• Kathy Schrenk

News updates:


  1. I have fans! A super-cool blog called Midwest Nomad Family featured my book!

  2. I have a new article out in Terrain Magazine. Check pages 14-15.

  3. No new park closures, as far as I know. St. Louis County parks, Castlewood and Elephant Rocks state parks, and just about everything in Illinois are closed.


Now for the latest pandemic-friendly hike. Engelmann Woods is, as I expected, a great place to hike right now. This place is out west of Rockwoods and Babler, almost to the Missouri River but less than an hour from most of the metro area. It's tiny -- only has one trail that's less than two miles -- but that makes it pretty perfect right now. I saw lots of wildflowers, birds, and mushrooms, and a total of three other hikers. It was perfect.


The loop is of the down-and-then-up variety. Hike down down down into this lovely creek bed and then back up through the woods and over some streams and creeks.



It felt great to get outside. Get out there and hike if you can!

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  • Kathy Schrenk

Believe it or not, I haven't been hiking much lately. I'm so glad that my book has helped folks get out and hike so much while schools and playgrounds are closed. My kids are older now, though, and are expressing their opinion that they would rather stay home. So if I hike, I'm going to hike by myself. Which is fine but it makes it harder to get out there.


Signs of spring all around.


But finally on Saturday I visited Emmegger Nature Park. I was a bit nervous because the last time we hiked it was at Mastadon State Historic Site on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon a couple weeks ago. The weather was lovely yesterday -- my favorite, mid-50s, partly cloudy -- and I was concerned there would be crowds of people not distancing, like we experienced at Mastadon. But there were a reasonable number of people and they were all being respectful about distancing. The trials at Emmenegger are good for distancing because the undergrowth is sparse. So it was a good experience for Rufus and me.


Rufus is our newish dog. He's almost two and we've had him since August. He's a border collie-Australian Sheppard mix. If you have my book, you've seen photos of Bailey the corgi, who was basically the best dog ever. Sadly we lost him right around the time the book came out.




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  • Kathy Schrenk

I've been trying to keep up to date on closures and people are reporting to me on what they see on the trail. Here's what I know:


Some popular state parks are closing, including Elephant Rocks and Castlewood; here's the Post-Dispatch story. This is no surprise since both those parks were zoos over the weekend.


Two friends have gone to Bluff View in the last week and reported that it wasn't too crowded.


For an alternative to Elephant Rocks, try Hughes Mountain. It's incredible.


My family went to Mastadon State Historic Site Sunday afternoon. It was quite busy and maybe one in ten hiker groups were making an effort to keep six feet between out group and theirs. In the future I'll try to stick to weekdays or days when it's raining enough to keep the less hardy hikers inside.


Check out the web sites for county park systems as well as state parks for closures. Your best bet is always to go as early in the day as you can, go during the week, or when the weather isn't ideal.


Let me know what you find when you hike; I want to help people stay informed and hike safely.

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