Greetings from ST. Louis,Missouri USA. My name is Ryan Davies and I will be your Everyday Adventurer for October with my partner in crime Sophia and our 2 year old child Gabriella. 2014 has been pretty amazing so far for us, I have covered around 1800 miles of long distance hiking across the Midwest of the United States, 900 of those miles with Sophia and Gabi by my side.
I began on the 160 mile (255 km) River-To-River-Trail in Southern Illinois, starting in Elizabeth, Illinois on the banks of Ohio River and ending in Grand Tower,Illinois on the banks of the Mississippi River. The trail covers parts of the Shawnee National Forest, 6 Wilderness Areas and 2 Illinois State Parks.
The trail itself is in pretty good shape, mostly single track with some road hiking to connect to trailheads marked with a white diamond with a blue “i”. You pass a few small historic towns that you can resupply in and have the option to do some side trips to some amazing places like Garden Of The Gods.
The next trail was the 350 mile (560 km) Ozark Trail in Missouri. This time the 3 of us, starting at Onondaga Cave State Park in Leasburg,Missouri to the Eleven Point National Wild and Scenic River in Southern Missouri. It covers parts of the Mark Twain National Forest, 4 Missouri State Parks,the Ozark National Scenic Riverways and Missouri Department of Conservation lands. The Ozark Trail is very well maintained by the Ozark Trail Association and is blazed with a white box with a green OT in the middle.
This trail is a very remote trail for the most part with very few options to resupply so we left some stash boxes around trailheads before we started the long sections. There are plenty of camping spots and some of the cleanest water in the world along the trail.
The third trail we covered was the 1200 mile (1900 km) Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin USA. Starting at Potawatomi State Park in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin the trail follows the terminal moraine of the last Ice Age to Interstate State Park in ST. Croix Falls,Wisconsin. Sophia and Gabs covered around 600 miles with me before I set off by myself to finish the long journey. The Ice Age Trail covers 30 counties, crosses Wisconsin State Parks, local city parks, Wisconsin State Wildlife and Natural Areas, the Ice Age Trail Alliance property and private land owners. Blazed with a bright yellow box, the trail is in great shape with plenty of trail towns, trail shelters and water sources.
Ice Age Trail
So thats what we have been up to so far in 2014. Now back home, we have been exploring more areas in our favorite place in the world , the Ozarks of Missouri. Also the planning has started for next years big adventure, the 4600 mile (7400 km) North Country Trail…….Stay tuned.