Saturday, September 19, 2015

Goose and Bug Adventures- Bell Smith Springs

We've gone to Bell Smith Springs before but it was very confusing with all of the trails branching off from the main one and after about a half hour the girls were finished and ready to head home.  After that they had zero desire to go back even though I tried to tell them that this time we would go slow and not leave until we felt we had adequately visited the trail.
After forcing them out of the car we set off and the first thing we came across that they really enjoyed was a staircase leading down below the cliffs.  It pointed us towards the creek where we traveled parallel to it, snug in between the water and the high rock walls.

Goose loved the Natural Arch section of the trail.  She thought the tree growing out of the middle was beautiful and informed me that this was her new favorite trail.

There's a really gorgeous staircase on the other side of the trail that we didn't get to visit this time around but we had already been there a while and our feet were wet from crossing the creek to get to the arch so we decided to go home.  Next time we'll visit the staircase!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Goose and Bug Adventures- Rim Rock

In my first Shawnee National Forest post I mentioned a couple of our favorite places to go hiking but there are so many more in our area.  Every time we find a new one we decide that it's our new favorite.

One of my top places to explore is Rim Rock.  Rim Rock is located just a few minutes down the road from Garden of the Gods so the last time we went we did both of them the same day.  It was a hot and sweaty afternoon but the girls loved it.

As you enter Rim Rock the first thing you notice are the lines of giant stones all over the hill.  This area was home to an ancient Indian wall that was built somewhere around 1,500 years ago. 

The highlight of Rim Rock is without a doubt Ox-Lot Cave.  The viewing area on the way to it is beautiful and my girls love running back and forth on the deck.  To get to the cave you have to do a bit of work.  There's steps leading down from the main trail and you have to squeeze through a very tight crevice between two rocks.  Then there's some rocks that are occasionally slippery you have to get past. 

The cave is so large that I can't even fit it into the frame of my camera. 

The last time we hiked at Rim Rock we bypassed the main trail and took a side trail back to the car.  It was a great decision because we saw so much more scenery and were under the cliff's instead of just walking through trees.

The only downside I've noticed at Rim Rock is that it's not near as popular as some of the other trails.  The first time we went this summer there were zero cars there and it wasn't until we were almost back to our car that we saw someone else out there.  That's a little scary when you're alone with two little girls.  But out of all the places we've visited this summer Rim Rock is my definite favorite.  I think it's the prettiest and the hiking is more strenuous on the lower trail which is something I like.  My kids loved going through the tight squeezes and climbing the steps.