Saturday in spite of the cold weather I took to the outdoors and visited a state park called Big Sugar Creek State Park and was reminded of one of the reasons why I think Missouri is a cool state. It’s south of here near the town of Pineville. I would say it’s the closest state park to Joplin, but it’s probably a toss up between it and Prairie State Park – which is interesting because the two parks are about as opposite in terms of landscape as you can find without leaving the state.
It’s a really small park and has only one trail (3.5 mile loop) and no visitor center or anything like that. It gets it’s name from nearby Big Sugar Creek, which on this day was VERY big due to the recent flooding. What I found particularly enjoyable was the crystal clear streams all along the trail. The MO State Parks website said the trail went through native pine groves, but I counted exactly zero pines inside the park. There were however, lots of Red Cedar (which are an evergreen, but not a pine) and some of them were exceptionally large.
Here are a few pics:
One of the two small creeks that flow along next to the trail. Eventually they merge and then I would assume flow into Big Sugar.
In this pic you can see why I was so impressed with the clarity of the water.
Here is Matt, with Grant hiding behind him hanging out above a deep pool of water.