You're Not Lost at Lost Hill Park
written by Leslie Tucker
I GREW UP A city girl and have only gone camping once in my life. I've never really been one for 'roughing it' out in the woods, but I'm starting to realize that spending time outside is quite a treat. I began to appreciate the natural beauty of the world by enjoying a cup of coffee in my back yard one chilly morning. I found listening to birds and watching butterfiles go from flower to flower very relaxing and very zen. Wanting to see more of what's out there, I decided to get out and see what Springfield has to offer.
Everyone knows about the Nature Center and I am a frequent visitor of Nathanel Greene and Close Memorial Park; as beautiful as those parks are, I was ready to go to places that I haven't been to before. I was ready to explore! So I took to the internet and found Lost Hill Park. Opened in 2010, it is a relatively new park to Springfield. I hadn't heard of this park before so I grabbed my camera, slathered myself with sunscreen, filled a Thermos with cold water and I was on my way.
Located on North Farm Road 151, past Hillcrest High School on the South Dry Sac River, Lost Hill Park appears to be an old farmstead complete with a silo and ruins of an old building. I made my way to the trailhead and took note that this is a very simple park. There are some picnic benches near the parking lot, a swingset for the kids and a very random plastic alligator hanging out in the grass. I started on the paved trail but noticed another trail through the grass that was made by trucks, so naturally I strayed from the path and hoped for the best.
The trail led to a large partially dry creekbed. I walked down into the creekbed along the rocks and followed the water. The cold, clear water left me wondering if this was fed by a spring - and where said spring might be found. Moving along, I noticed that there were a lot of large rock formations jutting out from the banks as well as a lot of smooth flat formations in this creekbed. This area has to be very beautiful when full of water and on this very hot day, I wished that it was.
I found my way back to the paved trail and followed the curvy line to a large open area. Nothing was there but grass, trees in the distance and a beautiful blue sky dotted with clouds. While walking along this trail, you're forced to appreciate the simplicity of nature. There aren't any educational signs or posts that you see in other parks, nothing that directs you in any certain way. It's just you and the light breeze blowing leaves down on you as you find your way through the park.
The paved trail led to the creek with water flowing over the walkway. I stopped to enjoy the view and the sound of the running water. As soon as I found this lovely spot, I also found the end of the trail. This was a good spot to stop and rest. Although this was a pretty short walk, it was hot outside and I was worn out. Thank goodness I brought that Thermos of cold water.
My visit to Lost Hill Park was absolutely worth it. I found a place that I have never been to and I feel like I've conquered new territory. When I was leaving I noticed that the paved trail forks, goes under the road and veers off in another direction. I hadn't noticed that earlier in the day, so what does that mean? Another adventure for another day! DM
Visit Lost Hill Park at 4705 N Farm Rd 151, Springfield, MO 65803.
For more information on Lost Hill Park and other parks in Springfield, visit www.parkboard.org.