Les Petites Cotes LbNA # 36427
|Placed Date||Oct 28 2007|
|Location||St. Charles, MO|
|Found By||I dig toasters|
|Last Found||Sep 21 2009|
This is an easy walk that should take about an hour, give or take a few minutes to read the historical markers along the way.
Begin your quest at the intersection of First Capitol Drive and Riverside Drive in historic St. Charles, Mo. There you will find an entrance into Frontier Park, along the Missouri River. To the left is a kiosk, where you can view the 'KATY' Trail, a walking/biking path, reclaimed along the tracks of the Missouri-Kansas-Topeka railroad.
Head south from the kiosk, along the tracks, until you spot the flagpoles on the left. Stop and read the historic marker nearby and you'll learn that Les Petites Cotes (The Little Hills) was the settlement founded by explorer and trader Louis Blanchette. In 1791, it became known as St. Charles. Daniel Boone settled near here, and Lewis and Clark began their ascent of the Missouri River after camping here for several days.
From the mark, head over to the train depot, and walk up the ramp on the north side. The depot was restored in 1978, and I believe it is used during city festivals. Continue south, down the steps and past the Wabash rail car parked on the tracks. Further down the main path, on the left you will see a statue of Lewis and Clark.
The explorers arrived in St. Charles on May 16, 1804, and left a few days later, only to return over two years later, on Sept. 21, 1806. There are several interesting historical markers by this statue. When you're done reading, head south again, on the main trail.
You'll cross Boone's Lick Road, and continue your walk along the rail road tracks. You're now in a newer part of town...there are casions on the left, on the river, and a hotel and condos on the right. You'll pass under a small bridge and then walk through a tunnel.
Up ahead, you'll see the double spans of Interstate 70, which carry commuters across the Missouri to and from St. Louis county. Align yourself parallel to the last concrete footing on the second span. Now count 42 paces south (every time you step with your right foot counts one pace)...there is a break in the brush on the left side of the trail.
Go into the woods, up a steep rise, to the 'deer' path at the crest. Turn left (north) and take 5 paces. Under the bushes on your right is a cluster of large rocks. There you will find that which you seek.
On your return north, turn left at Boone's Lick Road, and go one block, then turn right (north) onto South Main Street. You'll find several blocks of quaint shops and places to eat (most are closed on Mondays). If you continue north, you'll come to the historical State Capitol building (which does give tours). The town was named the state capitol in 1821.
P.S. I visit this area about once a year...please let me know the condition of the box when you find it. Any upkeep you can do is greatly appreciated!