Get up and go: The Pinnacles at Pinnacles Park

There are some astounding sights just around the riverbend at Pinnacles Park

The friend who accompanied me on this week’s trip, Margaux Henquinet, dropped a good line about 20 minutes into the hike: “If you already have one foot wet, you might as well have two feet wet.”

This is Margaux, by the way. | Sean Morrison

This is Margaux, by the way. | Sean Morrison

Solid advice right there. People try so hard to stay out of the water, but, once you’re in, you might as well jump in all the way. Taking that extra step often leads to a lot of fun, as it did this week.

We’re heading to The Pinnacles at Pinnacles Park.

WHERE: The Pinnacles, which are just off 63 North. Turn right on Pinnacles Road and follow it down the bend. A map, via the Boone County Pinnacles site, is available here.

Give yourself a few hours. There's a lot of exploring to do. | Sean Morrison

Give yourself a few hours. There’s a lot of exploring to do. | Sean Morrison

What to do: Walk, climb and get your feet wet. The water’s not too deep throughout most of the river, and traversing the rocks beyond the water is worth it.
Where to go: The Pinnacles and area caves
Distance: Depends on where you head, but there are 27 acres of land to explore.
Activity level: Low
Time: Approximately 2 hours
What to wear: T-shirt, sturdy shoes and shorts

Tips

  • Seriously, don’t be afraid to get wet. That’s the fun part. The rocks can be a bit slippery by the riverside, but the outcroppings are potential homes to fossils. We didn’t spot any, but, according to the conservation office, there are some out there.
  • A few of the fun bird species you’ll spot here: cardinals, woodpeckers and some kind of warbler (a prothonotary one to be specific) but I’m no avian expert. Either way, they lived near the caves and looked cool. Check them out.

    Some of the caves feature small streams of their own. | Sean Morrison

    Some of the caves feature small streams of their own. | Sean Morrison

The destination: There are a few here. It’s an absolutely beautiful site, and you can trek in almost any direction and find something worth seeing.

As you enter the grounds, there will be paths to the left and to the right. The path on the left follows the river for awhile and lets you get an up-close look at The Pinnacles. The one on the right branches off to two little spots: a tree you can walk across to get to an inlet and a cave chock-full of bird nests.

The variety of foliage and fauna at The Pinnacles is impressive. | Margaux Henquinet

The variety of foliage and fauna at The Pinnacles is impressive. | Margaux Henquinet

Both trails extend a ways and, while I didn’t get to make the full loop around the area, the 27-acre park has a good mix of attractions for the adventurous as well as places to relax. You can climb rock formations and reach some overlooks, or you can stick to the trail and take a leisurely stroll along the riverbed. There is a also youth park affiliated with The Pinnacles, so there is a little something for everyone at each turn.

The river extends along the entirety of the trail, so you’ll always have a reference point for how to get back on track should you wander off the beaten path for a bit.

Bring a camera, wear some rugged shoes and give yourself some time to explore. There’s plenty to see here.

Don't be afraid to duck into some caves or overhangs along the way. | Sean Morrison

Don’t be afraid to duck into some caves or overhangs along the way. | Sean Morrison