Friday, May 27, 2011

Hiking: Burr Oaks, Habitat Trail

Location: Burr Oaks, Habitat Trail, 1401 NW Park Rd, Blue Springs MO

Cost: Free

Appropriate for: All ages, no strollers though on this one.

Hike Length: 1.5 miles

Who's up for a good hike? If you are and you want to bring the kids with you, try this pretty easy trail. Check the website for a map of the trail and the others that they have there, it's located a little bit before you get to the nature center on the left.

This is an easier hike that my 3 year old and 5 year old did without to much trouble. Of course, we took frequent breaks at the numerous benches provided along the way. This was a nice addition as it gave us a chance to try and see some wildlife while we were out there. Along with the benches are educational placards placed to describe what it is your are seeing and what you are looking for. As our hike was a little bit later in the day, we didn't get a chance to see much but we have come across deer and rabbits in the past. These were all nice touches when hiking with toddlers.

The trail itself is decently well maintained and free of any overhanging or over grown grass. For the most part, it is covered in gravel or rock and flows well with it's surroundings. Several bridges span streams and these are also nice places to stop and watch some wildlife while teaching your kids about nature and stuff. Also while we were walking, I did not see any trash or garbage left behind by previous hikers. This is something that I always look for and can tell you alot about the people who walk the trail and those that maintain it.

For the most part, the trail is not difficult with few hills. However, the habitat trail does feature some "limestone bluffs" in the middle of the trail and these provide just a touch of excitement for the little ones. They are really no more than 6 foot high out croppings but provide a decent beginners challenge for kids that like to climb them. They are easily navigated and provided a good chance for the kids to break up the hike a little bit.

All in all, it's a good hike for the younger kids wanting to get the kids outside. Nicely covered by a canopy of trees, the hike provides just the right amount of activity and challenge for younger ones.


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