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Sometimes you have too much on your mind to NOT follow the wrong path. Deer Run Trail, Greensfelder Park 4/30/2013

May 5, 2013

DSCF1008It had been a disappointing weekend of attempting to camp with adversity, so after the rain had finally stopped and I had a day to be alone, I felt the need to take the dog out somewhere and spend a little time in the woods. I decided to check out another trail at Greensfelder Park. This time it was going to be the Deer Run Trail.

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Now the Deer Run Trail isn’t as long as the Eagle Valley Trail, and I found myself a little confused about halfway into the hike when they join up together in the valley. It turns out that the Deer Run Trail crosses it, but I had seen a map online that shows it following the Eagle Valley Trail back out. Either way, they both start at the same parking lot, and I’m sure I will get another chance to explore it and finish it correctly. There is just something mystical about that valley with the stream running through it that can compound the distraction of a person with a lot of weight on his mind.

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From the trail head, it goes to the right and follows the road pretty consistently, even after it turns left at the road that runs through the park and follows that along the ridge and down a bit. It then breaks off and switches back and forth a couple times down the hill and away from the road. Following the hill, it turns to the left slightly and then bears down toward the valley, through a bit of rocky trail, and then switches back until you are at the valley floor. This is where it hits the Eagle Valley Trail. As I look at the pictures I took, you can see that it either crosses or turns to the left. This is where I just decided to turn right and head back to the parking lot along the trail that my inattentive self had assumed was the right path. I had a lot on my mind this week…

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How to get there:

It’s probably 20-30 minutes from 44/270. Take highway 44 west to the Six Flags/Allenton exit #261, make a right towards the Six Flags entrance, and follow the road that goes around the left side of Six Flags. As you head into the park you will pass a couple of trail-head parking lots and the entrance for the park loop road. A little further on your right you will come to the visitor’s center and you want to turn into this parking lot. At the far end on the right is the trail-head for the Eagle Valley and Deer Run Trails.

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What I like about this trail:

It isn’t too long, and it heads through what has become some of my favorite woods in the St. Louis area.

Almost every time I hike through Greensfelder I see a couple of deer. Sure, they are a ways off down the hill, but it is always neat to see. There is a lot of wildlife in this area.

What you need to know:

There were some spots on the upper part of the trail that had some decent mud that was plowed through by horse hooves, so you will encounter some spots that require walking alongside the trail. The fortunate thing is that others have done this too and there is an established path alongside. One for horses, one for hikers?

Pay attention, as online maps and a distracted mind might change your direction and you will find yourself on a different path. I should have just followed the signposts right in front of me at each intersection, instead of absentmindedly following what I thought I knew to be correct.

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I will hike this one again sometime this year and get a better impression of it. I like to go to the woods to spend time away from the stresses of life, but it isn’t always that simple to shake them from one’s mind. Maybe I just needed to find a longer trail.

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