Jump to Springfield CNC’s Conservation Atlas page for full details, including permitted recreation activities/opportunities, facilities, trails, and history, as well as maps, brochures, and regulations.

Area Information

Explore 79 acres of forest, glade, woodland, prairie plantings, creeks, and frontage on Lake Springfield, and experience the visitor center's multi-sensory, self-guided exhibit area.

Building hours

  • March 1 to October 31: Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Closed Monday.
  • November 1 to February 29: Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday
  • Closed all state holidays. Call 417-888-4237 for details.

Area and trail hours

  • March 1 to October 31: Open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. the rest of the year


  • Closed on New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
  • The building is always closed on Mondays.


  • See View Map in the Address Information block to the right of this page, and see the driving directions brochure below.

Fun to see, do, and learn


  • Visitor center with 147-seat auditorium and interpretive exhibits
  • Pavilion with restrooms, drinking fountains and suitable for sack-lunch picnics
  • Wildlife-viewing blind and decks

Classroom reservations

  • Conservation-related nonprofit groups may reserve the nature center classrooms or auditorium for meetings free-of-charge during the day Tuesday through Friday or on Thursday or Friday evenings


  • Naturalists conduct interpretive programs on a wide range of conservation topics for schools, homeschool families, civic groups, and the general public.
  • Check the Events block to the right of this page for a list of public events and workshops.

Nature shop

  • Buy Department-produced publications, nature-related gift items, and permits.

Trails and wildlife

  • Hike 3 miles of trails. See trail map listed below.


  • No pets, horses, hunting, fishing, trapping, collection of natural materials, littering, fires, fireworks, and alcoholic beverages on the area
  • No bicycles, skateboards, rollerblades, or motorized vehicles on the trails.
  • Visitors must remain on trails at all times.
  • Running/jogging is discouraged and limited to posted times only. No group running/jogging allowed.
Print and carry this map if you plan to hike the area's trails. Details include trail names, lengths, and rules.

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Print-and-carry driving directions show you the way to the Springfield Conservation Nature Center.

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Planning to watch birds at Springfield Conservation Nature Center? Download, print, and carry this annotated bird list.

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