Hours of Idleness-A Photographer's Journey in St. Louis

Interlude: Hawn State Park

Posted in art, family, Hike, Jason Gray, photography by Jason Gray on March 13, 2016

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Hawn State Park, near St. Genevieve, Missouri, is a 5,000 acre park consisting of three Natural Areas, each with unique topographical and environmental features. It is about a 1.5 hour drive south from St. Louis.

The “Interludes” are a new thing here, so I’ll just quickly explain what I intend with them. They are the posts in-between the posts that this site focuses on, and provide me with an opportunity to share things that I find interesting. Interludes are not archived like the core posts.

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On the day that my family visited, the air was uncharacteristically warm for late winter, but cool enough to warrant a really enjoyable hike. I decided to pack up my f-stop Gear Loka and see what it would be like to hike four miles with quite a bit of camera gear (more than I would typically take); turns out, it’s not all that bad really, even with having to carry my son on my shoulders for much of it.


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If you’ve never been to Hawn, there are several trails available, including one designed for overnight backpacking. They all seem really beautiful, but we chose the White Oaks Trail for our venture. This trail winds its way through pine and oak forests, crosses several small streams, and even curls up onto a rocky overlook. It combines a 2 mile loop with a 1.7 mile connector to the trailhead.

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Above: My wife’s f-stop Gear Millar Series Smoky Mountain bag.

I don’t believe that I have ever been so intrigued by trees on a Missouri trail before, but the towering pines here are truly breath-taking. In the late afternoon light, they provided lots of long shadows, while swaying in the gentle breeze. I’m having trouble finding the right words to express the sensations of being there, but the place is certainly unique, both mysterious and ancient-seeming.

I would highly recommend a visit if you are able to.

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