Wilderness close to home

We are rolling into another beautiful park this morning with Van City RV. Randy Schwentker and I took a nice drive down 55 yesterday to Hawn State Park, a lovely little getaway not too terribly far from the city.

It is one of prettiest parks in the Missouri State Park system.  5,000 acres of tall trees and wild flowers, beautiful bluffs and creeks and all of it is sort of Ed Schott's office.  He's the park superintendent, a guy who knows every square foot of Hawn State Park.
"We have about 17 miles of hiking trails in Whispering Pines Wild Area in the park and it's very popular with day hikers and backpackers," Schott explains.
It's a park that's been around since 1952.
"Then they developed the campground that's behind us here in the 60's," he goes on to say.
50 sites people with motorhomes and trailers, tents and pop-up campers pull into every weekend to get away.
"What I like to say is it's wilderness close to home.  You can have your developed camping experience here, but then go hike in the wilderness and really get out there and feel like your in the middle of nowhere."
It is the great outdoors at it's best.
"I really like pine trees, the shortleaf pine, that's the only native pine tree we have in Missouri and we have a lot of them here and really big ones," Schott points out.
And perched up in them are all sorts of birds.
"Hawn State Park is known as an important bird area with the National Audubon Society so we have a real high bird diversity here."
So whether you want to bird watch, hike or just sit back and relax in the the great outdoors, Hawn State Park provides the perfect backdrop.  


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