On Christmas Eve, I took a little River Trail stroll from near the FOP. I started poking around some of the old quarry structures and then followed the sound of rushing water its source, a small stream tumbling down the hill in the steady rain. Once again, I was pleased with how easily we can step off of the trail and into the woods to find a sense of quiet and remote isolation. I could well have been in the heart of the Ozarks. I followed the stream up to Emerald Park, climbing past small waterfalls and wet weather springs, where water sprung from the ground surrounded by shade loving moss and lichens to join the small rivulets coming together to add volume to the fast flowing rush of water. A trace of a trail paralleled the stream to the top of the hill and I was soon into the low hanging clouds. I then crossed the rim trail through Emerald Park and headed down the switchbacks to the River Trail, noting the many small streams pouring off of the bluffs making for some nice waterfalls.
While the rains made for a great day of enjoying water features and the winter woods, it also impacted the trail as would be expected. The usual rock falls have mostly blocked the trail near the woods into Burns park and the trail was partially flooded near the FOP.