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.
NOTICE: Beginning Monday, December 2, 2013, we'll be doing maintenance work on our trails. Trails will remain open except where work is being done. This means rather than walking a loop, trail-users will have to turn around when they reach the construction areas. Call 417-888-4237 for updates.
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.
- 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
Area and trail hours
- Open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during daylight saving time
- 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 Monday and on all state holidays.
- 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 150-seat auditorium and interpretive exhibits
- Pavilion with restrooms, drinking fountains and suitable for sack-lunch picnics
- Wildlife-viewing blind and decks
- Conservation-related nonprofit groups may reserve the nature center classrooms for Tuesday daytime and evening use or Wednesday evening use.
- 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.
- Buy Department-produced publications, nature-related gift items, and permits.
Trails and wildlife
- Hike 3 miles of trails. See trail map listed below.
- Look for more than 180 species of birds. See the bird list below.
- Expect to see deer, turkey, mink, muskrat, reptiles, amphibians, and insects
- 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.