Places To Go

By Larry Archer | December 1, 2020
From Missouri Conservationist: December 2020
Body

St. Louis Region | Weldon Spring Conservation Area

Trail network ideal for holiday fitness maintenance.

December, with its scores of holiday parties and large family gatherings, has a reputation for being particularly challenging for fitness buffs and weight watchers, but Raenhard Wesselschmidt would stack Weldon Spring Conservation Area (CA) against any gym in its ability to help fight off the holiday heft.

“People like to have a chance to get out,” said Wesselschmidt, district supervisor and Weldon Spring CA manager. “It gives people a great opportunity to get out, do some hiking, and get a little bit of exercise after some of those big holiday meals.”

Located on 8,398 acres in St. Charles County, Weldon Spring CA has a total of 35 miles of trails. The trails vary in difficulty and trail surface (paved, natural surface, gravel) and include 21 miles that are also open to biking.

“We have a little bit for everybody,” Wesselschmidt said. “Whatever your skill level is, it provides an opportunity.”

The area also provides access to the adjacent 6,951-acre August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area and Katy Trail State Park, expanding the hiking and biking opportunities even more.

The area has 35 acres of lakes and ponds that offer waterfowl hunting opportunities, he said.

Weldon Spring Conservation Area consists of 8,398 acres in St. Charles County. It is accessible from several parking areas along Highway 94, south of Interstate 64.

 38.7059, -90.7052short.mdc.mo.gov/Zut 636-441-4554

What To Do When You Visit

  • Birdwatching Included in the National Audubon Society’s Busch/Weldon/Howell Conservation Area Complex-21 Important Bird Area (short. mdc.mo.gov/Zuy). Included in the Great Missouri Birding Trail (short.mdc.mo.gov/ZuC). The eBird list of birds recorded at Weldon Spring CA is available at short.mdc.mo.gov/ZuF.
  • Fishing Catfish, crappie, sunfish, black bass, white bass
  • Hunting Deer and turkey Deer and turkey regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Spring Turkey and Fall Deer and Turkey booklets for current regulations. Also dove, rabbit, and squirrel
  • Trails A total of 35 miles of trails of various surface types and difficulty, including 21.5 miles of multipurpose (hiking and biking) trails.
  • Trapping Special-use permit required.
  • Waterfowl Hunting Open hunting. Please refer to the Migratory Bird and Waterfowl Hunting Digest for current regulations.

Discover MO Outdoors

Users can quickly and easily find outdoor activities close to home, work, or even while traveling with our free mobile app, MO Outdoors. Available in Android or iPhone platforms at mdc.mo.gov/mooutdoors.

What To Look For When You Visit

  • Bobcat
  • North American river otter
  • Beaver
  • Yellow-bellied sapsucker
  • Cedar waxwing

This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld

Associate Editor - Larry Archer

Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek

Art Director - Cliff White

Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Marci Porter

Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner

Circulation - Laura Scheuler