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      Copyright 1992, by Bob Soetebier



      The next time you travel s.w. from St. Louis, Missouri on I-44 to

Rolla, MO, be sure to plan on taking a 13-mile detour south from Rolla

to Lane Spring Recreation Area [administered by the U.S. Dept. of

Agriculture) on Little Piney Creek in the Mark Twain National Forest.

It's a fine bicycle ride to/from Rolla, too, but be prepared for a few

good-sized hills if you decide to pedal it.

     Get off I-44 at Rolla, MO and go south on Hwy. 63 for 12 miles.

Make a right at the sign for Lane Spring and take the paved road about

a mile and park at the picnic area parking lot on  the left.

     Immediately adjacent to the picnic area parking is a short gravel

path that goes directly across the open filed to Little Piney Creek

with its junction with the Lane Spring Branch.  After checking out

Little Piney Creek, be sure to follow the Lane Spring Branch upstream

a few yards back to its source, too.

     Across the entrance road from the picnic area parking is the

trailhead for the 1 & 1/2-mile Cedar Bluff Loop Trail.  Be sure to allow

enough time for this trail as it has some wonderful blufftop scenic

views of the creek valley and brings back along the stream, too.

     The 1 & 1/4-mile Blossom Rock Trail begins about 1/10th-mile

farther down the picnic area road to the left, in the campground area.

The trail travels along the sandy banks of beautiful Little Piney

Creek and up the bluff hill to Blossom Rock.

      High up on the hillside, Blossom Rock is the naturally

"cemented" sandstone in-fill remnant/remains of a "disappeared"

dissolved-limestone cave. You can easily climb up to the top of the

various levels of Blossom Rock, which range in height from 30- to

50-feet above their base on the hillside.

[NOTE:  Underlined items in trip account link to additional related info about the points of interest.]