Hiking

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A man in a hat walks with boys along a gravel path next to a body of water.
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Take a hike! Our conservation areas have miles of hiking and multi-use trails. Go to your favorite area and explore.

Great Places For Hiking

Events

Find events near you.
Registration period: April 19 - May 18
Date: Tuesday, May 18, 2021 6:00 pm - Tuesday, May 18, 2021 7:30 pm
Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center
Registration required (adults) Grab your walking shoes and get a jump on summer with an urban hike through the Columbus Park and River Market neighborhoods. Covering roughly three miles, this moderate to fast paced hike will utilize sidewalks to explore nature in these older neighborhoods. During the hike we will discuss native & invasive plants, wildlife ID, hiking safety and other great urban hikes in KC. The hike will start and end in the River Market. The instructor will e-mail the exact meeting location to participants the week prior to the hike. This is an all outdoor program so dress for the weather. You will receive an e-mail from the instructor the day prior to the event if weather conditions indicate a need to cancel the program.
Registration period: May 1 - May 18
Date: Wednesday, May 19, 2021 8:00 am - Wednesday, May 19, 2021 5:00 pm
Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center
Put on your hiking shoes and travel to Bothwell Lodge State Historic Site in Pettis County to join a guided hike on the Radiant Trail and Stonyridge Trail: 3 miles-moderate/difficult. Meet at the Runge Nature Center and follow our hike leaders to the location or meet at the trailhead. Hike leaders will contact participants before the hike to give directions if needed. Wear sturdy shoes, dress for the weather, bring a water bottle, and pack a lunch/snack. Masks are required. Registration Required. Ages 18 and up.
Registration period: May 4 - May 18
Date: Wednesday, May 19, 2021 1:00 pm - Wednesday, May 19, 2021 3:00 pm
Location: Rockwoods Reservation

This program is designed for beginning hikers who want to start hiking this spring/summer. Topics will include the basics such as the difference between walking and hiking, clothes and equipment needed, hiking with children, and other information. A 1.5 mile easy hike will conclude the program.

We will be following all St. Louis County guidelines regarding masks and social distancing.
Registration period: May 1 - May 21
Date: Saturday, May 22, 2021 8:00 am - Saturday, May 22, 2021 5:00 pm
Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center
Put on your hiking shoes and travel to Clifty Creek Conservation Area near Dixon in Maries County to join a guided hike. Trail: 3-4 miles-moderate. Meet at the Runge Nature Center and follow the hike leaders to the location or meet at the trailhead. Hike leaders will contact participants before the hike to give directions. Wear sturdy shoes, dress for the weather, bring a water bottle, and pack a lunch/snack. Masks are required. Registration Required. Ages 18 and up.
Registration period: April 14 - May 27
Date: Saturday, May 29, 2021 7:00 pm - Saturday, May 29, 2021 8:30 pm
Location: Columbia Bottom Conservation Area

All ages

They say, “April showers bring May flowers.” Join us as we welcome the return of spring and discover the many shades of green and other colors in the landscape. Sunflowers, planted in April, have pushed their way out of the ground and are now standing in tidy rows as they begin their growth into tall stalks with golden blossoms in July. The songs of Meadowlarks and the buzzing of bees will accompany us as we walk the edges of the prairies and fields. We will end the walk by watching the setting sun from the highest spot on Columbia Bottom.

Meet at the Cropland Overlook, lot “K,” about 41/2 miles from the front entrance.

We will be wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.

Sunset 8:17 pm
Registration period: May 4 - May 28
Date: Wednesday, June 2, 2021 9:00 am - Friday, June 4, 2021 4:00 am
Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Let the adventure begin! Summer is too short to spend it indoors. Join nature center staff for a hands on day camp filled with a sample of awesome outdoor adventure. Hiking, swimming, kayaking and plenty of other activities will make this an experience to remember! All experience levels and abilities welcome. The program will begin at the nature center each morning, but much of our time will be spent at one of several conservation areas. Participants are asked to bring a mask, water bottle, sturdy shoes, and a sack lunch. Snacks, transportation to activities, and all required equipment will be provided. Camp is from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm daily. Full details will be provided in a welcome packet after registration. Isn’t it time you got out and discovered nature?

Registration period: May 3 - June 15
Date: Tuesday, June 15, 2021 6:00 pm - Tuesday, June 15, 2021 7:30 pm
Location: NATIONAL WWI MUSEUM AND MEMORIAL
Registration required (ages 16+) We all know the iconic WWI Museum, but have you ever explored the grounds and surrounding neighborhoods on foot? This urban hike will be around three miles at a moderate pace on sidewalks and will include multiple staircases. We will explore the neighborhoods west and north of the museum and discover why nature adds value to our built spaces. We will also discuss hiking safety and other urban hikes in KC. The instructor will e-mail the exact meeting location to the participants the week prior to the hike. You will receive and e-mail from the instructor the day prior to the event if weather conditions indicate a need to cancel..
Registration period: June 1 - June 15
Date: Wednesday, June 16, 2021 8:00 am - Wednesday, June 16, 2021 5:00 pm
Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center
Put on your hiking shoes and travel to Rock Bridge State Park in Boone County to join a guided hike on the Deer Run Trail. 4.4 miles-moderate. Meet at the Runge Nature Center and follow our hike leaders to the location or meet at the trailhead. Hike leaders will contact participants before the hike to give directions if needed. Wear sturdy shoes, dress for the weather, bring a water bottle, and pack a lunch/snack. Masks are required. Registration Required. Ages 18 and up.
Registration period: May 4 - June 12
Date: Wednesday, June 16, 2021 9:00 am - Friday, June 18, 2021 4:00 pm
Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center
Let the adventure begin! Summer is too short to spend it indoors. Join nature center staff for a hands- on day camp filled with a sample of awesome outdoor adventure. Hiking, swimming, kayaking and plenty of other activities will make this an experience to remember! All experience levels and abilities welcome. The program will begin at the nature center each morning, but much of our time will be spent at one of several conservation areas. Participants are asked to bring a mask, water bottle, sturdy shoes, and a sack lunch. Snacks, transportation to activities, and all required equipment will be provided. Camp is from 9:00 am – 4 :00 pm daily. Full details will be provided after registration. Isn’t it time you got outside and discovered nature?
Registration period: May 15 - June 16
Date: Thursday, June 17, 2021 4:00 pm - Thursday, June 17, 2021 5:00 pm
Location: Rockwoods Reservation
Learn basic techniques in Missouri tree identification. Observe and learn to identify various native tree species during a 1-mile hike at Rockwoods Reservation. Bring appropriate hiking shoes, clothing, water, bug spray, and sunscreen as needed. Please register each person participating (including children) so that we have an accurate count for social distancing.
Registration period: April 8 - June 18
Date: Saturday, June 19, 2021 9:00 am - Saturday, June 19, 2021 3:00 pm
Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center
Hike the 7.7 mile Natural Tunnel Trail at Bennett Spring State Park. Bring a sack lunch and water and wear comfortable hiking shoes. Hike is rated moderate to difficult. Meet at the Natural Tunnel Trail head parking lot. Please remember to wear a mask and social distance. Ages 18-adult.
Registration period: May 14 - June 18
Date: Saturday, June 19, 2021 8:00 pm - Saturday, June 19, 2021 9:30 pm
Location: Rockwoods Reservation
Listen for owls and watch out for bats as we hike along the moonlit Trail Among the Trees. We'll meet in the Visitor Center parking lot. Please bring a flashlight.
Registration period: April 8 - June 22
Date: Wednesday, June 23, 2021 9:00 am - Wednesday, June 23, 2021 12:00 pm
Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center
Register your family and meet us at the east parking lot at Busiek Conservation Area to hike and explore with our Naturalists. We will explore the forest and creek so come prepared for hiking and to get wet. Bring water, sunscreen, insect repellent, a towel, a hat, and an extra pair of shoes you can wear in the water (no flip-flops or crocs please). Remember to wear a mask and social distance. Ages 8-adult. Ages 8-17 must be accompanied by a participating adult. Please register each family member attending.
Registration period: June 1 - June 25
Date: Saturday, June 26, 2021 8:00 am - Saturday, June 26, 2021 5:00 pm
Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center
Put on your hiking shoes and travel to Three Creeks Conservation Area between Jefferson City and Columbia in Boone County to join a guided hike along one of the trails. Trail: 4-5 miles-moderate. Meet at the Runge Nature Center and follow the hike leaders to the location or meet at the trailhead. Hike leaders will contact participants before the hike to give directions. Wear sturdy shoes, dress for the weather, bring a water bottle, and pack a lunch/snack. Masks required. Registration Required. Ages 18 and up.
Registration period: May 12 - June 24
Date: Saturday, June 26, 2021 7:00 pm - Saturday, June 26, 2021 8:30 pm
Location: Columbia Bottom Conservation Area

(All ages)

What is a slough? A slough is an old part of a river or wetland that has been cut off. At times it is full to the brim with water; at other times it is just muddy or totally dry. It is the home territory of frogs, toads, turtles and even beavers. At times the slough at Columbia Bottom joins both the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. We will look for turtles and listen for amphibian calls at the slough as we make our way to the confluence. On our return we will watch the sunset from the Cropland Overlook.

Meet at lot “L” about 4 ½ miles from the front entrance.

Please bring a flashlight and a walking stick if you have one. We will be wearing masks and following social distancing guidelines as appropriate.

Sunset: 8:29 pm

Date: Saturday, September 11, 2021 9:00 am - Saturday, September 11, 2021 11:00 am
Location: Little Prairie CA
Welcome to the first Little Prairie Nature Trail Run / Hike! The 3.6 mile trail is unpaved but has wooden bridges crossing small streams. Participants will register on-site between 8-9 am, with run starting at 9am. The first 100 finishers will receive a MDC water bottle. Come explore nature!