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(KPLR) - June is National Trails Month and the weather is shaping up for great hiking in the Show-Me-State.  We live in a great state to hike.  Missouri recently received a unique national honor.  Dan Zarlenga spoke with John Fuller about that, and a special challenge from the Governor.

Q.  What honor did Missouri receive?

  • Missouri has been named the “Best Trails State” in the U.S. by American Trails, a national, nonprofit organization
  • American Trails is dedicated to promoting our nation’s hiking, biking, and riding trails
  • The award is presented every two years to the state with the most-improved trails
  • Conservation pays by giving us a world-class trail system

 

Q. Tell us about Governor’s challenge.

  • Gov. Nixon has issued the “Governor’s 100 Missouri Miles Challenge”
  • He’s asking all Missourians to complete 100 miles of physical activity in Missouri before the end of 2013
  • These miles can include hiking, walking, biking, paddling, or rolling

 

Q.  What are some advantages of hiking?

  • Inexpensive activity
  • Great way to experience nature and learn about birds and wildlife
  • Can be combined with other adventures like geocaching, orienteering, photography
  • Excellent exercise to keep fit

 

Q. Where are some places viewers can meet the Governor’s challenge?

  • The Conservation Department maintains more than 700 miles of foot, bicycle and equestrian trails on 136 conservation areas and 10 nature and education centers statewide . . . including many right here in St. Louis area
    • Powder Valley Nature Center in Kirkwood for stroller and wheelchair-friendly paved trails
    • Weldon Spring Conservation Area in St. Charles has moderately rugged hiking and mountain biking trails ranging from 5 miles to 11
    • For a challenging overnight adventure, consider a backpack trip on Buford Mountain Conservation Area in Washington and Iron Counties

 

Q. What are some important things to consider before going on a hike? (show and demonstrate items)

  • Water!  Extremely important to make sure you bring enough and drink often
  • Proper clothing for the weather, and dress in layers to respond to changing temperatures
  • Good footwear for hiking
  • Map, compass and GPS
  • First aid kit, flashlight or headlamp and cell phone and whistle for emergencies
  • Consider using trekking poles or a hiking stick

 

Q. What’s the best way to find more Conservation Area trails?

  • Check our website, www.MDC.mo.gov
  • Click the “Conservation Areas” button

Use the Conservation Areas database to search areas by name, location or activity