You can celebrate the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day at a couple of free events in the St. Louis area on Saturday.
- From from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. you can hike three different trails of varying lengths at the World Bird Sanctuary in Valley Park. Along the routes, naturalists will be on hand with live animals at interpretation stations along the trails. Also available: free children’s activities with prizes. The event and parking are free.
- Take the Green Rock Trail Challenge from 7:30 a.m. to noon at Greensfelder County Park and Rockwoods Reservation. Participants are to meet at the Muckerman Shelter in Greensfelder County Park at 7:30 a.m. for a light breakfast in the form of bagels, granolia/energy bars, fruits and juices. Shuttles will then take you to Rockwood Reservation to begin the seven-mile hike at the Greenrock Trailhead. Lunch will be served at the Muckerman Shelter after the hike. The event is free, but registration is required. Limit: 50 participants. The City of Wildwood is hosting the event. Call 636-405-2032 for more information.
You can discover spring wildflowers and learn about edible plants on a guided hike April 23 at Sam A. Baker State Park near Patterson on Saturday. The hike begins at 10 a.m. It is free and open to the public.
On the hike, you will discover the diverse wildflowers growing in the park. A park naturalist will lead the leisurely stroll along the popular Shut-ins Trail while talking about the types of flowers, how to identify them, their medicinal and edible purposes, and historical folklore. The group will meet at the Mudlick Trail trailhead across from the park store. Be sure to wear sturdy, closed-toed shoes.
Missouri State Parks offer similar free and educational programs at many state parks and historic sites around the state.
Sam A. Baker State Park is on Highway 143 about four miles north of Patterson. For more information, contact the park naturalist at 573-856-4514 or the Department of Natural Resources toll free at 800-334-6946 or 800-379-2419 (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf). For more information about Missouri state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com.