On an unseasonably warm January day, my friend Michelle and I headed north of St. Louis to check out the Columbia Bottom Conservation Area. This area borders the Missouri River.
We first parked at the parking lot labeled “M” on the map and tried to hike the short trail to the confluence, but the trail was flooded since we have had a lot of rain recently. So we drove to the parking lot located near the confluence. A large viewing platform sits on the south bank of the Missouri River and gives you an expansive view of the confluence of the Mississippi River and the Missouri River.
Across the river, we could see a lot of people on that bank. That is the site of the Edward “Ted” & Pat Jones Confluence State Park. You can see my post here on that Missouri State Park! I think it is pretty neat that you can explore both banks of the Missouri River.
We then hiked the River’s Edge Trail. This trail follows the river and eventually goes all the way back to the Visitor’s Center. We hiked for a little while along this trail and then turned back. The trail is pretty sandy.
I also stopped at a couple of the other parking areas and explored a bit. I really liked how each spot had informational signs and beautiful stained glass artwork.
This conservation area was a lot larger than I had expected. It seems that there are a lot of trails that you can hike. This was El’s first hike after being down for a couple weeks with a hurt back and she was so excited!
You can visit the Missouri Department of Conservation’s website for more information!