Features: Fall Colors — Wildflowers — Wildlife
The Governor Bates Trail connects Thornhill Plantation with the newer addition of the park to the north. While this technically is not a loop trail, you can create a loop run by using the existing park roadways and paths. Otherwise, this trail is short enough to make an easy out and back option.
The trail begins at Thornhill on top of the hill overlooking the Missouri River Valley. The hills of St. Charles County can be seen in the distance during the winter months. The trail descends into a wooded area with large basswood trees that shade the trail during the summer months. You may see Dam and Eve orchids on the hillside.
At the bottom of the hill, the forest changes to a bottomland woodland. The basswood tress are replaced by silver maple, box elder and sycamore. The trail crosses a small creek and begins a somewhat steep climb out of the valley. The hillside here is spotted with redbuds and dogwoods that blossom red and white during the spring.
After you reach the top of the hill, the trail passes by the back of the Lamella Barn. This historic site was constructed in 1925.