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Trail Guide

Take a Hike on CampusAdult / Child fishing

  • Area Name: Cape Girardeau Conservation Campus Nature Center
  • Trails: Ridgetop Trail & White Oak Trace
  • Unique features: Disabled-accessible trail section
  • For more information: Call (573) 290-5218 or explore the links listed below.

Cape Girardeau residents share a great recreational and educational resource with visitors to southeast Missouri. Located just off I-55 at Exit 99, this facility features 1.3 miles of hiking trails through diverse landscapes, plus a 17,000-square-foot nature center. The wheelchair-accessible Ridgetop Trail traverses .3 miles of oak-hickory forest with wild acid-soil shrubs, such as wild blueberry and farkleberry. The 1-mile White Oak Trace encircles Pawpaw Valley and Sinkhole Bottom with a pair of loops. Both trails are furnished with benches for relaxing, and an overlook deck offers a view of Pawpaw Valley. Inside the nature center, you can tour exhibits that delve into southeast Missouri’s unique biological and cultural heritage. Building hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Hiking trails are open from sunrise to 10 p.m. daily.

Cuivre River Winter Float

Solitude abounds on this St. Louis region stream.

Cuivre River is a hidden treasure in northeast Missouri. From the meeting of its two forks to its mingling with the Mississippi River, this stream’s aspect changes from Ozark stream to bayou. Largemouth and smallmouth bass and green sunfish populate its upper stretches, joined by white bass and crappie at the lower end. Catfish are everywhere. Access is via boat ramp at Cuivre Island CA in St. Charles County and the new Millsap Access for canoes and wade-fishing north of Truxton in western Lincoln County. Visit our online atlas for more information.

Give Rainbows for Christmas

 A unique holiday gift will create memories for a lifetime.

What gift could be more exciting than catching rainbow trout from the crystal waters of an Ozarks spring branch? Montauk, Bennett Spring and Roaring River state trout parks are open for catch-and-release fishing 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays through Mondays the second Friday in November through the second Monday in February. Maramec Spring Park opens its gates to anglers from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily throughout the winter season. Take a day or two while school is out to wet a line with someone you love. Tackle shops in the parks have the necessary gear and good advice for beginners. Further information is available by calling: Bennett Spring State Park, west of Lebanon, (417) 532-4338; Maramec Spring Park, southeast of St. James, (573) 265-7801; Montauk State Park, south of Salem, (573) 548-2201; or Roaring River State Park, south of Cassville, (417) 847-2539.

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