Dunlap Cemetery Hike

            This hike is especially enjoyable in the springtime when all the wild flowers are blooming.  Also, adjacent to the Dunlap Cemetery is a hillside covered with hundreds of daffodils and narcissus from mid-March through mid-April.  So if you take this five-mile hike, you will experience some beautiful sights.
            Park in the Lost Valley Trail parking lot, which is located on the north side of Highway 94 just a short distance down the road from the intersection of Highways DD and 94.  Follow the Lost Valley Trail northeast.  As you walk on this trail, you will be following the Muschany Hollow Road that ran from the Marthasville Road (Highway 94) to the town of Howell, one of the villages removed by the U. S. government in 1941.  The trail parallels Little Femme Osage Creek.
            After approximately .45 mile, the road turns to the northwest.  Continue to follow the Lost Valley Trail.  Within about one-half mile, you will pass a beaver pond on your right.  If you take this hike in the spring, almost immediately after passing the pond, you will notice several forsythia bushes in bloom, along with some yucca plants.  This was the front yard of the Gocke house in 1941. 

            Continue walking.  You will pass the trail’s second mile marker.  Shortly after this, within one-quarter mile, you will cross a small stream that empties into Little Femme Osage Creek.  The stream passes under the trail through a large metal culvert (693738    4284028).  You may reach the Dunlap Cemetery by continuing on the Lost Valley Trail, or you may take an interesting shortcut along the stream.  From this point it is about one-third mile to the cemetery.
            Follow the stream on its left bank; you will be walking north.  In less than one hundred yards, you can look to your right and see where the old road crossed the stream.  Shortly after this you will walk across the stream, which typically contains very little water.  Now the old road bed is very recognizable; just follow it up the incline.  Soon the old road comes to a very steep hill on your left.  When you see the active spring on the hillside, follow the path that turns to the left, up the hillside.  You are now only a few hundred feet from the cemetery.  As you climb the hill, look for the Lost Valley Trail on your right.  Leave the old path and take the Lost Valley Trail to the west.
            The Dunlap Cemetery (693659   4284577) will be about fifty feet off the trail on your right (obviously, if you did not take the short cut and never left the Lost Valley Trail, the cemetery will be on your left).  The cemetery contains seven marked headstones and several unmarked.  The headstone in the corner of the cemetery closest to the trail is that of Melinda McFall; it is one of the oldest in the area.  The inscription, still legible, reads as follows:
Melinda McFall
Born July the 9th 1798
Married the 10th of April
1817 And departed this
Life the 14th of Feb. 1840

On the other side of the cemetery, be sure to note the marker for the infant Rufus Dunlap.  Bring along some paper and a pencil or crayon, so you can do a rubbing of the poem at the bottom of the headstone.
            On your way back, if you have the time, you can explore a small trash pile (693816   4284337), last used in 1940.  Several interesting artifacts await discovery!
            This hike can easily be combined with the Muschany Cemetery hike.  Enjoy your walk through this area’s past!