Steve Henry | 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of St. Louis

60 Hikes is a refreshing and exciting guide to the beautiful world of nature surrounding our fair city.

Steve Henry, Menasha Ridge Press, 3rd edition
Hiking is one of the best ways to exercise while communing with nature. It’s peaceful, vigorous, panoramic, private. I happily got this book in May and was eager to begin hiking many of the outlets listed in Steve Henry’s book. Then the hottest summer on record happened. As such, I’ve only had occasion to try out a handful of the hikes of which he writes. Still, what a selection! We had fallen quickly into the rut of hiking the same park nearly every time—Castlewood State Park, anyone? It’s gorgeous, but it’s not the only game in town—so 60 Hikes is a refreshing and exciting change of guide to the beautiful world of nature surrounding our fair city.
Henry breaks down the hikes into a variety of categories, including region, trail length, level of difficulty, features and more. For example, did you know there is a Little Grand Canyon Trail in Murphysboro, Illinois? A single entrance to the desolate Rockwoods Reservation Trail in Eureka? A chance to walk in the footsteps of our forebears at Lewis and Clark Trail in Wentzville?
Henry’s descriptions of each trail are intricately detailed, outlining expectations as far as views, climbs, trail composition and best times of day to hike; he even suggests sunrise/sunset/nighttime hikes. A small map inset is included with each hike, as is a box with directions.
While all these details are much appreciated, the one thing I really want to know is missing: How many miles from St. Louis is each location? Also, as far as directions, telling me to, for example, head south from Chester, Illinois, is like telling me to turn left at Venus; where, exactly, is Chester, and how do I get there from St. Louis?
That small quibble aside, Henry’s book is a welcome friend, a guide to getting outdoors and, quite literally, exploring our own backyards. | Laura Hamlett
About Laura Hamlett 467 Articles
Laura Hamlett is the Managing Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. In a past life, she was also a music publicist and band manager. Besides music, books, and other forms of popular culture, she's a fan of the psychology behind true crime and violent criminals. Ask her about mass murder...if you dare.

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