Location: Weston Bend State Park, Weston, MO
Activity: Day Hike & Bike Ride
Trail: Paved bicycle trail; West Ridge trail; Harpst trail; and Weston Bluffs Trail
Other Trailgoers: Dozens
Would I Go Again: Absolutely
The day started out on the bikes headed on the paved bicycle trail. We had full intentions of walking/hiking/biking every trail at this park; however, about an hour into our bike ride, it just started pouring…now don’t get me wrong, by all means we need the rain, and it was a welcome relief. It really cooled things down. It was so muggy and hot before it rained, but it poured. For the following 2-3 hours, we hiked and rode our bikes in the rain. We were soaked but obviously prepared with a change of clothes in the car.
PAVED BICYCLE TRAIL: The paved bicycle trail is first. I’m a novice (to say the least) on a bike; I much prefer hiking; however, Mike enjoys riding bikes quite a bit, and thus now that I’m feeling more up to it, I’m trying to get some strength back and ride bikes more. It was so fun splashing thru the puddles on the bike. Made me feel like a kid again. I haven’t rode a bike for years. So it was nice. A little hard yet. I’ve a long ways to go to gain some strength and stamina, but Mike is patient and he rides along with me.
WEST RIDGE TRAIL: About 2 miles or so onto the trail (we went in a clockwise pattern), we passed the trailhead for the Harpst Trail. A little while later, we come upon the West Ridge Trail and decided to hike it. I was getting pretty worn out on the bike and needed a little down time. So we hid the bikes in the woods and hiked the West Ridge Trail.
I’m sure that in the fall and winter it is much prettier here but in the summer, not so bad either. Eventually you’ll get up on the ridge and basically just along the Missouri River for quite some time. We were heading in a counter-clockwise pattern on the West Ridge Trail. The views are amazing. Going this direction, at first you’ll just see peaks of the river and eventually you’ll see it constantly. Very scenic.
Coming off the West Ridge, we were back on the paved bicycle trail (they share the trail for a while) and once again, passed the Harpst trailhead and got our bikes. At this point, is when it started pouring and while we were walking it wasn’t so bad but once we started riding the bikes against the rain, we were immediately drenched but we made the best of it and kept going.
WESTON BLUFF TRAIL: Finished those trailheads, loaded up the bikes and headed to the next trail. Keeping in mind, we were soaked at this point. We stopped at the tobacco barn for a bit and then headed to the Weston Bluffs Trail. Basically this seems to be a sort of service road for the railroad; we headed to Beverly first. The surface is crushed gravel. It felt like riding in quicksand with all of the rain, but we kept going and it basically rained on this whole ride; but we stuck with it. Mostly hardwood trees, oaks, maples, ash. I didn’t see any pines or evergreens that I noticed. We seen several rabbits and one deer and maybe a turkey but I didn’t have my glasses on so I can’t confirm 🙂 It was raining too hard for me to take out my camera on the Weston Bluffs Trail, but this picture is a pretty good representation of what the view looked like most of the way (there is a train track right beside you that is very active. We seen 4 trains within our 1-2 hour ride).
SUMMARY: Overall, the park is nice. Well-maintained and great facilities. There are some really nice day-use picnic areas. Would be a great place to come to in the winter, do a day-hike, and have a nice warm meal up on the ridge.
We encountered several other people even during the rain, jogging, walking, hiking, waiting it out under trees, etc. I would imagine there is more traffic in the fall, but I won’t know until I go back and see for myself!