The next morning at Finger Lakes State Park, the Kelly Branch trail looked kinda muddy so I decided to go to the next stop and maybe come back afterward to hike it.
The star of the weekend was Pinnacles Youth Park just a few miles north of Finger Lakes. This is a rock formation created when the Silver Fork Creek doubled back on itself and spent a few million years carving out the rock on both sides, leaving a narrow ridge 1000 feet long and 75 feet high with several windows. The “front” drops pretty much straight into the creek but the “back” has some ledges and is pretty accessible. Unless you’re clumsy or acrophobic, that is.
A closer look at one of the “windows”:
Head across the creek, find the trail at the top of the bank, and go left. As you climb away from the creek you soon start seeing rocks and then beyond beckon the pinnacles. There are many old cedars, seeming to grow right out of the rock:
Hiking Missouri rates this trail 5 out of 5 for the challenge, and it’s my first “5”. I have been eager to get here since I first heard about the place almost a year ago. It’s only about 2 miles round-trip but it’s something I won’t soon forget. I decided to skip the trail at Finger Lakes and move on to the next stop.
Arrow Rock State Historic Site is a state park built next to an historic town. There are a couple short trails to see, and the town itself. I spent the afternoon wandering around here and got a campsite for the night. The trails are nothing special – certainly not a destination by themselves.
Downtown Arrow Rock. Yep, that’s all of it: