Autumn’s incomparable beauty is on display indoors and out this month at Runge Conservation Nature Center in Jefferson City. On sunny days, hike through prairie, savanna, glade, marsh, shady oak-hickory forest and stream-side landscapes. The .3-mile, wheelchair-accessible Naturescape Trail shows how you can use native plants for home landscaping. The Raccoon Run is .9 miles in length and is the longest and most diverse trail. Two additional miles of hilly, natural-surface hiking trails offer a chance to get away from it all in the heart of the Capitol city. In wet weather, move indoors to the nature center and explore exhibits, aquariums and displays of live reptiles and amphibians that illustrate Missouri’s diverse natural landscapes and fascinating life. You also can relax in the spacious wildlife viewing area or curl up with a good book in the nature library.
Northeast Missouri streams have some excellent largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing, and none is more fun to fish than the Fabius (pronounced like “Fabby”) River in Clark, Knox, Lewis, Marion, Scotland and Shelby counties. This stream lends itself to canoes and kayaks and wade-fishing. In addition to bass, you might boat walleye, sauger, white bass and flathead and channel catfish. Public accesses include Soulard, Sunrise, Blackhawk, Dunn Ford, White Oak Bend and Tolona, plus Deer Ridge Conservation Area. Use the online Conservation Atlas for directions to these accesses.
Fall color usually peaks around Oct. 15 in Missouri, though trees in the northern and southern parts of the state might change colors a week earlier or later. Good fall color routes in the Kansas City area include Highways 7 and 210. Highways 45 and 224 in northwest Missouri are excellent places to see fall colors. Highways 6, 79 and 61 see some of the best fall color in the northeast Missouri and St. Louis areas. Scenic drives in southeastern Missouri include Highways 67 and 72 in Madison and Bollinger counties. In the Ozarks, try Highways 19, 160 and 181, and in southwest Missouri visit Highways 65, 76 and 54. In central Missouri, Highways 63, 87 north of Boonville and almost any road in Camden, Miller, Maries, Osage and Gasconade counties provide beautiful fall scenery. For fall color updates as the season progresses, visit the links listed below.
Editor In Chief - Ara Clark
Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair
Art Director - Cliff White
Writer/Editor - Tom Cwynar
Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Ruby
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Circulation - Laura Scheuler