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Sunbridge Hills

If you are looking for a short but vigorous trail close to home, then Sunbridge  Hills Conservation Area might be worth checking out.  I have walked this trail a few times in the last few months and gotten a good workout in.  Though this is not my favorite trail to walk, it does provide a good workout and is conveniently located to home.

1. Close to home
The area is fast and easy to access for anyone living in St. Joseph.  The area is conveniently located roughly between the Missouri River and Krug Park. Highway 229 is a stones throws away. It takes less than twenty minutes to access from my home.  This also is why when hiking the trail, one will find all kinds of trash and debris.  I will hope most of it travels from the nearby road and highways but I know some comes from careless individuals who could care less about our conservation lands.  The parking lot is locked and unavailable because too many people kept dumbing their garbage at the area.  You can park in front of the gates and walk through the parking lot to the trails.  Even with the eye sores of the trash and debris, the area is still worth visiting.

2. Vigorous hills to hike
I want to feel like I went for a hike and not a Sunday stroll.  The trail provides many sections inclining and declining both ways of taking the hike from the parking lot down to Waterworks Rd.  My Fitbit read I walked 40 flights of stairs from the trail.  I promise you will be huffing and puffing in some sections.  We used hiking sticks that provided some much appreciated assistance on the inclines.  Honestly with the ground still being a tad damp and covered with leaves, the hiking sticks also provided stability along the trail when traveling down some of the steep hills.  The last thing anyone wants is to twist or roll an ankle being back on the trail.

3.  The dogs love it
My labs love to walk and run the trail along side us.  We have yet to encounter anything on the trail to make us weary of taking our dogs.  They are hunting dogs and always enjoy stretching theirs legs running up and down the steep hills smelling whatever nature has out there. The trails are outside the city limits. This eliminates the city  leash ordinance. 

4. The scenery
I don't understand but just being beside water is always calming feeling.  The trail provides a beautiful view of the Missouri River.  The trail travels on top of a bluff next to the river.  The lookout area allows you to take a break and enjoy the view.  I recommend not stopping until the way the back.  Trust me you will appreciate it much more once you have climbed back up the steep hills and make your way back to the lookout.  It will then serve as a reward for almost being done with your hike.  Take a few minutes to stand and enjoy the view.
5. There are many other trails in the area
Like I said, I have only hiked here a few times. I am told you can take the trails to caves and waterfalls.  Get out and find the trail that suits your needs and explore the area. Though we like the trail that travels beside Felix's grave and down to Waterworks Road., we may opt to take another direction next time and explore a different direction.


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