Looking for a new destination on this cloudy, cool day in central Missouri, my wife and I chose Earthquake Hollow Conservation Area, south of Fulton. The small refuge consists of an open field and a parcel of forest, the latter bisected by a deep ravine (hence the name of this preserve).
Before leaving Columbia, I read that Earthquake Hollow is serviced my a small parking lot and accessed by a loop trail. As we were hiking across the field on the entry path, it was clear that the refuge is not heavily utilized; the trail was merely a stomped down route through the grass and weeds. Upon reaching the forest, our disappointment and confusion only increased as the forest floor was littered with leaves and broken limbs and no signage or blazes indicated the trail's location and route.
We thus spent an hour or so wandering through the forest and down into the ravine, partly looking for the trail but primarily just enjoying the forest; our only company was provided by a noisy pair of red-headed woodpeckers. In the end, the scenery, exercise and fresh air were rewards enough for our visit.