Get some dirt on your shoes… right in your own backyard!

     By, Amand Moser

Getting lost in the woods sounds like the perfect beginning to a horror movie. Admittedly, I get a little nerve wracked at the thought of it myself. But after a couple years of venturing out regularly on the trails, I think I can refer to myself as an avid Kirksville hiker and I have never gotten lost yet. I am no scout. I am not even entirely sure in which direction the sun sets. But even the most novice outdoor adventurer belongs on a trail in Kirksville.

My favorite trail has long been Red Bud Trail in Thousand Hills State Park.  I usually hike from the first trail head which takes about an hour to complete from start to finish. One half of the loop is what I would describe as flat prairie while the other is more varied terrain through the forest and along the lake shore. I decide which direction to head first based on the severity of my allergies.  (If you suffer like I do, take a Claritin and grab a hanky before you head out.) I do not take my cell phone with me, which is my camera of choice, so I have yet to take a single photo while on this hike. If you do enjoy nature photography, grab your favorite lens and camera strap and head out to Red Bud Trail.

My eyes were recently opened to another great Kirksville trail. The trailhead starts at Big Creek Conservation area, which most readers probably know as Rainbow Basin. This trail does not loop like Red Bud Trail, so when you go out, make sure you don’t go out farther then you are willing to hike back. There are woods, prairies, views of water, and even a creek to cross! 

There are other conservation areas in the region that offer hiking, camping, and other great outdoor activities. You can find out more about all the conservation areas in the state by visiting 

If you are a bird watcher, nature enthusiast, athlete, or just a lover of peace and quiet, hiking in Kirksville is one of the real hidden gems in Northeast Missouri.