It is a piece of paradise named Silver Mines Recreation Area. It is part of the old Einstein Mines where the Einstein Mining Company began mining silver, tungsten and lead in 1877 and ceased mining in 1946. The area is known for its Precambrian and felsite rocks.
Silver Mines offers a variety of recreational opportunities and is abundant with historical and geological wonders. The St. Francis River is the only river in Missouri classified as a “white water” river. It is very popular with kayakers during the spring high water. Parts of the river are used for swimming, other parts are good fishing and the state holds an annual kayaking competition the third weekend of March, providing the water levels are sufficient. There is a two mile trail that follows both sides of the river with some breath taking views, for those addicted to hiking.
When I was younger we would meet my grandparents there and camp for the weekend. I took a couple of walks down memory lane and I recalled all the good times we had there. It was all tent camping and sometimes it got rough. There were some great camp sites and the park was well maintained. The area is alive with spectacular scenery and is occupied by many varieties of wildlife.
“In every walk with nature one receives more than he seeks.” – John Muir
“I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out til sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” – John Muir
“Any fool can destroy trees. They cannot run away; and if they could, they could, they would be destroyed – chased and hunted down as long as fun or a dollar could be got out of their bark hides, branching horns, or magnificent bole backbones.” – John Muir
Well I hope you enjoyed reading and I thank you for taking the time to do so. We are blessed with some very nice state parks in Missouri and I tip my hat to the Missouri Conservation Department. If you have never been here, be sure and put it on your bucket list. Spread the Love!