Bennett Spring State Park, Missouri
Our stop at Bennett Spring State Park was a bit disappointing. The spring itself was pretty but as we soon discovered, the park was infested with ticks not to mention being fairly thick with poison ivy, which as you may or may not recall, I avoid at all costs due to some serious reactions. We opted to do their longest trail – the 7.5 mile Natural Tunnel Trail – and had set out only to encounter unavoidable dense poison ivy and tall, thick brush crowding the path. The latter was not a problem of course until we started getting bitten by ticks as we were walking. By the end of the hike I had pulled forty-seven ticks off me. In less than three hours. Tom got quite a good number attached too and this was all before the hike was over; we both had a ridiculous number of bites. Poor Abby ended up with well over a hundred ticks and was subjected to five days of having her fur tweezed out over the course of multiple hours as we tried to remove the dozens that had embedded themselves under her skin. The tunnel, at 296 feet long, 16 feet high, and 50 feet wide, was substantial, and we did see to turtles and a snake, but this stop ended up not being worth it for us.