Snake Doctor  LbNA # 22523

Placed DateMay 23 2006
CountySt. Louis
LocationBabler State Park, Chesterfield, MO
Planted ByFox-fyr    
Found By I dig toasters
Last Found Sep 27 2010
Hike Distance?
Last EditedFeb 4 2016

4/6/2011: Ownership of box transferred to ROZEBUD as the original planter, FOX-FYR, moved out of state.
Confirmed in place: 9/27/2010

This box was place at Babler State Park in honor of Dr. Edmund A. Babler, a respected physician in the St. Louis area. While snakes in this country are often villified, and the term snake doctor implies a fraud peddling worthless cures, snakes were once highly respected and thought to have healing properties due to their ability to shed their own skins and not die.

From I-70, take exit 210 and head south on U.S. 40/61. Take the first exit past the Missouri River Bridge (Airport Road). Turn right at the first street onto Olive Blvd (a gas station is on the corner). The road will twist and wind and change names to first to Eatherton then to Hwy 109 (when you cross Wild Horse Creek Rd). Continue on Hwy 109 until you can turn right onto Hwy BA and after a minute or two, turn right into Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park. Follow the main road in, then turn left on Wirth Drive. Park at Alta Picnic Area.

From brown and yellow sign along road, head 21 paces to Bulletin Board at start of HawthornTrail. This is a 1.25 mile loop trail that takes you first on one side of a narrow ridge then back along the other side. Take trail 21 paces till it intersects a horse trail. Continue through intersection, and go 80 paces to a “gate” cut into a large log that fell across the trail. Remember this gate. You’ll want to find it on your way back. From gate go 4 paces to a T-intersection.

Go left (approximately 150 degrees) and follow trail along south side of ridge. Trail quickly veers right and heads NW. Walk for a while downhill, uphill, downhill then uphill. Pass a small rock outcrop on left. Trail eventually enters a glade-like area characterized by prairie wildflowers and more open canopy before it re-enters a wooded area. Pass another small rock outcrop on left just before trail reaches a third rock outcrop at the northwestern most point of trail (overlooking road below).

Trail then veers south and now goes along north side of same ridge. Watch for a fire-scarred shagbark hickory on your right, followed 9 paces later by another “gate” cut into a tree that fell across the trail. A 4’ high snag stand on right just beyond this gate. Go 15 paces along trail to a 2nd “gate.” After 57 more paces look WAY to your right. You should see a large tree on the other side of the ridge that is mostly hollow on the first 20 feet of its trunk. Go 33 more paces along trail to a third, smaller “gate” cut into a tree that fell diagonally cross the trail. From this pace go 200 degrees five paces uphill to a tree with hollow base (the base is easier to see when approaching on trail from opposite direction). You’re almost there.

Stand with your back to this tree. Go 66 degrees about 56 paces downhill (crossing trail) to tree with large hollow base near edge of pawpaw thicket. Reach inside and to the left but beware of critters, especially snakes (use a stick first). The letterbox is guarded by rocks. Please replace exactly as found, on the left with rocks covering the front and top of the letterbox to help prevent animals from chewing and dragging away the box. I recommend moving just a little ways further down the slope to avoid being seen by Muggles (non-letterboxers) and geocachers. When heading back to the parking lot, it is shorter to complete the loop rather than going back the way you came.

This box has been planted with the permission of the Department of Natural Resources and state park staff.